About This Site

This site is about old, mostly-defunct dining establishments in or around the City of Los Angeles.  I set it up in 2012 and the premise then was that it would feature little articles and artifacts about restaurants where I, a lifelong resident of L.A., remembered dining.

It was not intended to be about restaurants that you went to because, among other reasons, I had no memories or observations to share about them.  Some folks either didn’t read the page where I explained that, didn’t grasp the concept or didn’t care.  Every week or so, I receive at least one vituperative e-mail from someone who is livid that I’ve omitted some favorite eatery from their past.  Some act like I made a grievous factual error; like I’d set up a blog about everyone who was ever pitched for the Dodgers and been such a lunkhead that I’d left out Sandy Koufax.  Others respond like I’ve trashed their mothers by deliberately slighting a piece of their childhood.

So I’ve set up a forum called Your Memories.  It’s a place where you can write about restaurants you recall or ask questions about them.  Post them there.  If a good thread gets going about some restaurant, I may move the posts about it to a separate thread devoted to that eating spot.

Also: I occasionally get messages from the owners (or fans of) places that are or were currently open, objecting to their non-inclusion.  The heading on every page clearly says the site is about places that ain’t there no more but that seems to not matter to some.  The proprietor of one chain that’s still in operation was particularly irate that her restaurants weren’t included. Since then, several of her outlets have closed so it looks like she’ll get in here soon.

I’d rather you didn’t write about restaurants that are still in business.  There are plenty of sites about those places, including Yelp and Chowhound where you can argue ’til the Original Pantry closes about where to get the best pizza or burger.  I may delete message threads about the current dining scene.

Also, be patient if your write a comment and it doesn’t appear for a day or so.  This site gets “spammed” all the time.  Each day, I receive 100+ phony comments from non-existent people who plug online businesses and I have to separate the real posts from the robotic ads.  That’s why comments must be approved before they can read by anyone who comes here.  But we really do welcome your contributions.

You can reach me at me@oldlarestaurants.com. And you might want to drop by my main blog, newsfromme.com.  It’s about comic books and TV and politics and writing and cartoons and whatever pops into my mind when I should be working.

— Mark Evanier

47 Responses to About This Site

  • MP says:

    Do you remember a bakery in West Los Angeles (late 1950’s – 60’s) called the Fairytale Bakery? As kids we would go with our parents…Would love to hear your memories and any history you learned about it.Thanks

  • toula says:

    Does anyone remember the Old French Restaurant on Santa Monica Blv. Before Century City and close to the Free way, on the North side of the street , owned by a French an older couple very friendly and wonderful?

    It is not there anymore but in the 80’s and 90’s it was one of the places that one must eat at! We used to come all the way from Thousand Oaks!

    I ate there Duck Montmorency and cannot forget it!

  • The Management says:

    Two things…

    1. This forum is intended for messages about the operation of this site. If you want to post about a restaurant not covered here, please so it on the Your Memories forum here.

    2. Just in case anyone cares, this is the 5000th message posted to this site.

  • David says:

    Hey Guys… lets don’t forget about ‘The Great American Food and Beverage Company’… I believe it was on Wilshire in Santa Monica. Most of the waiters were out of work or want-to-be actors who enjoyed performing and singing for the customers.

  • Stuart Givot says:

    Hody’s I think.

  • Rodney Recor says:

    To Kathy Peyser

    Perhaps the restaurant you ask about was “Chianti”

  • Pat G. says:

    Regarding the “Old World” Diner near Melrose & La Cienaga – . Could be Cafe Figaro (Great Onion soup) that was on Melrose or Great / Good Earth which was on the corner.

    The diner diner on La Cienega south of San Vicente – Pretty sure this is Ed Debevic’s – very 50’s retro – occasional singing waitstaff and the world’s tinest sundaes

    Hope this helps. Cheers

  • Rolf says:

    Could be “Pinoccios” sp? on Santa Monica in West LA.. Ready made Italian food they just scooped up and put it out to you. Eggplant P., Lasagna, salad etc.

  • Taryn B. says:

    My dad is talking about some Restaurant he went too where you walked in and it was almost as if you walked onto a street that looked like it could have either been France or Italy. He said it had cobblestone on the floor and that it had streetlights and looked like you walked onto the street at night right when you walked in. It was in the 1970’s. Anyone familiar with a restaurant that this could be or even possibly remember this? He thinks it was in the Long Beach area.

