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

100 Responses to About This Site

  • Miles Wachner says:

    There is the french restaurant on sunset near silver lake ‘les frees taix’ but there is no mention of the original ‘taix’ restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. My family and friends used to go there back in late 1940′ and 1950’s before they moved to their new location. The original ‘taxi’ was strictly family restaurant where you sat at a table for 10-12 people. Everyone got the same meal…there was no ordering. As I remember, service was something like this…start with great French bread, then a marvelous soup, followed by main dish, usually sliced roast with vegetables, followed by simple green salad and fresh fruit. That was more or less it, but because it was family style, you were always surprised by your who actually talked to each other or entertained. When the old Barnum and Bailey circus was in town, the fire eater and sword swallower entertained us among many others. Today, that style, unfortunately, is missing.

  • Robyn McAfee says:

    Anyone remember The La Brea Inn on La Brea? Definitely there in the 60’s.

  • ERIC BUCHANAN says:

    To Kathleen Fajardo:
    The Glendale restaurant you’re thinking of, overlooking the eastbound 134 in downtown Glendale, was called Reflections, and was the second branch of the La Canada original.

  • Hazz says:

    Sitting at dinner with my folks and they are trying recall the name of an Italian resturaunt that was on North La Cienega during the 1960’s. My father swears the name if the resturaunt started with a P. Anyone possibally know? Thanks

  • Martin Cohen says:

    I have long missed Zup’s by the Zoo. It has been gone since around 1994. Best steak sandwiches ever. Far better than going to nearby Pecos Bill’s BBQ.

  • April says:

    The restaurant at the corner of Los Felix and Hillhurst was Michael’s. Later it became Louise’s and then The Brown Derby became part of Louise’s.

  • John Engstrom says:

    Connie, et al:
    per a 2012 L. A. Times article, the original restaurant was a Willard’s fried chicken. This was extensively remodeled into a Brown Derby, which became Michael’s in 60’s & 70’s, then Louise’s, and now the Mess Hall. All the same building, as the Brown Derby renovations are recognized as having landmark status.

  • Carolyn says:

    Marcy – yes, Chatham’s was across the street from the Congregational Church parking lot/pre school section of the church. My school chum’s mother was a waitress there for a long time.

  • John Hindsill says:

    I believe there was Louise’s Italian there for several years. And before that I think there was a jazz club simply called The Derby (not to be confused with The Derby hard by Santa Anita Race Track), but I’m not vouching that I ‘m right about the latter.

  • Sgt. Joe Friday says:

    Connie: if you’re talking about the 1960s and 1970s, that would have been Michael’s Los Feliz. That was my mom’s and dad’s “go to” for special occasions.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Yo Connie…Alas, I do not know the restaurant…Sorry. Is this the building tho http://tinyurl.com/ycnc234r that might stir a memory in others? Click the + sign to zoom in to see it is called the MessHall today!
    – Have you tried the old trick of closing your eyes (not while driving of course) and going through the alphabet slowly saying one letter at a time to see/feel if a name might pop into awareness? If nothing, try doing it while falling asleep and picturing your picture of the place .
    E.g. while Connie is not a letter, Stephens pops into mind…don’t know why instead of http://tinyurl.com/ycz2km9x LOL

  • Connie says:

    Please help! What was the restaurant (not the Brown Derby) that was at the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz? The Brown Derby was there early on, but moved, and then another restaurant moved in.

  • richard kjarsgaard says:

    I know of a drive-in on Wilshire that was called Delores Drive-in.
    best Chile in LA.

  • Kelly says:

    There was a Drive-In restaurant on Wilshire Blvd at Crenshaw Blvd, does anyone remember what that was? S.E. Corner, the building was round and has to two covered isles which allowed for parking on both sides. Ring any bells?

  • Arna h says:

    Anyone know recipe for Pete’s BBQ cole slaw?

  • Andrew E says:

    Don Ricardos, the restaurant in the Santa Anita fashion mall, had some of the best salsa and chips when I was growing up. I worked across from it at the Baskin robbins 31 Flavors after high school.

  • JOHNNIE wOOTEN says:

    Anyone remember Itailian Resturant at Crenshaw at Washington, called Vincent”s southwest corner late 50 ties

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Alas John…I am no match (blush) in terms of dealing with such a Legalist! LOL On the other hand, and while many of our Cities have their problems (e.g. 26 murders since the first of the year!), I accidentally ran across this http://tinyurl.com/y7ha42m5 in the interim which I can only imagine might have given Tony second thoughts in 1970 http://tinyurl.com/yaxqssrc about where he was wanting to leave his heart, as might I have several times, but never again. Aaah yes, things that make ya wanna leave your heart: in the ’60s saw off beat stuff/people near Carol Doda’s/Finochio’s/Haight; in the ’90s couldn’t explain to giggles of mid school boys the phenom as seen from the back seat of a stopped car, why a dude was allowed to urinate while standing at a curb; and now I should take my G-kids for Clam Chowder in a Sourdough bowl? If it ain’t broke, Frisco ain’t never gonna fix it by making us say San Francisco! Love how some Folks migrate from there/Cal and then try to convert us to be California. MLOL!

