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.

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.

147 Responses to Scandia

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

    Yo Wendy….indeed it is so great to have such fond memories including when staff….Maitre’D, waiter etc. were really professionals as exemplified by knowing your name “no matter who you weren’t”…LOL. (I swear a local ABQ restaurant had a camera with a facial recognition computer program given waiters I’d never had before, could greet me recently by asking if I was again thinking of having the Salmon con Angel hair tonight!) Alas, next to 77 Sunset Strip was Dino’s (aka Martin’s) Lodge In contrast to Scandia, it’s back wall was glass where you could listen to jazz while overlooking LA’s lights. Scandia was further west on the Strip and up till a year or so ago, the building looked like this before being razed for hotel. Skol!

  • Wendy H says:

    My mom’s hobby was having lunch with her girlfriends – they included me often, and it was fun to go with them. I don’t think I really understood that Scandia was in any way exclusive or exceptional – my mom wasn’t a celebrity, but they remembered her name, and greeted us warmly. My orientation was that the restaurant was next door to the fictional 77 Sunset Strip – plus the food was wonderful. One evening, probably prior to 1967, there was a family celebration for my great aunt Fanny’s 75th birthday. All the cousins, aunts and uncles were seated at adjoining tables. As dessert was being served, my dad pretended to be drunk and sang to my great aunt, loudly, the Bikini Song (itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini) – I was embarrassed to death, but nobody complained. I think the management and everyone there could see it was a special family occasion and handled it with class and compassion. I’m glad I have that memory, as well as of the lovely food and service.

  • Mike Hanks says:

    I had cast Al Molinaro as Murray the cop, in the Randall/Klugman Odd Couple and he invited my then wife and myself out for an evening of drinks and dinner at a nice joint, Scandia. In all my casting, Tales of a Hollywood Casing Director, offered on, he’s the only one ever, that I put on a show that made him very rich, that did anything nice for me. Some are still working today, thirty plus years later, making hundreds of thousands each year off my push and creative influence of the day, and not so much as a Christmas card…the sincerity in Hollywood lives, Fred Allen. I’m not bitter…really, but you’d think…oh never mind…

  • Johanna Ratner says:

    My father would take me there each year for my birthday from the age of 8-12. The service was impeccable – and if my memory serves – there was a wine cellar…downstairs or something? I also remember that royalty had eaten there, which to a young girl, was a big deal. Hahah great memories.

  • Button says:

    Scandia was not touched by any other dinner house. The Viking sward for two was unbeatable. So sad to see all of the excellent restaurants gone. Down from Scandia was Frascatis.. another great place, I am so glad that Lawry’s is still around. I also miss the roaring 20’s and the Gay 90”s. Those were the days my friend…

  • Pam says:

    My husband and I went to Scandia for our 2nd anniversary. It was exciting to see Roddy McDowall stroll through the door. I was impressed that they waiter took our order without writing anything down. He remembered everything.
    The food was great. So this restaurant closed.

  • Luanne Kemp says:

    The restaurant with the Dickensian name, mentioned above by Alan Rockman, was The Cock & Bull. They had great lamb, beef, and Yorkshire pudding. Sad when it disappeared.

  • Candace Culp says:

    Someone asked about the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset…There was a place called Frascatis…there was also one in BH and maybe Westwood too.

  • ALEX DELEON says:

    My father came to the USA from Mexico in his early 20’s to help a friend make the drive from there to L.A. His friend had a job at a restaurant named Scandia. The plan was for my dad to rest a couple days and then drive back to Mexico. The second night his friend called him because a dishwasher hadn’t shown up for work and he brought my dad in to fill in for a night. Ken Hansen liked my dad’s work ethic and asked him to stay on. That fill in turned into a 13 year stay at Scandia, before moving to Colorado to own his own restaurants. Juan Antonio deLeon (Everyone there called him Johnny) went on to be the head butcher at Scandia working directly with the head chefs. He also helped prep a lot of the buffet foods. When new cooks were brought on they were often told to check with Johnny the first times they prepared the major buffet foods to make sure they were ‘right’. When they asked “Why should I be asking the butcher how to cook my foods?” they were told because Johnny knows how Mr. Hansen likes them prepared. There were many a time that an angry Mr. Handen, unsatisfied with a taste test, would ask the cook “Did you check with Johnny when you made this?!” Although I was too young to remember him, I know that my sister and I exist because Ken Hanson took an interest in my father and made it possible for him to stay in the USA. And for that I will be forever grateful.

