The legendary dining place of the stars was over at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Doheny in a building that is now a Bristol Farms market.  Perhaps, once upon a time, the food was the star attraction but by the time I began going there from time to time in the eighties, the star attraction was the star attraction…being able to say, “Gregory Peck was dining right across the room.”  My own most memorable experience there (recounted here) was a meal with Jimmy Stewart.  I also lunched there the last day it was open and Nancy Reagan was in the next booth.

For this, one paid about twice the price of similar food almost anywhere else.  I never found the meals worth the price and the service, if you weren’t a regular or famous, could be downright curt.  I observed the striking contrast when I dined there with Mr. Stewart as opposed to someone who wasn’t famous.  I didn’t expect to be treated as courteously when not with Mr. Stewart as with, but the difference was greater than it had to be.  The Stewart-less time, we were seated at a table the size of a Cheerios box and the waiter had the attitude of, “Why do I have to wait on you?” with the “you” dripping in dismissal.  It must not have been typical of the hospitality there or the place would have closed long before it did.

When it did finally shut down, there were many “end of an era” articles and tributes, all recounting the glory days when you might see Bogart pop in for a bowl of chili.  No doubt the fact that it ceased to be “The Place Where the Stars Eat” contributed to its demise but I also think the price/value ratio and catering to the famous had an awful lot to do with it.  If you wanted to overpay for London Broil, there were better places to do that. Especially if they didn’t know who you were.

68 Responses to Chasen’s

  • Paul Esbrandt says:

    Ellie Hughes asked for Chasen’s recipe for Spinach Salad,
    Chasen’s Spinach Salad with Bacon
    (recipe from Betty Goodwin’s book on Chasen’s)

    1 & ½ Bunches Fresh Spinach. ½ cup French Dressing
    1/3 cup of Bacon, cooked crisp & chopped (see Recipe below)
    ½ cup fresh Mushrooms. ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
    ¼ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Fresh ground Pepper to taste

    Remove stems and wash spinach leaves in changes of cold water until there is
    no trace of sand. Dry well and chill in refrigerator. Wash the Mushrooms and dry
    them well. Trim off the bottom of the stems and discard. Thinly slice Mushrooms.
    Combine the red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with the French dressing
    In a cup. Place the Spinach in a large bowl. Tear large leaves into smaller pieces.
    Add Mushrooms, dressing and Bacon. Toss to mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with
    Freshly ground pepper. Serve on chilled plates.
    Makes four servings.

    French Dressing
    1 teaspoon sugar. ½ cup vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon salt. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon pepper. ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ teaspoon dry English Mustard 1 clove garlic, freshly chopped
    ¾ cup of Red Wine Vinegar. ¼ teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce
    ¾ cup of Olive oil. 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper

    In a shaker dissolve sugar, salt, pepper and English Mustard in vinegar. Add oils, lemon
    Juice, Worcestershire, garlic, Tabasco and white pepper. Cover and shake vigorously. Set
    Aside or chill until needed.

    (Recipes from Betty Goodwin’s book, Chasen’s and Memories)

  • David Leopold Lyons says:

    What a great website! My parents and grandparents took me and my sister to many of the restaurants on this list. I was a spoiled kid but well behaved and never caused any trouble. Special thanks to Paul L Esbrandt and his post with a page dedicated to Chasens. It brought back great memories. My grandfather was one of the founders of MGM. His name was Leopold Friedman and he was the Loew’s Theatres attorney who put together the merger in 1924. He used to visit from New York twice a year for up to 2 weeks each time and we would dine at the best restaurants in LA at that time. I fondly remember Chasens and the pitcure of Dave Chasen at the entry and the cheese toast. In addition to Chasen’s, I was fortunate to dine at Scandia, Trader Vics, Matteos, the downstairs dining room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Chiantis and more! Now a big night out for me is the Cheesecake Factory! but always good.