  • Linda Morris says:

    to Patricia re:
    Anyone know the name of restaurant owned by lifeguards at end of Pico at Ocean Ave in Santa Monica? Great Prime Rib had English phone booth outside. Closed suddenly in 70’s or 80’s.

    I think it was called Cherio. Didn’t know lifeguards owned it.

  • Patricia says:

    The Deli Restaurant in WLA on Wilshire could be Little Italy. Closed around 1983 when the brothers kids graduated Uni High

    Anyone know the name of restaurant owned by lifeguards at end of Pico at Ocean Ave in Santa Monica? Great Prime Rib had English phone booth outside. Closed suddenly in 70’s or 80’s.

  • Barbara says:

    I am trying to recall name of a popular restaurant or “tea room” in
    Westwood, I believe, that may have had a woman’s name in it and served brunch or lunch particularly on weekends. This was in the late 60s and into the 70s at least. Can anyone help me out? There may have also been an awning outside. I do t recall street location. I am from back east and little family
    left to reach out to…thanks in advance.

  • Peter says:

    What about “Garden District” on LA Cienega, “Carriage Trade” on Beverly (I heard Liberace owned the bldg., and had an apt. above?)
    The first “Numbers” on Sunset? And the “Rose Tattoo, under “Studio One?”, Lots of old, gay LA history, strong drinks and good food! Guys really use to dress-up, as well.

  • Mary Hagerty-Goldberg says:

    Hello Marcy,
    Yes I remember it, it was located on Westwood Blvd. south of La Grange Ave.
    I went to grammar school (mid-1960’s) with the owner’s daughter Amelita Chatham.

    Marcy Campbell says:
    April 25, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    Anyone remember a small place called “The Chatham”‘.? It was a Scottish based menu and was located in Westwoodvarea, south of Santa Monica Blvd,

  • Roger Carney says:

    Who recalls the name of an “Old World”-type cafe/restaurant near the SE corner of Melrose and La Cienega? Popular for brunch in late 70s-early 80s.

  • Lisa Winn says:

    Does anyone remember The Old World Restaurant in Westwood? Or the Hungry Tiger? Both had good menus and getting info on them is impossible. Any hints?

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos, NM says:

    Yo Karen perhaps ya might try doing Google searchers of your Aunt and Uncles names as well as scroll through these places http://tinyurl.com/y86rz8az and check with relatives etc. for a possible name or location….Good luck!

  • karen hennies says:

    Hi, im looking for information on my family’s italian restaurant in los angeles. I just know that it was owned by my aunt and uncle. Donald and Irene Crosby. Any info will help. Thank you in advance. Karen Hennies

  • Tina Witt says:

    About 20 years ahead of its time, there was Gorky’s, located in what was then a no-man’s land of downtown LA.

  • Tina Witt says:

    About 10 years ago, there was a great little retro coffee shop in Hawthorne on the west side of Hawthorne Blvd. that had great breakfasts & vintage car club meets on wknds. Closed suddenly & is now an Auto Zone. Anyone remember?

  • Quigs says:

    Lorraine Matteson

    Was the bakery called Baileys?

  • The Management says:

    The restaurant across the street from Fedco was named Tracton’s. I have a page about it on this site.

  • Cheryl Caspe says:

    What was the name of the restaurant on the corner of Jefferson and LaCienega across from the old FedCo

  • Corliss Ditton says:

    Hi All,

    someone mentioned Michaels on Los Felix. I had my wedding dinner there May 29, 1976. What memories!

  • Dean says:

    Anyone remember the Sanborn House in Silver Lake? I used to go there in the late 1970’s for a good steak and old Hollywood vibe.

  • Kathy Peyser says:

    Does anyone remember the name of an Italian restaurant at the corner of
    Bevery Blvd. and Gardner Street? This would be in the 1990s?

  • Vicki Hynes says:

    Do you have any history on Benny’s of Holkywood. It was a Jewish style deli next to a bar.

  • Eric says:

    Do you remember the name of a diner on La Cienega south of San Vicente, east side of the street? I think it was painted blue and had lots of neon signage. It closed about ten years ago, at least.
    The site is a great resource. Thanks.

  • Curt says:

    I lived in Los Angeles in the late 80’s thru late 90’s. Used to go to an old Italian deli restaurant in West LA. Maybe on Santa Monica Blvd. There was a small grocery/deli attached to the restaurant. They made a great tiramisu, which they had in big pans in their deli case. Wish I could remember the name. Does it ring a bell?

