As the lead vocalist of The Beach Boys for more than 55 years, Mike Love has been around the world many times over, so when talking to Love by phone, I had to ask why has owned property in Lake Tahoe since 1981. This led to discussion of where Love – famously a vegetarian – opts to dine when not on the road.
Currently, Love touring with The Beach Boys – which kicked off February 11 in Coral Springs, Florida – but also making the rounds in support of his new BMG-released solo album Unleash the Love. Unleash the Love is a double album, featuring appearances by John Stamos, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, AJR and saxophone legend Dave Koz, and Love’s first full-length studio effort since 1981’s Looking Back With Love. In addition to Unleash the Love, 2017 also brought a pair of new Beach Boys releases featuring Love, 1967 Live Sunshine and 1967 Sunshine Tomorrow 2.
Lake Tahoe is a small community of entertainers. For example, I know Bob Zmuda lives in that area.
The lead singer of Whitesnake [David Coverdale] lives here. Doug Clifford [of Creedence Clearwater Revival] did live here but he moved down the bottom of the hill, which is closer to Reno. So there are a few guys around.
What is it that brought you out to Lake Tahoe in the first place?
It’s beautiful, it’s serene, it’s high in the mountains. I have an incredibly beautiful view of the lake, which changes its personality, coloration every day based on what’s going on in the atmosphere. I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in L.A. and then moved to Santa Barbara and then to Lake Tahoe. It's kind of secluded in a way, but there are nice little villages around the lake.
So it’s been California your whole life, except for touring?
Well, Lake Tahoe is divided right down the middle lake between the border of California and Nevada. I am on the northeastern shore of the Nevada side. I’ve been here a long time. I’ve lived in Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills for a little while, and Santa Barbara for several years. I always loved being near the water, you know? Maybe it's because I'm a Pisces.
So what are some of your favorite restaurants in Lake Tahoe?
My home is my favorite restaurant because my oldest daughter, Melinda, is living here. Between my wife and my daughter, and we have a cook or chef who often prepares stuff for us, so we have a really nice situation here with a view of the lake. So my favorite thing is still here, but the Lone Eagle Grill, which is down on the lake and associated with the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Incline Village. That's a beautiful place, big timbers and a huge fireplace. It's very rustic… So those two places, my home and the Lone Eagle Grill are really great places.
You're famously a vegetarian. What are some of the foods that you prefer as a vegetarian?
There are many, many great things. For instance there are fritattas and quiches and things like that. Quinoa is very popular. It's more of a seed than a grain, but it has no gluten and it's the highest protein of any seed or grain, so there's a lot of nutritional value in that. I love my soups, I love my split pea soup, my potato leek soup, and I'm a big fan of carrot ginger soup. We have a lot of different variety.
I love Mexican food, too, and Thai food. On the Thai food menu, you probably have some you know spicy soup like tom yum soup. I'm a huge fan of Indian food too; there is a thing called papadums, which are these little wafers that are probably roasted over fire and they're just delicious. Like Indian potato chips, only they are not made out of potato, they are made out of some lentil flower. So between Indian, Thai, Mexican, and American dishes, we've got plenty to choose from
When we are planning our Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, everybody makes a really fantastic dessert. My favorite probably is angel food cake, but one of my daughters, Amber, makes a really wonderful German apple pie. Somebody also makes some other kinds of berry pies, and Thanksgiving is a big time for pumpkin pies, so we love all the pies and desserts and stuff. But yeah you're right, I favor vegetarian, that is true.