  • marjorie says:

    If anyone is interested- I own the “Frank Sinatra booth” , the bar , martini glasses, and the he front awning shown in the photo above. bought it and other items at auction when it closed. I am willing to sell at the right price. all authenticated, and note from Nancy Sinatra congragulating us on purchase.

  • dogan uner says:

    hi ı lived hollywood blvd and ı was working with your restaurant 1991 now ıam in turkey chasens restaurant was very nice ı like to come work agin ıam waiting visa ımiss america have good buseness my phone 00905373940291

  • Ellie Hughes says:

    I had a recipe Chasen’s spinach salad, but it’s disappeared after many moves! Does anyone have it? Tried to make it from memory, not it wasn’t quite right.

  • Paul L. Esbrandt says:

    I dedicated a page on my web-site to Chasen’s. It shows a little what Chasen’s looked like. I also included videos of the closing. This is the URL to the page.

  • Susan Callaway says:

    My visit to Chasen’s was in 1981. My husband inherited some money and we decided to splurge and get a limo and drive to LA and eat at Chasen’s. It was a experience I will never forget. We loved it.

  • Angela Starr says:

    In ’99 or 2000 my colleague Arne Brogger and I were in town on business. After dinner at Spago and a wild night of hitting every happening spot in Beverly Hills we decided to go to Chasen’s quite late in the evening for a nightcap. I guess it was the ‘new Chasen’s’ but my memory of the place looks like the original so maybe they designed it the same? Not sure. Arne spotted Harry Dean Stanton and said he was ‘his hero’ so I offered to introduce them ;) That sweet, incredible soul told me his life story, holding my hand the entire time. It really was quite touching and a memorable late night. Harry passed away today which is what made me search for Chasen’s and stumbled upon this page. RIP Harry

  • Richard Austin Healy says:

    I went one night in 1959 to Chasen’s. Henry Fonda came in with a few friends and sat at a table not far from the bar. I walked over and said hello, at which point the management told me to leave,

  • KIKI says:

    I ate at Chasen’s only once. It was in the early 1970’s and I was being treated to a rare occasion. Mae West was there and I was surprised that she looked at me, nodded and smile as if I was the celebrity. Maybe she was surprised that at my age (early 20’s) that I actually knew who she was. I also remember seeing Sally Struthers and Brenda Vaccaro there that evening. I still have my Chasen’s matchbooks….

  • Bernie Brown says:

    I am doing some research f or a novel and wanted to be sure that Chasen’s was open for lunch as well as dinner? And if it was open for lunch, was the lunch menu the same as the dinner menu? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Chuck O'Leary says:

    Always loved the idea of Chasen’s, and would have loved to have made it a regular watering hole, but not being a member of the Hollywood “Club”, I never felt very welcome there…the servers I encountered had “chilly service” down to a fine art if you weren’t somebody. The chili and the cocktails were very good though, and still sorry we lost another iconic center of the Hollywood old guarde.

  • Kirk lindquist says:

    I will always love this place ,Mary moriarty had such a great party for my freinds Renee Taylor. And joe Bologna, I went back the next day for
    Lamb chops, had lunch with Mary, she was leaving for the Greek isles

  • Gary Allan says:

    I was a restaurant manager at the “new” Chasens in 1999 and although my tenure was brief the number of celebrity’s I met was incredible. There was an intense demand for a celebrity meeting place and it’s too bad that the “new” Chasen’s could not endure longer than it did. I think one of the most memorable encounters was with Faye Ray (King Kong 1932). She was a dear and without prompting (maybe because my name is Gary) went into a story of her affair with Gary Cooper. More than I needed to know but a story of Hollywood none the less.


