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

  • Kathy Barber says:

    What was the name of the Pizza place in West L.A. Used to serve deep dish pizza that was extroidinary! Famous people from all over the USA would patronize. The era was mid 1960’s to early 1970’s

  • ilanb says:

    Hello There,
    Enjoying your site very much. I use to live on Formosa and Sunset from the 60s thru the early 70s and got to know the area very well and like you I bemoan all this destruction of the cities famous and infamous dining places. Had I been born in Chandlers LA I would have been a happy pup.

    One of the places I use to go to was “Top Taco”, I must have been around 8 years old and I remember it was my first encounter with Mexican cuisine. It was simple but the food was great, alluded to in Van Halen’s song Top Jimmy.

    Yet all my searching both stills and videos of the era, I cannot come up with one photo of this place. I was wondering if you remember it and perhaps you might be know where a photo of Top Taco might exist.

    Thank you for your important contribution to the history of Los Angeles. I have a feeling more of the ancients may end up in your list. Bummer.

    Thank You for your consideration

  • Donald Kreiss says:

    There was the Cove mid Wilshire in a exclusive apt bldg. behind the Ambassador hotel. Perino’s on Wilshire also luau in Bev. Hills, Swiss Cafe
    La Rue’s Sunset Plaza, Sneaky Pete’s on Sunset, Frascotti’s BevHills also Sunset, Armstrong Schroeder’s Beverly Hills, Blums, Milton F Kreis at Bev. Wilshire Hotel. Chasen’s and Romanoff’s. Brown Derby’s home of the Cobb Salad.

  • Eric H. says:

    Does anyone rememeber a restaurant “Tramp”…I used to frequent this spot a lot in the 80’s…but for the life of me I can’t remember the location…was it Melrose & Robertson…before Mortons moved from it’s original location across the street (south west corner of Melrose & Robertson)??? Restaurants I frequented with some regularity in the prime go go 80’s and into the nineties… Muse (on Beverly), The Olive (on Fairfax), Mortons, Orso (on 3rd), Ma Maison (original location on Melrose & Orlando), Hamburger Hamlet (various locations, but favorite was Sunset and Doheny), Hamlet Gardens (Westwood), Chaya Brasserie (Alden Dr near Cedars), Hals (Abbot Kenny)… do any of these ring a bell?

  • John Hindsill says:

    Thank you, Joanne D’Antonio, but that doesn’t ring a bell. I went one time only to this forgotten place only because my cousin’s cousin was singing there. The main attraction that night was a very young Josh White, Jr., who went on to some distinction in the blues field–as did his father before him and contemporaneously.

  • Joanne D'Antonio says:

    Actually Butterfield’s was on South side. My bad.
    There was The Source on the north side.

  • Joanne D'Antonio says:

    For John Hindsill. Sunset Strip restaurant might have been Butterfield’s. I am trying to remember name of little French bistro on the east side ofThe Old World in the 1970s near Holloway.

  • John Hindsill says:

    Sandra Brushwood says: Chris & Pitts BBQ–
    The good news there are still 3 stores operating (at least as of 2018). The bad news is–depending on where you live- they are in Downey, Bellflower, and Whittier. More good news: Bottles of the BBQ sauce are available in some food markets.

  • Sandra Brushwood says:

    One of my favorite restaurants missing from this list is Chris n Pitt’s that used to be in Van Nuys. I loved this restaurant. How I found out it close was I chose it for my birthday dinner and we had to drive quite a ways to get there just to find it closed. I was heartbroken.

  • Alvina Bursey says:

    Does anyone remember “Big Mike’s?” It was a soul food restaurant in business for a short period in the late 1980s or early 1990s. I am not sure the street that it was located on.

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

    Kytka: [Possibly Dzien Dobry? to possibly an authoress? LOL]
    In any event, never too old to learn, i.e. “caddy corner” as I had learned “kitty-korner”!
    Alas, never been to the two places you named, but if you haven’t Google-mapped it, hopefully this https://tinyurl.com/yyymz2z7 might be a good memory. (If not familiar, place cursor in middle of the street and click. Also, hold down Left mouse button and move mouse right/left etc.)
    If all for naught…Na Zdrowie!

  • John Engstrom says:

    – Kyta Jezek re Heart of Europe – I recall the restaurant fondly, but do not remember much about it other than I enjoyed the food, service and ambiance the couple of times I went there in late 70’s. It was featured in a book called “the Little Restaurants of L. A.”, which had lots of real restaurants (not fast food, not counter service) where you could get a very nice meal, without breaking the bank. My favorite restaurant in the book was Gardens of Taxco (not La Villa Taxco – which was a chain) on Harper near Santa Monica in West Hollywood.

