We kind of slept on Paul Davidson’s The Small Stuff, a fun romantic comedy (it’s like Nora Ephron and Philip K. Dick had a book baby together) that examines the reasons why people fall in love. But we only slept on it for a couple of weeks, which means you are still very much in time to pick up a copy of the book. And hey, maybe, just maybe, if you’re in Los Angeles, you can pick it up and go follow along with the main characters as they find their happy ending.
And, because we’re here for you, we also asked Davidson himself to tell us about the best places in Los Angeles to go for a date. As a man who wrote a romantic comedy about it, Davidson has clearly done his research.
While some of the below are actually featured in THE SMALL STUFF, some of the others are just great places to setup that meet and greet, or even take that person you’re hoping can evolve into that significant other.
Kiwami (Studio City): There’s sushi, and then there’s sushi. Kiwami, owned by the Katus-Ya Corp (famous for their other Katsu-Ya sushi spots) is a great place to test if that person you’ve got a crush on can actually hold their own when it comes to raw fish. Those dating qualities we all look for need to be updated to include “loves sushi” as a key prerequisite to happily ever after.
Jon & Vinny’s (Hollywood): Great Italian food in a small footprint, Jon & Vinny’s is smack dab in the middle of the Fairfax district, down the street from long lines of sneaker heads waiting for that limited edition Air Force One. With few tables, this is a great place for a casual chat over meatballs and pizza.
Diddy Riese (Westwood): Right in the shadow of UCLA, Diddy Riese is the ultimate after-dinner stop, where they’ve been making ice-cream sandwiches since the 70’s. And while they’re no longer $1 a pop, it’s still a fun place to grab your sammich on and sit and talk.
Loews Hotel (Santa Monica): Right on the water, and featured in a key moment of THE SMALL STUFF where Josh interviews for that lifelong dream job, the bar offers up an elegant place for drinks with a breathtaking view of the Pacific. Great for those sunsets and slightly-misguided proposals.
Pink’s Hot Dogs (Hollywood): THE, with a capital T, H, E, place for hot dogs in Hollywood. It’s been around since the 30’s, been featured in one of every four romantic comedy movies to make it to the multiplex, and will test just how down and dirty your other half can get in order to realize the dream of a hot dog bigger than their head.
The Brass Monkey (Koreatown): One of the best karaoke spots in all of Los Angeles, it’s been doing it down and dirty for decades. Also featured in THE SMALL STUFF, this is the best place for pulling together old and new friends alike and belting out “Love is a Battlefield” while crying in your beer.
The Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood): Featured as the centerpiece of some of the greatest romantic comedies ever (i.e. Some Kind of Wonderful, being just one of them), there’s nothing like the outdoor vibes of this classic Hollywood spot whether you’re listening to John Williams play his classic movie themes or watching Imagine Dragons rock the house.
Runyon Canyon Trail (Hollywood): Exercise. Yeah, we have to do it. Runyon is just one of the best trails to test that potential love and their ability to regulate their heart rate. Pets, coming along for the ride, is a plus. And that Hollywood sign in the background makes for a great early-relationship selfie.
Griffith Observatory (Hollywood): Just like Josh in THE SMALL STUFF always looked to the stars, a trip to the Griffith puts every little moment of life into perspective against the vast infinite Universe. Plus, it’s a great spot to get a view of all of Los Angeles, all at once.
The Last Bookstore (Downtown LA): There had to be a book tie in somewhere, you know? This is not the last bookstore, but it’s one of the best in Downtown Los Angeles, if not the whole town. New, old, classic and even art on consignment, this is a quirky, unique spot that has enough dark corners to make for great quiet conversation.
The California Science Center (Downtown L.A.): Featured in THE SMALL STUFF as Josh’s place of employ, this is a great place to see if that date can still get in touch with the child inside all of us. From a beautiful underground aquarium, to the actual Space Shuttle on display, it’s always a great afternoon of discovery and wonder.
Kinda want to go to all of those now. Or, read another book, where the characters go to the ones on the list that we didn’t get to see in The Small Stuff. Maybe next time?
Paul Davidson’s The Small Stuff is available now wherever books are sold. You can find the synopsis below:
Josh Allen always dreamed of finding his soulmate, only to be told it wasn’t ever going to happen. Maggie Mills found who she thought was hers, only for the relationship to end in disaster. Now, the two are struggling to make their way in the City of Angels, with zero faith they’ll ever find that one true love. Fortunately, the universe has other plans, as Josh and Maggie will soon discover.
Meet the village of people around them: family, friends, local auto body clerks, homeless journeymen, famous chefs, and nighttime talk show hosts-people whose small, insignificant decisions in life are the reason why Josh and Maggie will finally meet once and for all. But when the two realize they’ve been unknowingly crossing paths all their lives, their small love story takes on even bigger significance.
A romantic comedy for the new millennium, The Small Stuff asks the ultimate question: What if the reason we find the love of our life isn’t due to fate or chance or plain dumb luck-but because of the decisions everyone around us ends up making?