    I have a few memories of Chasen’s, mostly from tagging along with my dad, who was the head of the CBS Press Information department for many years, until the mid 1980s. The most glamorous of the many events and business dinners he held there was a party for Lucille Ball, of whom I, like many, was a huge fan. Miss Ball was extremely gracious when I was introduced to her (dad always described her as an absolute “pro” and a joy to work with on any of the myriad press events over the decades when both called CBS home), though she made a point of never actually gripping one’s hand when introduced. Dad later explained that Lucy had met many thousands over her long career, and learned early on that an unintended but still overly enthusiastic grip could leave her in a great deal of pain. A few years later, Chasen’s was nearing its end, but a charity group I worked with in the mid 1990s, Labor Day LA, held an event there; the highlight of a very successful party in the private area was Jennifer Holliday belting out her signature number, “I Am Telling You” from “Dreamgirls” to an entranced group of the LA’s terminally hip. She had us all from the first note. Chasen’s remains iconic to me and “Old Hollywood” as the true show business legend Maud and Dave lovingly created and executed so well for such a long time.

  • doğan üner says:

    hi this doğan üner from turkey ıwas work chasens restaurant 1991 server arlis was workt petter was 1993 ıcome visit my family ın turkey ıtry to come back no visa ılike to come back usa ıneed my prove decument from your restaurant please help me to usa my phone +905373940291 thank you ımıss america hollywood ılived hollywood blvd

  • Pauline Honthy says:

    I have just found your wonderful page by chance.

    It is delightful, I work in the restaurant industry and love the classic old style decadence of restaurants.

    I have a copy of Chasen’s menu when Andreas Kisler was the executive chef, it’s delightful and I wondered if you would like a copy for your page.

    Kind Regards
    Pauline Honthy

  • Judy Simon Kessler says:

    Good memory for me.

    I was taken there on a date that had a business expense account.
    I ordered the most expensive item on the menu. It was rack of lamb which is one of my favorite dishes.

    It was delicious. we also ordered an expensive bottle of wine which was also delicious.

    The service was excellent too.

    Loved dates with an expense account!!

    We had a great evening indeed!!

  • Vera Babb says:

    The orange martini was $20 and it was a show to make and a show stopper to drink! Ed McMahon was a regular (from what I was told by the bar tender) and he was sitting on a stool in the middle of the bar. He was nice and turned to say hi. That made the steep price a little easier to “swallow”.

  • Joanne Cohan says:

    A family friend liked to throw parties at Chasen’s. We were waiting for our car when I heard a familiar voice behind me. When I turned around I realized it was Kirk Douglas, also waiting for his car. Chasen’s was a very special place.

  • Preston says:

    I took a client in there once(from my advertising agency) and as we entered, there was Orson Welles in a front booth by the door with a beautiful young girl on each side of him. He looked quite pleased. It was probably 1981 and he died in 1985, so late in his life he still had a taste for women. He was still married to Paola Mori at the time so perhaps these women were just “friends”. Suzanne Pleshette was right across from him.

  • gjp says:

    I loved the old hollywood glamour feel there even I was not around then, however I remember going to the premiere of Moonstruck party in 1988 with
    Cher’s mom Georgia Lapierre and her half sister, and every star in Hollywood was there, truly amazing fun place.

  • Jaya Saxena says:

    I’m currently doing research for a historic cookbook I’m writing about America’s lost and beloved restaurants for Page Street Publishing, and I think Chasen’s would be a wonderful place to include. If anyone here is interesting in sharing memories, recipes, images, or any other information they have, please contact me through my website, Thank you!

  • Anne Freeman says:

    Gosh, so many memories of this place as a kid. My grandparents who lived in BH took me here for every special occasion. I remember an employee named Freddie. I remember my grandfather always asking to have his drink prepared by Pepe at the back bar. Can’t remember the stiff maitre d guy. But I do remember every one always getting a phone delivered to the table to look important. I remember the Hobo Steak. A fave! The seafood platter on ice with that great mustardy horseradish sauce. The chili. And the creamed spinach. I even remember when the oil Baron Marcin Davis was alive they would always bring him a special chair since he was too fat to get into the booth. In the later years, Maude still would come to the table but by then her mind was not so sharp and she had this glazed look in her eyes but still pretended as if she knew you and tried to make you feel like a member of the Chasens family. That place was in a League of its own.