  • Marcy Campbell says:

    Anyone remember a small place called “The Chatham”‘.? It was a Scottish based menu and was located in Westwoodvarea, south of Santa Monica Blvd,

  • R of the V in H says:

    Management —

    This is a fun and happy site.

    Thank you.

  • Lorraine Matteson says:

    Greetings!

    My mother and I were trying to remember the name of a former bakery in Beverly Hills that we would visit every weekend. I believe it was on Beverly, but may have been on Canon. We think it had an Irish name. The best bakery ever! Do you by chance recall the name? This would have been in the late 60s, early 70s.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos, NM says:

    Alas John, as a Curmudgeon, I speak facetiously about being PC.
    RE traveling days are mostly over….Yo, I hear that as well! Hope that doesn’t exclude getting a Double-Dipped Roast Beef once in a while at Philippe’s http://www.philippes.com/ (glitch at the moment.)
    – Carlsbad as a National Park and “the state of the nation”: A few months ago, for about 6 months the elevators were out of service, so if Folks walked down the mile and a quarter to be 750 feet below the surface, they had to walk out. When Obama and family came a couple of months ago, they got to use the freight elevator.
    – Elsewise RE NM: I’ve been here since ’69 and regret I didn’t get to many of these places http://tinyurl.com/lba8z38 this Guy presents vignettes on.
    “Chow” as some of us nonItalien Foodies might say!

  • John Hindsill says:

    Bob…New Mexico
    You speak about not wanting to appear PC. To me there is no such thing as being PC. What we call PC today is only lazy thinking meant to shut down dialogue with folks we disagree with. You think me ready for another trip to NM? Well my traveling days are pretty much over. My world is somewhere I can get to in an hour from home. Some days that wouldn’t even get me to the Westside (of Los Angeles, depending on day and time.)

  • John Hindsill says:

    Bob…New Mexico
    From childhood I was intrigued by Carlsbad Caverns, but never got there. We only did Santa Fe and environs (including Taos) for 5 days, and Albuquerque for 1-1/2. I remember visiting Los Alamos, and several native ruins. Also we came across caverns, not nearly so majestic as Carlsbad, but interesting in its own right. I remember in the waiting area there was a tableau about the history of the Comanche (?) Indians in the area. Santa Fe is one of my favorite vacation memories.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos, NM says:

    Alas John, as you probably learned, whether we in New Mexico, be Hispanics or Gavachos, we eat Red or Green Chile with our eggs for breakfast, have a Green Chile Cheeseburger for lunch, and drench Stuffed Sopapillas stuffed with chicharrones/beans as well as enchiladas with Red etc for suppah/dinnah at night. Chains like Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s have had to give up their corporate rigidity and serve Green Chile with their burgers.
    – Alas, and hoping not to appear UnPC, I was taken aback about the reference to a Jewish Deli per my mind’s eye coloring, sorta speak, Fanta Se as Spanish cuisine despite a) world class catholic menus like http://www.compoundrestaurant.com/menu or this https://locu.com/places/geronimo-santa-fe-us/ as but
    examples. and b) a slight familiarity with prominent Jewish history e.g. http://tinyurl.com/mafepst It also seems unique/weird that ABQ is 600K to SF’s 80K population and ABQ recently lost its only Deli of note after only a couple of years despite several synagogues. Yo, that is not to say we are lacking in Diversity!!! On a street honoring the Brits’ Montgomery of WWII fame, there is a restaurant serving the best Reuben owned by an Hispanic who gets his meats from California and who is married to a zesty Korean Gal. (Lest you don’t know about Reubens: http://tinyurl.com/ms44qea It is at a cross street of a Catholic saint, known in Spanish as San Pedro, upon which is a Chabad Center just down the block http://tinyurl.com/mjp34jj At that map site, place your cursor mid screen and far right and hold down left mouse button while moving your mouse to the far left and repeating.
    (As an aside if you are into (Russian) intrigue: Check out A Spy’s Guide to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, by E. B. Held http://tinyurl.com/lob9473
    – Alas, as you said it was “Many years ago” that you visited: Whoa! you are due for a return…did you even visit Carlsbad Caverns at the time? E.g. http://tinyurl.com/m4jabjq I’ve been 4 X. If nothing else and in addition to more great Green Chile Stew, come for 500+ balloons going up almost at once (make room/car reservations by early summer) http://tinyurl.com/njn9c7t http://www.balloonfiesta.com/event-info/event-schedule (If not this year: Sats/Suns go to http://www.kob.com at 7 AM MDST to click on the Live Streaming Link!)

