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

245 Responses to About This Site

  • Tom says:

    Harry O’Days Monte Carlo Cafe

    Listed in index on
    Greater Los Angeles:The wonder city of America
    Published by Los Angeles Metropolitan Surveys 1932

    Anyone have info or link?
    Thank you, Tom

  • Michael says:

    Hi!
    I was watching an old episode of Charlie’s Angels this morning and there was a restaurant called The Corsican on it, and so out of curiosity Googled it, and found your site. It’s not on here and not even sure it existed, but I enjoyed reading about some of the old Hollywood places like the Brown Derby and Chasen’s. I lived in LA from 86′-88′ but never went. Although I did eat the hot turkey sandwich at Ship’s since I worked in that plaza. I also hit up Cantor’s on some really late nights and spotted a few minor celebs. I also remember a drunken night at Tom Bergin’s. And looking at Tom’s now on Yelp, the food looks good. One of my favorite memories was going to see the play Tamara in that warehouse stage/converted building/house. It was the most fun!

    Thank you for your website!

  • Jonny says:

    “There was a restaurant on La Cienaga in the 90s that was kind of like the Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction where people were dressed as characters. Watching Pulp Fiction, I was trying to remember the name. I never ate there, but I heard about it. Anyone know the name? Thanks.”
    ED DEBIVIC’S

  • MARIANNE GROSSKOPF says:

    DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER LA STRADA ITALIAN RESTAURANT ON LOS FELIZ, NEAR GRIFFITH PARK (I THINK THEY CALLED IT ATWATER VILLAGE). THEY USED TO HAVE ITALIAN OPERA SINGERS UP ON THE BALCONY. I’M SURE IT WENT OUT OF BUSINESS MANY MOONS AGO BUT WONDER IF ANYBODY REMEMBER IT? THANKS!!! MARIANNE

  • Allen says:

    There was a restaurant on La Cienaga in the 90s that was kind of like the Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction where people were dressed as characters. Watching Pulp Fiction, I was trying to remember the name. I never ate there, but I heard about it. Anyone know the name? Thanks.

  • Janine says:

    Does anyone remember a wonderful Italian Restaurant on LaCienega near Lawry’s during the 80’s/90’s? They had awesome Cappelini and were on west side of La Cienega north of Wilshire. Thank you so much

  • Steve Levine says:

    Does anyone know the name of the restaurant that was in the northwest corner of the Devonshire-Reseda shopping center in the 1980’s? They served great prime rib and steaks-had a bar00-one of the nicer restaurants in Northridge.

  • Nanci Feldman says:

    I am pretty sure you refer to Palermo Pizzeria on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. I too have fond memories of this wonderful place. It was an affordable place with great quality food.

  • John Hindsill says:

    Michael Zapf–I well remember La Barbara’s; it was my second favorite pizza palace after Bruno’s in Mar Vista. I believe its location was WLA rather than Westwood, as I recall on Wilshire around Barrington

  • Michael Zapf says:

    My mom and dad lived in the Manchester district in Los Angeles in the late 40s. My dad talked about going to the Dixie or the Old Dixie restaurant in the area. Old phone books don’t seem to list it. Any old timers remember the place? Was it good?

  • Michael Zapf says:

    Anyone remember Labarbara’s in Westwood? Of course we all remember Rathskeller downstairs in Westwood. Those were the days.

  • Teresa Neal says:

    I remember Rudy’s Italisn restaurant !!! I lived on 6th Avenue and Exposition. My Dad took the Family there on some Friday Nights. I had my first Shirley Temple drink I was 8 years old. My parents had the Spaghetti, I had a cheese omelet with crinkle cut fries. I miss this place!

  • John Hindsill says:

    Joni Nelson, thank you for your response. I vaguely recall posting about it; it might have been about Barone’s taking over the space after it closed the location in Sherman Oaks. I actually visited (ate) there five or six years ago. The building still looked like a ‘hofbrau’, but the pizza was definitely Italian. Further to Barone’s, it is my recollection that they had a store in Toluca Lake hard by the Queen’s Arms. Both are long gone.

  • Kelly Ayers says:

    When I was a child, my family and I used to go to a German smorgasbord in or near Los Angeles. I don’t remember the name or where exactly it was located but this was in the late 1960’s to mid 1970’s. They had the very best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had. I would love it if I could find the recipe! Thank you so much for your time….
    Sincerely,
    Kelly

  • Dean C. Rowan says:

    Shannon Morris, @6:17pm, Feb. 13, . The restaurant was Gorki’s. It was open all night, served breakfast (and borscht). I did homework there a few nights.