  • Kytka Jezek says:

    Do you have any information on the Heart of Europe restaurant owned by Karel Fink (Karl Finek). I believe it was on Western Avenue in the 1970’s. Caddy corner across from the old Sokol which sat in the Mosque style building at 500 Western Avenue? Anyone?

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

    Doug n Dexter:
    Perino’s (when it was relocated)? Dang it, never got there https://tinyurl.com/y6sub45h, but imagine it was quite the place! Apparently, some might say it was pricey! A ’50ish menu in the above link (click it to zoom) notes e.g. a Filet was $5.50! But then ya had the add-ons like potato/veggie and even Bearnaise or Bordelaise was .65 or .85 cents; OMG…bread and butter were .20 cents. I.e. using an inflation calculator, that Filet alone would be 58 Bucks today!!! In any event, I’m guessing ya needed reservations.
    (In the “recent” TV mini-series Feud: Bette and Joan (2017) https://tinyurl.com/y2w8bedl there was one sad scene with Crawford seated in one of Perino’s booths ((scroll down to her pic and paragraph below it))…LOL)
    Buon appetito!

  • Dexter says:

    For Doug: I think you are asking about Perino’s

  • Deborah Ferguson says:

    Does anyone remember a steakhouse in L.A. named Eddies, when I moved from Ohio to live with my dad in 68 he used to take me there and told me they were the best steaks in All of LA. The only thing I can remember is that they had toasters on each table.

  • claudia kanne says:

    This is for Maggie. The German restaurant was the Black Forest.

  • Drew Mack says:

    Does anyone remember where the Sizzler was in Studio City in the 1970’s – 80’s? Was it on Ventura?

  • AB says:

    Jay, I believe that restaurant was Casa Cugat!

  • Maggie says:

    What was the name of the German restaurant in Santa Monica on Wilshire Blvd?

  • Jay says:

    Does anyone remember the name of a Mexican restaurant at the corner of 4th and Rose Avenue in Venice?

    Also, a place on La Cienega near Elektra-Asylum that may or may not have been Mexican, but where I ate gazpacho all summer long in 1978?


  • Doug says:

    Whats the name of the old restaurant on the North side of Wishire near Crenshaw?

  • John Hindsill says:

    Alas, Harvey Christensen, small coffee houses in that era came and went quickly. I vaguely remember a place a bit west of Dino’s on the north side of Sunset, but not the name. I only went there once because of a tenuous personal connection to someone who performed there.

    I also remember one Saturday night passing a motel on Sunset between Highland and La Brea. A sign indicated that the Travelers 3 were performing there. U-ing we came back to see them in a venue that was apparently a converted meeting room. When we went there two weeks or so later it had reverted to a meeting room. So I wasn’t kidding about transience of such venues.

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

    Yo Harvey, don’t know of that Sunset place.
    Alas, having grown up in Jack’s Lowell, his only book I read…OMG… was in this century and was The Town & the City before, IMHO, his Stream of Consciousness style https://tinyurl.com/gs23x3v took over. Elsewhere, some accuse me of writing SoC and I suspect that’s why I’m unable read his books! Lest you may not know, there’s an annual celebration in his remembrance https://tinyurl.com/y2d79sxu including this memorial park…Do Google Image Search… Kerouac park.
    Anyway and while I never went in, did you nibble on a scone while sipping coffee, strumming your guitar or drumming your bongos, while reciting your or Ginsbergian poetry, at the (name unknown) place in Hermosa Beach across from The Lighthouse which itself is still there?
    Peace & Be Best!

  • Harvey Christensen says:

    Trying to remember the name of a little coffee house out on Sunset Blvd past insomniac. Not a big venue, hangout for the beatnik era 1959.1963.

  • Cdl says:

    What was the name of the Swedish Smorgasbord, in Woodland Hills (and other locations)or is that what it was named?

  • Don Putnick says:

    Please help my failing memory. I’m thinking of an upscale restaurant that opened around the ’80s. It was on a north-south street I believe in or near the Fairfax district. We sat in a huge cavernous room. It shared the property with a pizza restaurant to its south. Any ideas?

  • William says:

    There was a Mexican restaurant on Olympic Blvd., west of Sepulveda, for many years. Does anyone remember the name of it?

  • AB says:

    Virginia Miller, I believe that was the Sundance Cafe you are thinking of!

  • David Sherr says:

    I worked next door to Dino’s at a dive called the Sea Witch. The quartet included Elliot Ingber, who later worked with Zappa andCaptain Beefheart, and Larry Taylor, who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis and Canned Heat. That band was LOUD! I walked across the street to a liquor store during one song and the bottles on the shelf were vibrating in time to the music.