  • Alexander J. Petale, Esq. says:

    I worked for Chasen’s on the catering team from 1978 until the restaurant closed I think in the early 90’s. The catering team, included special events inside several of the rooms inside the restaurant that were closed off from the dining rooms that were a part of the day to day operation of the restaurant itself, (if you can imagine that). In those days I was an actor playing small parts in TV shows, so I always “snuck” into the restaurant to catch a glimpse of the Stars; sure enough I saw Roger Moore at a “007” party in the main dining room. I’ll never forget the time a served a glass of champagne to Red Buttons, and yes I think at that same party, a young “OJ” was with his new girlfriend Nicole, pre-boob job; no kidding. Amazing!

  • Susan Callaway says:

    In 1980 my husband inherited some money and we decided to splurge so we rented a limo and took four of our friends to Chasens. We loved it. It was so fancy and we really enjoyed the food, especially the “Cherries Jubilee”. It was a memory I will never forget.

  • Caress Savage says:

    Anne Murphy, for the Chile recipe

  • Caress Savage says:

    Hello The only recipe I have is Chasen’s Chili Recipe. My Brother In Law gave it to my Chef Husband 32 years ago

  • Roy Saenz says:

    I was working there late 80 and boy what events they had Lucille Ball birhday , Color of Money , Jay kantors b-day party, Share event star studded Chasens

  • George Geary says:

    Trish Weems.. Delights By Dennis.. I worked on 3rd at The Cake Walk. What was your place called? Dennis still around?

  • Anne Murphy says:

    Did not have the chance to experience the legendary resteraunt but would have loved to! I am looking for recipes if they are available. Specifically Hitchcock’s recipe for fish.

  • Kristie mckeel-Gonzales says:

    My son was named after your restaurant as my husband and I works in Beverly Hills. He is now 29 years old.

  • Bill Stevens says:

    Take me back to the 60’s and a senior in high school. how well i recall special dinners in the back T.V. room. Dave Chasen approved my first charge account. In those days you tipped the Capt AND the waiters. I remember the cigarette girl coming around with a display of smokes for sale but my favorite story was that I always ate in the TV room which was a sanctuary from the front end noise. Depending on my guests the table linen and napkins and candles were always of their favorite colors and somehow, at the last minute, matchbooks appeared with whoever was the “special” guest.

    It was one summer and warm and I only had shorts on but David let me and my party in and quickly schooed me into the TV room. It was always a special place where my right-of-passage played out from being a teenager to adulthood. Going there was an escape from reality and I loved every moment and cherish the memories!

  • Trish Weems says:

    When I opened a cookie store on the corner of Sweetzer and 3rd St, in October, 1980, three years later, a local baker Dennis who owned Delights by Dennis told the catering manager of Chasens about my brownies. Chasens wanted peanut butter brownies for their western party theme. I had never made peanut butter brownies, but used the chocolate chip cookie batter, added chunky peanut butter with extra toasted peanuts, then topped them of with peanut butter cream frosting…Chasens was ordering quite often and brought me a lot more business through word-of-mouth, now called social media.

  • Bob Paine says:

    ……..I never dined at Chasen’s but I worked there decorating their upstairs dining room for a private party being given by Ross Hunter to celebrate when he signed Carol Channing for Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was in October so the decor was Halloween and as elegant as we could make it. The room became a haunted dining room with gold lame tablecloths overdraped with cobweb.The centerpieces were dead flowers. Dave Chasen didn’t know what to make of it.

  • Karen says:

    I never ate at Chasen’ s but I did used to drive around the back to pick up an order of chili to go for my boss. He never bought me a bowl and I can’t think why I didn’t buy one for myself. I met Maude Chasen on many occasions, and she was very much a lady.

  • Don says:

    What great memories! Jimmy Stewart’s booth from Chasen’s is now on display at the Jimmy Stewart Museum in his hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania. It’s a wonderful museum, by the way, with a surprisingly extensive collection of Jimmy’s personal belongings and memorabilia, including the front door from his Beverly Hill’s home. The museum’s website is if you would like to learn more or plan a visit – highly recommended.

