Scandia

One of the fanciest restaurants in Los Angeles was located at 9040 Sunset Boulevard, just west of Doheny. A man named Ken Hansen originally opened it across the street in 1947. Ten years later, he moved into its more famous location and began serving Scandinavian cuisine to a rich and famous clientele. His sister-in-law, Teddy Hansen, served as the hostess in charge of greeting and seating the beautiful people and she knew everybody.

My family had some wealthy friends who would sometimes take us there and the thing I remember most vividly is the service. There were waiters everywhere and if you dropped a napkin, six people would converge on you to pick it up, fold it, iron it, offer you a new one and tuck it into your belt. I do not remember the food being especially notable but I remember the fuss they made about every patron. One of our wealthy friends had an allergy to margarine and as he strode in the door each time, he would immediately be greeted by name by a male maitre’d, who worked alongside Ms. Hansen and who I recall as being very much like the one played by John Cleese in the “Mr. Creosote” sketch from the last Monty Python film. He would welcome our rich friend, remark that he recalled the man’s allergy to margarine and announce that he personally would go into the kitchen and remind the chefs that no margarine was to be used in the preparation of our order. That was the kind of personal attention that built Scandia.

In the early seventies, the Hansens sold Scandia to magazine publisher Bob Petersen, he of the automotive magazines. By then, the character of Sunset Boulevard was beginning to change. Other businesses in that area, including the Roxy nightclub and the Rainbow Bar and Grill, attracted a younger, rowdier crowd. Every night, police were busting drug dealers within yards of Scandia, and it did a lot to drive Scandia’s older, wealthy clientele to other, newer eateries. The place finally closed in 1989.

109 Responses to Scandia

  • Steve Alsberg says:

    My favorite entree? Veal Oscar, thin veal cutlets with asparagus, crab legs and bernaise sauce. Something that has outlived the restaurant now served in many places, never as well.

  • Jerry Atlansky says:

    In the early 1960’s I had the most excellent honor of being Continental Airlines Director of Social Events at the world headquarters, to provide the best and unique venues in Los Angeles County for five thousand employees and their families. My wife and I tested out Scandia and to put in one word it was extraordinary for the entire experience, so our group felt they have a new favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. We welcome anyone to Google/Yahoo my name to learn about three programs that was started in 2006 as volunteers and self-funded. Make Every day terrific!

  • Desslar says:

    You can briefly see the exterior of the restaurant in episode 1 of the 1975 TV series Switch with Robert Wagner. Wagner eats in the restaurant, but don’t know if the interior shots are on location or a set. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-bRIbb_lSo&t=368s

  • Vincent Beckley says:

    I was hired as a captain at Scandia in 1979 having just moved to California, I was definitely the youngest Captain at 20.
    Michele, the Maitre D’ was elderly and frail, but that did not keep him from running a tight ship and having amazing people skills, sharp, professional and charming. He was an amazing mentor.
    The food was interesting, delicious and elegant. Veal Oskar, poached salmon in dill Aspic, house made graavlaxx. Exquisite desserts.
    Many memories of celebrities. Shirley Jones coming in with Sean and David Cassidy, Farrah Fawcett, Mae West, Betty Davis, Ed Asner, Elizabeth Taylor,
    Every night was special.
    I loved all the different dining rooms, the dark red bar with high banquets was great for Privacy, the main room was a great see and be seen spot with lots of action, and the best spot for Sunday brunch was the pink and green, fern accented sun room overlooking West Hollywood.
    The action behind the scenes was lively as well.
    The amazing wine cavern holding thousands of bottles was expertly controlled without the aid of a computer. The wine steward could tell you where every bottle was located. The busboys were in charge of making bread baskets with yummy breads as well as rye crisps with Parmesan freshly toasted to order.
    I am grateful to have been able to experience working at Scandia

  • Ellen Harvey says:

    Yesterday I made a version of the Lingonberry Cheesecake from Scandia. Couldn’t find the cheesecake recipe, both most are pretty similar, but I had the Lingonberry Preserves on the shelf, courtesy of TJ MAXX. As I find graham crackers BORING for a crust, I used Keebler’s Pecan Sandies & threw in extra pecans as I was processing. You spread the Lingonberry Preserves over the finished cake, & it was marvelous! I will make it again.

  • Ellen Harvey says:

    My father was one of the Scandia Vikings, a men’s club (mostly imbibing, I think), & when Ken Hansen went to Denmark to acquire decorator items, etc. for the restairant the Vikings became the Maitre’d’s. They also had a blood drive to which the Vikings donated. Bet there were some very happy recipients. My father’s office was right down the way on Sunset Blvd., so that was his favorite lunch spot.

    Tomorrow I am going to make a version of their Cheesecake with Preserved Lingonberries to take to a monthly hangar lunch at a small WWII Air Musem between Tallulah, La. (Yes, there is a town by that name!) & Vicksburg, Ms. I have the Lingonberry Preserves standing by at the ready.

    They had wonderful snails in mushroom caps which set me on the road to loving the little critters. Also, great Gazpacho, even though that’s NOT Danish. AAAH, the memories.

  • Sandy Westmoreland says:

    Back in 1968-69, my inlaws lived in an apartment on Doheny, right around the corner from Scandia. I made friends with the bartender, who would call me whenever a movie star dined there that week. I was so starstruck back then, but would play it cool and just look, never asking for an autograph. Ann Margaret and Roger Smith rode their motorcycles there and sat at the bar. Dinah Shore had lunch with artist Norman Rockwell. But when celebrities sat down at the tables it was difficult to see them because the wingback chairs created privacy! So much for star watching!

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

    Yo Wendy: Speaking of your Dad’s fetish, here it is being introduced by Dick Clark http://tinyurl.com/kklu3rm Speaking of “that era”, hopefully you got to revive memories in early ’00s with this great series http://tinyurl.com/mh4kajj. Those were the days….

  • Wendy Hughes says:

    Bob from New Mexico: boy is my face red! You’re right – it was Dino’s. The memory plays tricks, but I swear the Bikini Song story really happened. :-)

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