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

136 Responses to About This Site

  • Frank says:

    someone posted a piece about a restaurant that served great sandwiches in Beverly Hills, and thought there might have been one in Westwood, I remember The Chatham having particularly good sandwiches. Also remembering the Westwood House, Bit of Scotland, Don Pepe’s on Pico, Pickle Bill’s in Santa Monica, Sambo’s on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, The Sea Ryder hotel coffee shop in Santa Monica, The Pioneer Bakery Boulangerie in Santa Monica, The Oar House, The Hungry Tiger, Casa Cienga Mexican restaurant on La Cienga, not to forget Ship’s Coffee Shop, The Witch Stand, The Broken Drum ( you can’t beat it), Del’s Steak House in Airport Village that became the Sizzler, Airport Village on it’s own merit with Hamburger Handout in the 50’s, so many sandwiches at Archie’s on Centinella, Bruno’s and LaBarbera’s, oh my goodness, Madame Wu’s, Bob Burns, The Windsor that was across the street from The Cove, not to forget The Sea Lion, there was La Cantina on Pico, NuWay Chili Dogs on Pico & Buddy, Zucky’s Deli, House of Pies, and so many more wonderful places…

  • Stephanie J Meadows says:

    Does anyone remember Nibblers? If I recall it was on Santa Monica Blvd. near the Beverly Hills area.

  • Alana Setlin says:

    To Eric,
    The restaurant I believe was called old world restaurant
    And another one up the block was called Bon Appetit
    In the 70’s

  • Arlenne Webster says:

    Thinking about Lafittes on La Cienega, Restaurant Row in LA. They had the best spinach salad I’ve ever had. That was over 30 years ago, and i wish I had that recipe.

  • amber says:

    Is Pinocchio’s still in Sta Monica? An old 80s b/f took me there once, loved it.

  • Dennis Colato says:

    The sub place on Hollywood blvd called Jambi Combo or something. Plus that ice cream parlor in the area

  • Jim Maxey says:

    Trying to find information on the Clock Drive in Restaurants. I rembember 3, Huntington Park, Bell and Lynwood. I believe there were more. That was really the hang out for us kids in the 50’s. Then along came Harvey’s in Downey. That was really a step up. I would would really to find some original photos of the HP Clock. Also, how many Clocks
    were there. I recall they eventually built a country club in Buena Park in the 60’s.

  • susanelove says:

    what was the name of the restaurant on the south side of hollywood blvd, east of highland. i remember it from the 1970’s, and it disappeared, but i do not know when it opened.

  • Norman Canter says:

    My cousin owned La Brea Inn and I used to go there as a teenager. Always say celebrities and all the movie stars. Divorce closed it but it was like Rick’s Cafe American in Casablanca but no papers of transit, only great steaks. Nick remained one of the most colorful people in my lifetime.

  • John Engstrom says:

    Re: Jeanette’s inquiry of 1/6/19: the name of the restaurant was “Maldonado’s”

  • John Hindsill says:

    Don Droesch–Re Barones. The restaurant is still in business, relocated a number of years ago from Ventura Blvd. to Oxnard/Woodman in Valley Village. This used to be the site of a German restaurant whose name escapes me as I write this.

  • Don Droesch says:

    McHenry’s Tail O The Cock, The Cove in LA, Bob Hall’s Wild Goose in Sherman Oaks, Villa Nova, Pucci’s, Kings Arms in Toluca Lake, Barone’s, Sorentinos, the original Chasins, The Pump Room, Romanoff’s, Quo Vadis,, Bull & Bush, Brown Derby, ah, the 50’s! So many fine restaurants now gone!

  • Jeanette says:

    Looking for the name of a small restaurant in Pasadena where the owner played piano and had singers perform after the main meal and again after dessert. There was also a violin player outside who played fiddler on the roof. I think the owner was Bill and the restaurant named after him. Closed in the 1990’s sometime.

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

    Oopsy for Don…LOL….http://tinyurl.com/ybqes7jo

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

    Hmm Don Marsee…might this have been a different or the same version of your experience to enjoy? Bon Appetit!

  • Don marsee says:

    I had dinner at the Koolibah in ‘66 or 67. It was in a strip mall in Tarzan’s
    I made reservations several months in advance; received a postcard
    A week or 2 before as a reminder. It was in my hippie days and my girl and
    Wore our newly made clothes. The whole experience was wonderful
    And obviouslymemorable.