  • Sandy Dimitrov says:

    My brother was a waiter there in the late 80’s – 90’s His favorite celeb customer was Joan Rivers to wait on because she would talk to him like he was a regular person and always made him laugh.

  • Leonard Koss says:

    Who still owns the rights to the name “Scandia”. I own a restaurant space in Los Angeles and would love to revive this L.A. landmark if possible.

  • Alan Rockman says:

    There was a restaurant on Sunset just west of Crescent Heights that had a Dickensian name, and had one of the best burgers I ever tasted. All of us at CASHBOX magazine (circa 1976) used to go and get those burgers.

    It later became a strip club…sad. Do you know the name of it?

  • Tanya Harrison says:

    My father was a waiter and chef in the 1960’s at the Scandia. I think he made it a wonderful restaurant. I have a picture of him at the Scandia . Sincerely, Tanya Harrison

  • Heidi K. says:

    I went to Scandia in 1983 with my wonderful boss and another co-worker. I remember to this day how special I felt because of the awesome wait staff there and the food was truly amazing! Even in the Lady’s room there was staff that were dressed so professionally (I can’t remember if it was an actual uniform) and the attendant had clean, crisp white towels to give you after you washed your hands. I was enchanted by the whole event, and as others have stated, I also felt like a celeb! So sad to see it torn down. I miss my visits to LA!

  • Bill says:

    My Father loved the Aquavit…until the next day!

  • Christine Taylor says:

    In 1961, my dad was a waiter at Scandia. My family immigrated to the US in 1960 from Copenhagen, spent eight months in Cleveland, then drove across Route 66 in our Ford Falcon. Dad headed to Newport Beach after a bit, spending years as maitre d at The Arches. When my mother passed away in the late ’80s, dad returned to Denmark, where he connected with some friends who were waiters with him in those days. Amazing. He passed in 2012, and left me menus from both Scandia and The Arches, which are framed and hang in our dining room. Good memories.

  • Carolyn says:

    What is the name of the restaurant at the top. The dining chairs were wing comfort chairs.

  • Brian says:

    My Father surprised my Mother on their 25th wedding anniversary with a dinner party at Scandia in 1973. I didn’t go but remember it was in a basement or lower room that was used for private parties…. does anyone recall this room?

  • Stan Schiff says:

    I first learned the pleasure of great food at Scandia in about 1966. My Aunt Bea took us for lunch. The shrimp was grilled in the shell and the sauce was the most amazing thing I ever tasted. I think it may have been dilled??
    I would love to know how to make this dish!

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

    Sorry, have no info re another location. As noted last year, plans were for a hotel being built. This is apparently the sad view nowadays:

  • Robert Kanter says:

    Someone told me last night that The Scandia was open in Santa Barbara, CA. I tried to look it up and did not find any info. Actually, I believe that the person mistaken. Please help me find the truth.

    BTW: Our wedding luncheon was at The Scandia. 2/14/1985.

  • David Unrot says:

    We took our daughter to Scandia for her birthday once. It was a night to remember because of the elegance of the place, the silky smoothness of the staff and the quality of the food. Memories of the perfumed fragrence of the gravlax still linger. At the bar, an array of steins, engraved with the names of the notable regulars who drank there, lined the back wall, bathed in a soft light. Few, if any places like Scandia, can be found in LA nowadays, with the possible exception of Melisse, in Santa Monica.