  • Keith Jacobson says:

    Chasens will always have a bright memory for me. It was Aug 5th 1988 and all of Los Angeles had a heavy desire to be there that night. A hockey player named Gretzky and an owner named McNall threw a lavish bash that would attract the who’s who of Southern California. A thirty something account executive, who was hired three days previous, was on that list.

    The names that come to mind were Neil Diamond, John Candy, Jerry Buss, Rogie Vachon, Jim Hill, Stu Nahan, Bob Miller, Nick Nickson Michael J Fox, and roving cameras than I’ve ever seen before. Food, as I recall it was a buffet line. Don’t remember any chili at all. What a great night.

  • G.A. Vidal says:

    When I moved to the westside in the mid 70’s from further south of the city….one of my new friends ‘educated’ me on the fine dining places in Beverly Hills and “adjacent” areas. So when I married a young lady from Toronto in 1978…our 1st year Anniversary was at Chasen’s. He drove us there…and when we were seated he then entered and asked “Where is Mr & Mrs Vidal ..The American Airline executive?” (I was then working in the reservation office on San Vicente and Crescent Heights at the time) he snapped some photos of us…then he had arranged for the Captain and our 2 waiters to sing “Happy Anniversary” to us when the dessert tort arrived…as we were finishing our dinner many TV actors were seen coming in after the Emmy award show that same evening…sadly both my wife ANd Chasen’s are gone ….but not the happy memories ^/^

  • Vic Baron says:

    i ate there once with a date… they looked at me like they wanted to direct me over to the shoe shining box…. to start working!!
    obviously not a good experience

  • Michael B. Shane says:

    I had dinner here with Jill St. Johns decades ago.

  • Shelly Sloan says:

    For me it was the “Flame of Love” martinis made by Pepe at the bar, followed by a Steak Diane or a Hobo Steak on a cake of salt. We ate almost always at Tommy Gallagher’s stgation, on the right as you entered.

    Julius, the Maitre’d was king during the hours of operation. Make him happy and you sat in the fun; make him mad and you sat in Siberia.

    Our parents took us there as kids, we took our kids all the time. It was the ultimate family restaurant early, and, if you cared about that stupidity, the ultimate starwatching site after.

    My favorite Governor and President loved it there and ate there often.

    It is one of the places I really miss.

  • Myra Armstrong says:

    Back in the 1930s when I was a little girl (between the ages of 5 and 8) I would go with my mom and dad to Chasen’s. I would order frog legs (absolutely yummy) and spinach salad. Of course I had desert, but it was the frog legs that I loved. When I was finished I would go and thank the chef.

  • Bob hoelscher says:

    It makes me sad to realize that my daughter and grandchildren will never know the wonderful experience that was Chasens,it was part of Americas finest hour.
    What i would give if only to go back for one more evening.

  • Frederick A Polizzi Jr says:

    I live in the Hollywood area for 10 yrs. I was both a waiter and bartender. In town a year and working at the Toluca Lake tennis club M-F 11-3 on the bar and Barones italian family Rest–5 nights on riverside..I got a call from a friend Id met a year before… New to town then I took a job for 2 nights and met my now 36 yr friend Alex..He come to the tennis club see,s I,m doing nice….Hey Freddy you wanna work in Beverly Hills at Chasens , I,ll get you an interview..It,s up to you from there….Well for the next 9 years when I could fit Chasens in I worked in the Rest and all over on the catering team …. The protocol, the homes, the parties..I was good at both Bartending and waiting from day one..So figure 20 parties a year…I mention where I worked I get hired…It was a slice of life, from a Viet Nam era veteran with manners…Thank for the memories….Freddy Polizzi. NYC 60yrs. old last week….