  • Joni Nelson says:

    To John Hinsdell: German restaurant at Oxnard and Woodman in the valley was called Old Heidelberg. They served amazingly tasty lazy Susan of cold salads to every table (still dream of finding their pickled red cabbage!) and a sweet little loaf of homemade white bread. On my first visit there, with my Germany-philic grandfather, I member hoping I could a hamburger from Hamburg! Everything else sounded way too foreign to my nine-year-old self! I soon learned that wiener schnitzel was food of the gods!

  • Jim McGuire says:

    Does anybody know the location of Hank’s Restaurant on Whittier Bl East Los Angeles? It was owned by Henry Leyva of Sleepy Lagoon murder case fame. Henry or “Hank” opened his restaurant sometime in the 1950’s and he died in 1971.

  • Dorreen Donatoni says:

    Anyone remember Jason’s .. was on Ventura Blvd north hollywood. Don Stroud hung out there and they served up the best artichoke and drinks.We would drive all the way up from Redondo Beach to hang out there . Early 70’s

  • P. Miller says:

    Hello,
    Do you have a photo of the Kosher Puppy from Los Angeles, CA ?
    It was a family owned hot dog eatery outside with an attached miniature golf course. I think it was in 1961 when I went there. Thank you.

  • TS says:

    Does anyone remember the name of the name the Mexican restaurant on Pico but situated under the 405? It was a chain restaurant I think.

  • John Hindsill says:

    Leslie Werner – I have memories of eating at Richlor’s in the mid-1940s. My dad took my brother and me there several times. The plank steak (really fancy for hamburger) surrounded by a ribbon of mashed potatoes was all I ever ordered. It was about the fanciest restaurant I can recall before my teens. Eventually Richlor’s became Richlor’s Mediterania, later simply Mediterania. I never at ate those stores.

  • Leslie Werner says:

    Does anyone remember a restaurant called Richler’s? It was on the west side of La Cienega, a block above Wilshire, where The Stinking Rose is now. Before The Stinking Rose, that was the site for Lawry’s, which eventually moved directly across the street. But in the 1940’s, before it became Lawry’s, it was Richler’s. Does anyone remember what it was like, what kind of food they served, etc. Thanks.

  • Carolyn Smith says:

    Steven [ April 1, 2020 ]

    A quick Search Engine search revealed the following :

    Westchester, 1950’s-1960’s, frequented (at least) by a
    number of local college sororities for meetings, social
    events, etc.

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

    RE Geary’s book (my Comment of 4/4): There are several preview pages here https://tinyurl.com/r7yjmwz to click on. Click the tiny upside-down arrow, lower right corner, if all such pages aren’t revealed.  

    Lest I’ve never pointed to a place to search for old LA menus in any of my blatherings within the blog: https://tinyurl.com/qk54qqj

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

    Per getting your appetite whetted herein: for those who might want to dig even further into and enjoy the past of LA eateries “of an age”, ya might start here in a vid “lecture” https://tinyurl.com/sbdr7sc to The Culinary Historians of Southern California https://tinyurl.com/qq2zcqg. George Geary does a sketchy overview of his 10th “cookbook” titled L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants: Celebrating the Famous Places Where Hollywood Ate, Drank, and Played. [Google Search Amazon for its brief review and Comments by Readers.] In the vid, he “touches” on CC Brown’s including his impression its kids didn’t like being wait staff (LOL) and CC’s interfacing with Lawry’s. (Just a couple of years ago, Moscow Mules became a thing in Albuquerque. Geary refers to their being a thing apparently at the Tam O’Shanter “back in the day”. OMG, how is the T O related to Lawry’s let alone with the name Van de Kamp name? https://tinyurl.com/qqcnuub Elsewise, but not inclusively, Geary laments RE the razing of Scandia’s. Lastly, he notes working at the Cake Walk bakery (which I never knew of) and recounts some funnies RE its association with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

  • Steven says:

    I have a family photo dated 1959 taken in front of the “Gay Doll Restaurant” I’m told this restaurant was probably in West Chester or El Sequndo. Does any have any info about this restaruant?

  • Sally Dee says:

    I am trying to remember the name of a Mexican restaurant in Westwood, open in the 80’s. It was on the second floor of some building, not on Westwood Blvd.

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

    For all and Leeland, lest unknown, the LA has a menu collection https://tinyurl.com/tyk5klu Unfortunately, Duke’s isn’t there. (Presumptively, Google Search has been used.)
    “Chow!” as we Non-Italians might say.