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

    Hamlet’s Dagger:
    “Tiny lobster tails deviled* and broiled on the skewer, served with an ice cold sauce made with caviar and aquavit.”
    * From elsewhere: To prepare (food usually minced) with hot or savory seasoning.

    FYI: If you haven’t double clicked on the menu, try it to enlarge the menu page

  • Lewis says:

    I remember they served something called Hamlet’s Dagger (or something like that). I don’t remember what it actually was other than being the tastiest thing I’d ever eaten. I saw the link to the menu but can’t read it.

  • Sarella Wray says:

    I worked with Curt Lecher at Hilcrest Country Club where he was the food and beverage manager, this was after Scandia.
    He talked about that restaurant lovingly.
    He was an amazing gentleman who spoke many languages and expected excellence from those under him,but was also so thoughtful and kind to them.
    I never met a man I respected more. An amazing character who was a survivor of a nazi camp.
    He is missed.

  • Joanne Cohan says:

    My cousin’s bridal shower was at Scandia. What a lovely place it was!

  • Terry G. Smith says:

    We spent many happy hours there. Our favorite table was just before entering the large dining room, on the right, there were two or three tables, under beautiful paintings. We sat under those paintings most of the time. What nice memories. Musso-Franks, Frascati, Luau. LA in the sixties was a great classy place. We go to Monterey now, it’s like southern Calif. used to be. The restaurants, the food, the wonderful personnel. Sad to see it today.

  • Monique Allard says:

    I was working in LA in the 60s and a bunch of us decided to go into Hollywood for dinner. We chose the Scandia for its reputation annd the fact that it was a classy place. I dont remember much from my dinner except that we felt like celebs!!!!.

  • Michael H says:

    My boyfriend and I used to go to Scandia very late on a Saturday night after hitting the gay bars on Santa Monica Blvd. I’m sure we weren’t dressed appropriately for the restaurant, and we were undoubtedly a little tipsy, but the staff at Scandia was unfailingly friendly to us and made us feel welcome, and the food was always wonderful. Scandia was a great addition to West Hollywood life in those days, early 1980s.

  • Dennis P says:

    Didn’t Scandia’s open up again for a short while
    in Channel Islands Harbor (Oxnard) Ventura County
    in the early 1990’s during some internal business

  • Larry says:

    I cannot recall with certainty the three main ingredients of the Viking Sword. I think it was beef, lamb and chicken. Anyone have any information, an old menu or something?

  • Brian says:
  • John G says:

    Larry, Manny left Musso’s around mid April. I don’t know why. I did not ask.

  • Liberty Valance says:

    Scandia Restaurant was torn down today. R.I.P.

  • Samuel Janovici says:

    Scandia was an entertainment industry hangout. Lunch wasn’t just a push the food around the plate experience, while business took center stage. The food was so good that business waited until we cleared our plates. There was a great chef named Raymond who ran the place like a kindly tyrant. He now lives in Mill Valley and cooks for charities and the poor.

  • James Nesmith says:

    During my second tour in Vietnam I was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). During my 13 month tour I was fortunate enough to meet Martha Raye, who had been given a commission by LBJ. COL Maggie invited me to go to dinner upon my return from Vietnam. I called her up, met her at Scandia and had a wonderful dinner. When we walked into the restaurant the head waiter jokingly asked her, “Miss Raye, I suppose as usual you do not have a reservation?” She was a truly wonderful human being.

  • Larry says:

    I was at Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood a few months ago and found Manny, a former Scandia bartender working behind the bar. He’s a part-timer there but always anxious to share stories about his days at Scandia. What a kick – the same barkeep who made my perfect Manhattans on the rocks at Scandia made me one at Musso & Frank.

  • Larry V Smith says:

    I have never been to Scandia’s, but I once worked for a person that once worked there & the things he, Curt Lecher, were fantastic. Anyone know his or family whereabouts?