  • Ben Pine says:

    I had a friend, Gretchen Adamson, her husband, Hal Adamson, wrote the music to Around the World in Eighty Days among many other songs. Gretchen and I shared the same birthday and she and her husband always ate at Chasen’s on her birthday. I always called her at Chasen’s on her birthday and in those days they would bring the phone to your table and plug it in. It always made her feel so important. The food, atmosphere, service was always the very best.

  • Duane Jorgenson says:

    I ate at Chasen’s every time I was in Beverly Hills. As you stepped out of your car at the green and white striped canopy that strecthed to the street you knew you in for a delightful evening. As you walked in the door you were in a resturant like no other, such warmth and hospitality. You were seated at one of the wonderfully comfortable booths. You would order your martini and then the waiter would come and take your order. You would then look up and Maude would be walking over so graciously to say hello and chat awhile. The food was always the best and the service top notch. I would eat slowly and enjoy my evening knowing that I was having the most wonderful meal. As I finished and paid my tab and was on my way out I would already be thinking of my next visit to this wonderful resturant. As I was leaving I would hear Maude say Thank you I’ll see you next time. Thank you Maude and the entire staff of Chasen’s for such fond memories that I will never forget for there will never be another place like Chasen’s.

  • Rolly Doucet says:

    I read a lot about WC Fields when I was younger, and the frequent mentions of Chasens, restaurant interested me. On a trip to California in the early eighties, a friend and I visited Chasens one evening for dinner. The meal and the atmosphere didn’t dissapoint. I was in awe, thinking of the history of that place, and the thoughts of all the famous people who once frequented it. Earlyer, I had noticed the glass showcase in the entrance that contained a top-hat , gloves, and a cane that was once owned by the legendary Fields, and I joked to the waiter that I would take the items with me when we left. I guess the waiter took me seriously, because the items weren’t in the showcase when we were leaving. The staff was kind enough to let me keep the menu, which is framed and hangs in my home to this day.

  • The ChocolateDoctor says:

    My first really grown-up meal (suit, tie and shined shoes) was at Chasen’s for my brother’s graduation. He had to choose between Chasen’s and Richlor’s on La Cienega Boulevard. Richlor’s was one of the Frank Family’s restaurant across from their Lawry’s another Lawrence Frank restaurant. He made the right choice with Chasen’s. My father was a friend of Maude and Dave Chasen. Even though he wasn’t in the entertainment industry the table-side service and the food was always impeccable. It remained that until the day it closed.

    Yes, it was a bit pricy, but few went there just for the food. It was a real treat for me. Where else could I go to ease drop on conversations from Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Richard Nixon (when he was running for governor of California) , Jimmy Stewart, Don Rickles (who called me Captain Fatty—it must have been to many pieces of Chasen’s cheesecake), Milton Berle, Kirk Douglas and Ronald Reagan (when he was the host of Death Valley Days)? My favorite sighting was Marilyn Monroe who pinched my cheek and called me a “Qutie.” I was old enough to want to pinch her as well, but resisted. Every restaurant has it time and place and as fickle Hollywood stars move on, their old restaurant haunts were shuttered. Chasen’s had a great run.

  • Michael Loveland says:

    My father, Jack Loveland, was General Manager of Chasen’s from 1950-something until he passed in 1967. Now, I never ate in the dining room (yep, it was sure expensive) but the food was excellent. The service was excellent (believe me, I heard about every incident when it was any less). Chasen’s had take-out and delivery and catering, though little known. Chasen’s was a place “to see and be seen”. Not bad for a fellow who started out with a chili cart! I, myself, spent my childhood behind the scenes, learning to crack crab from Joe in the pantry, getting lost in the labrythine wine cellars (where my dad spent time talking with Peter Lorre as he spent his movie money on expensive wine). I saw Chateaubriand hanging to age. I helped perform inventory and went downtown at dark o’clock to buy fresh vegetables and seafood. The meat chefs taught me to carve beef and turkey and chicken.
    Perhaps it was overpriced and stodgy and vanished with the Rat Pack; but it was a terrific place to grow up – behind the scenes.

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