  • Leeland Avedon says:

    Great site! Curious if there was ever a response to Jerry Mezerow’s question about Duke’s Coffee Shop menus? Looking for reference for what they looked like between 1970-1973. Any images would be very helpful! Thank you!

  • Peter McAndrews says:

    Rudy’s Italian Inn was opened with a loan from my Grandfather. Rudy’s Mom sat in the kitchen and handled the cash for the servers; she was a tough one.

  • Dale Miller says:

    I liked the Kosher Burrito on 1st street. I’d get a double pig which was great. Also back about 40 years or so was Fat Jacks on Ventura Blvd. Their T-shirts said, Fat Jacks. If you can’t eat it. Beat it.

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

    Hey Robert…perhaps you may still be de-ethonolizing from your Scorpion Bowl as you missed there’s a Kelbo’s herein http://oldlarestaurants.com/kelbos/ where you might run into an old buddy!!! Ke aloha! https://tinyurl.com/jptu77z

  • robert cronyn says:

    I remembered another great gem. It was a Hawaiian themed restaurant on Pico in West L.A. I think it was called Kelbo’s. I once got so drunk there when I drank a scorpion bowl for 4 by myself. Lol. I had to call my girlfriend to pick me up.

  • robert cronyn says:

    So many great restaurants have closed during my lifetime, but my favorites that closed are:

    The Cock and Bull. It was on Sunset. Best sliced meats like Prime Rib, Turkey, Filet Mignon, Etc.

    Two Guys from Italy in Hollywood: Great Italian Food. Everyone received a free tray of vegetables. Great desert tray came by, yum!!

    Best Pizza restaurant: was on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. I unfortunately don’t remember the name of this restaurant.

  • Keith says:

    There was a Cajun/Louisiana style place on Pico just east of Beverly. Had white/black tile floor. This was mid-late 1980’s. Cannot recall the name. Please help

  • John Hindsill says:

    At my local branch library, new book section: I cam across this of interest to us-To Live and Dine in L.A. by Josh Kun. This is a tabletop book with lots of pictures, text and menus from early restaurants, the famous, the quaint, from nightclubs to coffee shops. I glanced through it for about ten minutes, and remember many of these from my childhood. Look for it at your library.

  • Shannon Morris says:

    I loved that breakfast restaurant in downtown LA in the eighties, I think it had a Russian name. Do you remember?

  • Larry B says:

    Now you can save your stories of old LA restuarants at the map locations where they happened. Only at lyfmap.com

  • J Barry says:

    We loved a Pasadena seafood restaurant in the 70s and 80s. Very popular and famous for sand dabs and Cobb salad. Can’t remember the name.

  • Cynthia Goss says:

    We’re looking for a cafeteria that was in North Hollywood in the 90’s, closed now, not Schaber’s. Retired shoebiz went there, they would sometimes get up and do a dance or sing, vaudevillian almost. It’s been closed for a long time.

    Thanks

  • jerry mezerow says:

    Mark- I remember you from the San Diego Comic Con, I am looking for menu’s from old restaurants, Gingerman owned by Carroll o’Conner, Slate Bros. Thunder Roadhouse owned by Dennis Hopper, Interlude, Bistro, Duke’s Coffee Shop, Jan’s Coffee Shop, Pick’s Restaurant. Would appreciate if you could help me. Thanks, Jerry

  • Randy Moffatt says:

    Anyone remember Eckbergs Steakhouse on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills? Very popular in 60’s and 70’s. Only 10 tables. Owner cooked, wife waited on tables. He had an amazing bell collection and if you played “I’m Looking Over a 4 Leaf Clover” on the juke box he would come out and play the bells. They were real characters, but you couldn’t beat the steaks.

  • AB says:

    Kathy Barber, I believe the name of the deep dish pizza place was maybe Numero Uno’s?

  • Elaine Lee says:

    Yes, I fondly remember Rudy’s Italian restaurant in the Crenshaw District.
    We lived off of Santa Barbara & 5th Avenue back in the early to mid 60’s. My father took us on his day off when he could to have dinner. It was such a big deal back then I was 6 years old. I remember the Anti pasta plate, a small plate of their famous spaghetti with meat sauce and then, if my memory serves me right, a tasty serving of prime rib. This was where I had my first – Shirley Temple. So delicious! Service was everything. Nothing like it today. Those definitely were the good ole days!

  • DAN Larson says:

    When I was in Downtown LA a Friend turned me on to Vickermans Deli. The place was frozen in time and the best food. The best mazo ball soup and the bread pudding. It had picnic benches and big open dining space. It been gone for a long time. Another of LA lost treasures.

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