  • Andrea Y. says:

    Talk about memories!! All this time I thought the place was called Buffalo Bills. Nobody could tell me why it closed down. I used to live in Reseda and see it all the time because it was across the street from my dentist’s office. The chair would face the window and I had a front view of the GIANT STATUE of the Lone Ranger with his arms in that typical giant man pose (one hand facing up, one facing down), holding a rifle across his front. The parking lot had a stage coach outside that deteriorated over the years, and one inside that a party of four could request service and sit inside of it. I recall the character names of all the burgers and drinks, but parents were not too fond of the quality and there were remarks about shoddy value. Now there sits an Arby’s and a Jk in the Bx on the same parking lot on Reseda Blvd near Vanowen. It was a thematic venue more than a restaurant. Too bad for our loss.

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

    Mark, check Doheny here despite where the ‘balloon’ marker shows it to be on the south side of the Strip. Click on the pic therein. Another site says the building will be soon torn down for an 11 story Marriott.

  • Mark Sherwin says:

    PS. I’m pretty sure Scandia was just east of Doheny. We always parked on Doheny and walked up the hill and turned right on Sunset. Mom was too cheap to valet park :-)

  • Mark Sherwin says:

    We went often in the 60s. The maitre’d was Monty (I remember him as Mr. French from Family Affair). I remember the food being wonderful, particularly the duck on Sunday night that came with an appetizer course called a Smorgasbrika. Several tiers of wonderful dishes like cucumbers with lingonberries and delicious pate. It also came with picked herring and they would always substitute our favorites in place of the herring. As noted above, the service was impeccable. So elegant.

  • George thomas says:

    Scandia was always the “Special Occasion” destination for my parents. Loved the food. The warm , thinly sliced dark bread toast coated with toasted cheese. I remember ordering “Shrimps in Dill ” appetizer , made with huge shell-on tiger shrimp. Tournados of Sirloin steak as the entree, or a Planked Chopped Sirloin Burger served on a wood plank with browned mashed potatoes. This place was awesome ! I even remember a special dining room designed after the “Belle Terasse” restaurant in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Prior to the opening of restaurants like “L’Orangerie” , L’ Ermitage and Spago, Scandia was the standard for elegant dining in LA.

  • John Engstrom says:

    Went to Scandia’s a few times for late night dinner, but far and away the most memorable time is when I took my then fiance (now wife of 31+ years) there for dinner for her birthday. Service was extraordinary, food was very good (we each had a mixed grill dish called the “Viking Sword”, and Grand Marnier souffle for dessert).

  • Ari Hansson says:

    I meant to say “I bet that made the Americans even more confused about the difference between Sweden and Switzerland” in my previous comment. Too bad you can’t edit your own comments.

  • Ari Hansson says:

    An answer to Gary Harrell’s comment: They had a head chef from Switzerland at the restaurant? Heh. I bet that didn’t made Americans even more confused about the difference between Sweden and Switzerland.

  • Paula Doss says:

    The last time I was there was for dinner in 1986. They had the best Ceasar Salad Dressing!! The Chef made it with a touch of anchovy oil instead of adding whole anchovies on top like most people do. It gave the dressing a subtle hint of the sea. Fabulous place – but it was a little old fashioned and I think the author was right about the neighborhood being more friendly to the local heavy metal rockers than the clientele that frequented the restaurant. Bygones….

  • Ted Hill says:

    I remember going there in the 60’s with Dick Horner x fullback. For LA Rams. To thier yearly kick off lunches. Loved it.

  • Pete Taggerez says:

    Scandia appeared in the 1968 movie “The Sweet Ride.”

  • Reneer says:

    Need help. There was a very cozy restaurant in the late 70’s where my mom and I would go get warm pistachio cake with vanilla ice cream after work at Cedars Sinai. I could SWEAR the restaurants title had the word “Melting” in it, but people think I’m thinking of the Melting Pot and I’m not unless The Melting Pot has changed that much. this place had a neat outside patio with little white lights everywhere. It was in the same neighborhood (or the same area) as Hamburger Hamlet and others. They were all within a couple miles of each other.

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