  • John Hindsill says:

    Not to worry,BVLR(NM), all your questions are moot (as we both know). There is no such thing as Calexit ever, certainly not in what’s left of our lifetimes. That question was settled 150 years. I remember studying about something called the Civil War. Even if allowed to try it peacefully, there are too many hoops to jump though.
    Equally difficult, if not more so, would be splitting the state into 2, 3, or even 4 parts. That would require 2, 4, or more senators and their cadre, and some sort of distribution of the states’ share of US Representatives. Again, the Federal Govt, and the several states would have to approve such action.
    I do not plan to indulge in such mental self-gratification as to the what ifs of the never will happen.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Whoa! Well now, look what’s once again popping up…CalExit…http://tinyurl.com/y9zoh29k !
    What would that mean for those of Y’all born there, but not now living there? Would you have to apply for US citizenship? If married there, but living elsewhere, are we still married? Would our degrees from college/technical school there, still be accepted in the US? What would happen to the property…including cemetary plots….you may still own there? And what about having adult kids/G-kids now living there? Would there still be a border there? Would a new wall have to be built along Oregon/Nevada/Arizona? Who’d be responsible for the San Andreas Fault? Would some group have to develop a new song http://tinyurl.com/ndy4nct and seriously….could it be done RE the East Coast? In our patriotism to “Buy USA!”, where would we get our lettuce/avocados/artichokes? What a hassle it would be to have to get a Passport to go to DisneyLand/Knott’s!!!! Could Folks per being native born, tho residents of other states, still vote on the issue?
    – In any event, are you Pro/Anti CalExit/The Tri-Split/Nada/Have your own plan?

  • David says:

    Does anyone remember an old burger joint on Santa Monica Blvd around Sepulveda in West Los Angeles? I think it was only open for lunch time.

  • Therese says:

    To Elyce: Restaurant across from Trader Joes with the awesome pumpkin muffins was Nicks. Thanks for reminding me!! I and family and friends had many a wonderful meal here!!

  • Felice says:

    Does anyone remember a place called “Original BBQ” in downtown LA? Probably late 1950’s-early 1960’s.

  • Kathleen Fajardo says:

    Good morning! I’m trying to remember the name of a restaurant/bar in Glendale that was open in the 80s. It was a two-story, stand alone building with a wood exterior and a lodge-y type style on the inside. I remember there were a fair amount of couches for seating. Any memories/help would be appreciated. Thanks! Kathleen 😊

  • Mike Chavez says:

    Does anyone remember a place in downtown L.A. Called “Pub in the Alley”? It was a bar with a small restaurant/grill near 7th or 8th and Broadway or Grand.

  • Brenda Branch says:

    Does anyone have any information on the following old African American Restaurants listed below:
    Robertson’s-South Central Avenue, Pig N’Pat-South Central Avenue, Eddie’s-South Central Avenue, Clifton’s-South Central Avenue. Also restaurant located in Dunbar Hotel, South Central Avenue. Looking for menus, history, artifacts, etc.

  • Josh says:

    Elyce, the restaurant was called Nick’s. If it had survived it would fit in nicely with today’s health trend. Back then it was a rare find.

  • Jamie says:

    Does anyone remember Nikki’s restaurant. It was just down the block from LA Rams office in 1979 before move to Anaheim and the entrance to the studios. Regulars got plaques on the bar posts and there was a great piano bar and small intimate tables with excellent food.

  • Elyce says:

    I had my 6th birthday party at Hody’s in 1960! It was in what’s now called South Central LA on Santa Barbara Blvd., later renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. I even got a Hody’s (a clown) doll!

  • Elyce says:

    Anyone remember the name of a small, trendy, pseudo-“hehealthi” restaurant on National Blvd., I believe, across from Trader Joe’s, that was known for its to-die-for pumpkin muffins? We went there in the mid to late 1980s & maybe early 1990s. It’s probably long gone.

  • Alex says:

    Anyone else remember a cheesesteak shop on hollywood blvd, near the mall? They had tastykakes, and the cheesesteaks were amazing. I haven’t been since the early 00s (or something like that, around the time Skoobys was still running), and touring it through google maps says they aren’t there anymore. I’d love to know what happened to them, if they moved or if they’re just gone for good.

  • John Engstrom says:

    Wendy Baker – I remember Hody’s fondly, although we used to go to the one at LaBrea and Rodeo, just down the hill from their clown billboard on LaBrea north of Stocker.

  • Tony Huggins says:

    Whatever became of Cugat’s (as in Xavier)Restaurant ? Had dinner there in 1984 or ’85 and it was very good.

