T Nation

California Dreamin'

Calling all southern California T-men -

My lady friend and I are going to be spending a bunch of days (Dec 31 - Jan 6 or 7) in sunny southern Cali and we require the help of a licensed California t-man social events planner to help us find the most t-friendly activities your land has to offer including places to visit, restaurants to dine in, and gyms to assault. We are also in need of an experienced sherpa to carry our protein powders and our water jugs.

If you have any suggestions, reply here or email me directly through my web site (www.johnberardi.com).

Thanks a million!

You HAVE to train at the LA Lifting Club in Burbank. It’s one of the best-equipped, most hardcore powerlifting gyms in the US, and many national and world record holders train there. Take advantage of the ubiquity of great sushi too; Matsuhisa and Nozawa are some of my favs.

John, you should consider coming to Santa Barbara. It’s about 100 miles north of LA. Nothing fancy in the way of gyms (Gold’s it is here), but a great place to wine and dine your lady friend. Let me know if you’ll be in the area and I can drop you the names of a few restaurants. My girl and I would be happy to carry a few water jugs for ya.


If you’re coming down to San Diego, there are some fantastic sushi restaurants down here – Sushi Ota, Cafe Japengo and Sushi on the Rock just to name a few. The best gym to train at is probably the World Gym in Pacific Beach right near the freeway. As far as things to do, the Wild Animal Park is really cool for a day trip and probably won’t be nearly as crowded as it is in the summer. At night, the Gaslamp Quarter downtown is the place to be.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, try to work out at the L.A. Fitness in Miracle Mile. By far the worst gym I have ever gone to. Horrible. The only reason you might want to go is to see the weakest, most soft-core gym in the world. I’ll be the one over by the squat rack, squatting. You’ll knowit’s me, because no one else goes near them. Stay Away! Oh, yeah, I go there because it’s two steps away from my apartment.

Venice Gold’s Gym is a fun freak fest, then you can cruise the boardwalk and Muscle Beach. Tons of bodybuilders and hollywood types eat at The Firehouse (It’s only a mile or 2 from Gold’s), they have a great dining patio.

John in Souther Cal.! Well huntington beach is home to the Renegade Coach davies, check him out. Gyms hungting beach 24hr fitness is home to a few pro bodybuilders. Ive seen Shawn Ray, tony gonzalez, jim edmonds, and roman phifer there. Restaurants the best in the world, huge celebrity spot but very expensive but worth every penny: “Captain Jack’s” in costa mesa. Or if your in the orange county area then perhaps the greatest authentic mexican restaurant Ive eaten at “El Cholos.” in La Habra.

I second the Firehouse suggestion - and I know patricia does, too!

BERARDI- Are you kidding? You know Renegades Roll Deep in So Cal. We have plenty of places to train. None of which is a gym. I could point out a couple of powerhouse gyms if you really feel the need to see equipment with purple upholstery. Plenty of places to get a half pound carne asada. And our Sherpa’s carry the tequilla not protein powder and water. See ya in a month or so.

Actually, char I was going to suggest a good coffeehouse that provides some fresh baked bagels, scones and/or coffee cakes. You know, something that hot coffee can wash down. And later, a really good, “happening” bar that is carrying a good selection of beer. And of course, a happy hour menu complete with buffalo wings, onion rings, and /or hamburgers.

But, for some reason, I think John Berardi wouldn't go for any of this. What you think? hee hee hee (but YES, a vote from me on the Firehouse!).