  • Linda C Salvin says:

    I remember live alligators at Yum Yum’s in Panorama City or Van Nuys

  • G. J. P. says:

    What happened to Dick Webster’s Lemon Pies restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills (south of Wilshire?)

  • Neal Elkind says:

    Yes, my father use to take me there for breakfast on his way to work. My father owned Art’s Chili Dogs. They had great split pea soup and french bread.

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

    I don’t know about Y’all, but that pic of Mark looks a tad like Young Sheldon!

  • david blake says:

    If memory serves (has anyone ever said that here before?), where A.O.C. is on 3rd at Robertson was a tony restaurant, part of a chain that started in Manhattan, French-themed, might have had Frank in the name, where I had my first chocolate mousse pie in the 80s.

  • david blake says:

    My family’s favorite place in the 60’s was an unpretentious Chinese restaurant on the west side of La Brea between 2nd and 3rd (i think—perhaps where Odys + Penelope is) called Ho Sai Gai.

  • david blake says:

    barbara and dennis:
    There was a restaurant in Lafayette (Bay Area) also called Papa d’Carlos in the mid ’70s that had such a similar program (and an aged owner/cook) that it surely was where your guy retired to. Though it was fabulous, the only course I can remember was a slice of pizza with a bit of tomato sauce and a layer of finely diced spinach a quarter of an inch thick.

  • mj says:

    what restaurants were formally at the south corners of Melrose and Robertson

  • kate says:

    Trying to remember the name of an early 1950s pizza place in west Hollywood. It was trendy for late evening. Didn’t deliver. Pizza was very new in L.A. then. I think the name of the place was Ben something or other, and I can’t come up with the last name–driving me nuts . . . can you help?

  • Cindy says:

    1963-1965 time frame
    Has anyone heard of a restaurant ( w/small bar) called QUADRA . It was located in a basement. It would have been within walking distance of South Mariposa ave Los Angeles 90005

    Thanks for any help !

  • David says:

    Does anyone remmber a restaurant in the valley circa late 1950″s that had live alligators in the parking lot?

  • Jim Forman says:

    Does any remember Chalon (sp?) 1954, on Manchester, east of Western, northside of street, a bright, trendy, busy restaurant, especially on weekends? Remember it vaguely as a small child taken their by my parents.

  • eric says:

    Looking to see if anyone can remember the name of am restaurant that was on the 100 block of North Beverly Drive located a few doors down to where the Beverly Theatre and Fioruci was. They served the most amazing sandwiches on this awesome bread. They also had a restaurant in Westwood Village at one point.

  • John Hindsill says:

    Papa D’Carlos sounds a lot like a restaurant in Tarzana back in the mid-’70s, Koolibah (my spelling may be off). Like Papa’s reservations were required months in advance, there was no menu so you took yer chances. When you arrived you were offered three entree choices, with appropriate wine, and palate clearing sorbet between courses. If there were leftovers of any entree, they would be offered to guests as an extra treat. At the end of the meal the owner/chef would invite a couple of couples to visit the cleaned up kitchen. We were invited so once.

  • Dennis says:

    Barbara, Papa D’Carlos on the edge of Watts. Reservations required weeks or months ahead. Many courses. No menu. Whatever Papa wanted to cook that night. Intermission between couses with belt exerciser.

  • Gwenn J says:

    Diamond Jim’s across from MacArthur Park.
    Anyone know the recipe for the house dressing?

  • Johnny Cee says:

    A New Orleans style resto. On South Robertson I think
    maybe called Homer & Eddies or something
    like that. I used to play piano there

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

    Yo Lamonte…am not “Bud”, but curious: What are “….booths set up kinda like the 1950s style???” ? Was it half circles with/without tufting, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/y7renrlk or just plain old “bench” style booths http://tinyurl.com/ycuojw2k like in a car from back in the day that didn’t have those ‘birth control’ consoles? Elsewise and sorry, don’t remember the Bev Dr. place.

  • Lamonte Brooks says:

    Hey bud,
    Hope you’re well.trying to remember a fantastic diner/restaurant that was on Beverly dr.all the music groups would eat there since it was it was and after hours place and a lot of the meals on the menu were named after the famous people that went there???had booths set up kinda like the 1950s style?????

  • Barbara says:

    Does anyone remember Papa de Carlos. Went with a group when I was first married 60+ years ago.

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