  • John Hindsill says:

    Bob…New Mexico–

    Many years ago we vacationed in Santa Fe and environs. I was surprised at how small the original plaza was, but had my first taste of Green Chili Stew. Several years later, in Simi Valley, CA, there popped up a fast food restaurant, whose name I disremember (but I think Santa Fe was part of the name). They served a pale imitation of GCS. As I haven’t been in Simi in ten years, I don’t know if it’s still there.

    Back to Santa Fe: Just outside of the Plaza there was an ostensibly Jewish Deli at which we had breakfast one morning. I asked for an order of Matzo Brei (pron like rye). The server noted that ‘we call it matzo brie.’ I responded, ‘So do I when I want cheese in it.’

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos, NM says:

    Well Howdy there Toni Maam! Alas, I was born too soon to enjoy such a…well despite being Texan…woman of obvious genteel, Southern appreciation for the CLASSIC amenities of living!
    Bon Appétit!
    Vecino Bob
    PS Lest you and your SO may visit in neighboring New Mexico, I owe ya a Green Chile Cheeseburger, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/ld2tjut , con Margaritas in one of our Grande Cantinas!

  • Toni W. says:

    Hi! I absolutely love this site! I am a 46 year old woman from Texas (born in 1970) and have never been to LA but I read everyone of your reviews. I loved reading about the grand restaurants like the Scandia. Thanks for the memories I never got to experience!

  • Ellen Shaver says:

    Folks , I have done as much research as I can concerning the Former Zep Diner that was in Hawthorne on West Flower . I know it was built in 1930. There seems to have been a “Wing ” that was crafted in the rear so as to have increased seating about 1934. I have a shot where I am told that shows the Zep about 1946 where it shows the Zep in disrepair . I’m really wanting to correspond to ANYONE who MIGHT have any knowledge of when the former Zep Diner was razed . You can see a 1-24th scale model on Face Book by visiting the Art Forms Design page

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    ~ Wednesday ~ Traditionally a slow day at Woody’s ~

    Yes Bob, I did experience a minor quake while working at Redondo.
    It was 1968, and on the day, the dinner rush was just wrapping up when the dining room patrons began to react. Not screams, but more like the sounds guys make when their girlfriends announce they may be pregnant.
    Anyway, I looked up from the cash register I was tending and saw some very minor swaying of the chandeliers .
    At the time, I thought no big deal, but as the months went by I realized the issue was planted somewhere in the back of my brain.

    I know Chris was managing the Woodland Hills store in 1971 when the Northridge Quake occurred, so I will invite him to share that story.
    In the meantime , who wants a SmorgasBurger for lunch ?
    Phil

  • Therese Wong Green says:

    Greetings! I am looking for any information on a restaurant my Grandfather Wong owned on Central Avenue named “The Broken Drum.” It was across the street from a five-and-dime store according to my father. He worked there as a teenager in the 1930’s. It served American food and soul food. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  • Michael Lipofsky says:

    No mention here of the Velvet Turtle. That was another great restaurant that’s no longer around. Also, even though it was before my time, what about Hody’s? I know a lot of people older than me, that have very fond memories of that place. I know they had quite a few locations too.

  • michael bernsatein says:

    growing up in hollywood in the 1970’s i remember fondly of diamond jims steakhouse that i enjoyed going to with my late mother a class eatery i also miss michael’s los feliz and the cove in los angeles

  • Daniel Stehura says:

    Please Delores Drive in it was on Wilshire Bl. One building from the corner of LaCinega. Movie stars would come in at 2-5 am and eat in the car in their P.J.’s
    Thank You, Daniel

  • The Management says:

    I’ve received lots of complaints that the comments should be ordered from newest to oldest so I finally gave in and reversed it. Would anyone else prefer it back the way it used to be?

    I have no idea about your disappearing ID. Can you write me privately and explain where it disappears from?

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    ~ For our boss Mark Evanier ~

    It looks as if things are improving on our end. ( tech wise )

    The dates on the scrolling are still reversed. Can this issue be reinstituted
    as it was in the previous five years ? Also my ID disappears after each entry.

    Memories 01 is off to a great start !
    Thanks
    Phil

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