  • Dave says:

    Does anyone have photos of the revolving restaurant that used to be on the top of the old Holiday Inn (now LOEWS Hollywood)? I think it was called Windows on Hollywood.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Indeed, a Celeb dining experience on Wilshire. (Go here http://tinyurl.com/ybbh3m25 click a pic to enlarge/make sure text on right notes Perinos.) Besides age, one reason I might not have been, were the exorbitant prices…LOL, i.e. per a 1950 menu: http://kdl.kyvl.org/catalog/xt7xks6j2258_51_1? (To enlarge: Use the + symbol upper Left or press CTRL while rotating mouse wheel; hold Left button while moving mouse to move around.) Seriously? $5.50 for a Filet, PLUS!!! 85 cents for Bearnaise! then 3 1/2% sales tax? Ha ha…using an inflation calculator, 5.50 would be $57.75 today! Alas, never made it there when I became an adult as moved.
    – Yes Don’s was great along with Trader Vic’s for the tropical ambiance and foods…Ke aloha (Cheers!) to Mai Tais, Singapore Slings, and Zombies!

  • Dottie M. says:

    Also The Black Whale in Marina del Rey closed a long time ago.

  • Dottie M. says:

    How about Perino’s and Don the Beachcomber

  • Jeane Coultas says:

    Howdy hat Cafe in L.A. small child I believe my parents worked there 1940-1950’S

  • ADAM SCHAFFER says:

    Does anyone remember a coffee shop at or near Olympic and Sepulveda called Gomie’s (0r something like that)? Would have been late 60’s and early 70’s.

  • Vanessa says:

    Does anyone remember an old Mexican restaurant that was inside the Santa Anita fashion plaza ? It was right by the entrance of the parking lot . They used to have ceramic donkeys with lollipops in its pockets and sit down versions of Ms. Pac-Man in the bar area . It was either late 70s or 80s

  • Skip Gorman says:

    BBQ Pete’s on Hawthorne Blvd and 111th St. was great! Also, Andy’s Pizza in Centenella Blvd in Inglewood had a special way of making pizza dough.

  • Christina Dimitroff says:

    Does anyone remember a small place on Hollywood Blvd in the 50s/early 60s called the Nite Lite? (Could’ve been spelled Night Light.) I think it was a diner or lunchroom or 50 version of fast food, on the eastern end of the boulevard. Maybe it was even on Sunset … I ask because my godmother and her husband ran it — but I can’t find any trace of it online and wonder if I dreamed it up!

  • John Hindsill says:

    Not here, but there still. Until a few moths ago I thought it was gone.
    I remember as a very young lad in the 1940s ordering from the paper pig mask that was the children’s menu. We got to eat and have our mask, too.
    http://pignwhistlehollywood.com/restaurant/

  • JAG says:

    What? No Pig N Whistle?
    Love the website. Thanks.

  • Wendy Baker says:

    Thank you for posting this website – I’ve so enjoyed the wonderful memories. I used to go to Hody’s Coffee Shop on Hollywood & Vine so I’ll keep checking back to see if anyone posts pictures, etc from there. Thank you again – love this!

  • Tom Delaney says:

    Mark,

    We lived in LA in 1973, Wilshire Center/ Ambassador/Brown Derby area, and are trying to remember some of our favorite restaurants there. Remember two Mexican restaurants, one near us, Third and Harvard, think it was Los Tres Hermanos, and further S on Western, El Cholo.
    The Boston Half Shell, in an office bldg. on Wilshire was a fave, along with a small hamburger joint close by, but off Wilshire; maybe between Wilshire and 6th, near the Brown Derby. Can’t come up with a name, though. It wasn’t even a “restaurant”, as I remember. More a diner, or lunch counter.

    If anyone can, please post it. One of the best burgers we’ve ever eaten, as we remember, anyway.

  • Kenneth Berrin says:

    Hamburger Handout was a fast food hamburger place. I remember one on Slauson. McDonald’s wiped them out when they started their ads for “100% beef. They targeted Hamburger Handout for mixing in that horrible filler that no body cared for or wanted in their burgers. What was that horrible filler that put them out of business…OATMEAL

  • lynn novak says:

    what happened to all the Jeremiahs restaurants throughout he Los Angeles area

    what happened to all the Jeremiahs’ restaurants in the Los Angeles area. I miss many of all the restaurants that no longer exist.

  • John Hindsill says:

    Just finished reading this article from Aug., 2000. Gives a bit more history of BRUNO’S and its demise. http://www.westsidevineyard.com/story-of-building/

  • John Hindsill says:

    RE: Bruno’s
    At this late date my memories are getting a bit hazy, which is why I like this site to remove the haze. My recollection is that Bruno’s began in a building that had been a donut shop, mostly takeout pizza, I think. Later it was replaced by a full on restaurant. It then closed for several years sometime in the ’70s. It was reopened, lasted for some years before closing for good.
    Maybe that someone else can be more definite on the timeline.

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