  • Virginia Miller says:

    Does a anyone else remember the Greatest burritos, at The Hole in the Wall Cafe, at Robertson and Melrose, with a huge life mural of Butch n Sundance on the patio wall?
    Savory beef Burritos in a Delectable brown gravy.

  • Mike Shawn says:

    Colleen, I believe the place on Vermont was Edwards Steakhouse but I’m sure it was further south on Vermont. I recall it being on the 2nd floor of the building on the SE corner. The Original BBQ sat on the SW corner. The Chinese place may have been called The Lime House. Great food, really cheap, in an almost hidden spot. I remember that as you entered the kitchen was on the left and the dining area to the right. It basically was a converted house.

  • Colleen says:

    Do you know the name of a steak house that used to be on Vermont near Beverly and a Chinese restaurant near Melrose and Hoover?
    I used to go with my grandmother

  • Mike Gordeuk says:

    Hi Guys,
    I recently have been viewing 77 Sunset Strip on ME-TV, which was set at both the address in the title and Dinos Restaurant next door, which was owned by Dean Martin. Perhaps you could add Dino’s to your coverage and tell us of it? In the early 60’s, because of the series, it was one of the most famous restaurants in the world.
    I was shocked to see Dinos still standing in the 1980’s when I passed by with some buddies on a road trip from Jersey. Also appearing – in 3 episodes – on 77 Sunset Strip was the legendary Beatnik joint Chez Paulette owned by Max Lewin. You have anything on that? Great site you have here, we appreciate the work you put into it. Thank you.

  • Pam says:

    Does anyone else remember the Sherman Oaks location of the Smokehouse? I remember it being on the south side of Ventura Blvd near Hazeltine. They went out and Chadney’s took over the location.

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

    Wow Rick! 63ish years…Blessings to you Guyz as well! Alas, I can’t bring that restaurant to mind, but suggest you check out Mark’s page of it herein…. https://oldlarestaurants.com/fish-shanty/ to possibly add your memory.

    Whoa John! choosing a wife named “Joy”, you set it up for so many wonderful years of togetherness. Alas, I am sure Santa Fe Plaza is just about as ya left it…LOL For a fun read, check out A Spy’s Guide to Santa Fe and Albuqurque http://tinyurl.com/y3efxqye
    I hear ya RE travel, but consider when 10/5, 10/6, 10/12, or 10/13/19 come around, make yourselves margaritas and go to KOB or KOAT or KRQE dot Com at 7 am MDST to click on the icon for live streaming of 500+ hot air balloons going up in a mass ascension in ABQ!
    Elsewise RE green chile stew/dishes, I see more sites nationwide, e.g. grocery stores, are setting up NM roasters for preparing fresh green chile to have a frozen stash for year round, e.g. Google ‘roasting green chile in CA’
    Finally, Let us remember what Memorial Day is all about!

  • John Hindsill says:

    BVLR(NM) Blessings are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
    Thems were some darn fine restaurant restaurants you went to in the day. I only got to Lawry’s (still in biz) from your list. If you didn’t get to the Westside or Hollywood, you wouldn’t know some of those places I mentioned.
    Joy and I visited NM (Albuquerque 2 days, Santa Fe and environs (incl. Taos) for 5 days. must be 25 years ago. Gorged on green chili stew and sopapillas. I was really surprised at how the real StaFe Plaza was so much smaller than I expected. I was a real nice trip. These days we don’t get far from Casa Hindsill, as it is difficult for us to travel.

  • Rick says:

    Carole and I got engaged Xmas eve 1955 at Smith Bros. Fish Shanty on Lacienega and Burton Way. Great martinis, clam chowder, Lobster Thermidor, Lemon Meringue pie and and a greater marriage.

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

    RE John H saying “…we are married 51 years. So, Bob, what’s on your list, aside from Woody’s?”
    ~Whoa! Congrats (and if you are prone to accept: Blessings!) on 51 years! Y’all are indeed a Renaissance Couple of Old LA!
    Unfortunately, my ’58-’62 yrs in LA as a MA–>CA emigrant were on a student income and later up through 1/2 of ’63 before moving to KS, were saving for more school. As such, dining often/at-will in top places was not an option. Thus, Favs on my dime:
    Philippe’s (still 2 blocks from Union Station); munching throughout 3rd/Fairfax’s Farmer’s Market; C. C. Brown’s; Konditori; Orange Julius and a hole-in-the-wall on Washington west of Hoover that served the ultimate of a never to be replicated “Pressed Duck”.
    Fortunately, my future inlaws liked to dine Top Shelf and “dragged” their daughter and I along. As such, on the inlaw’s dimes several times: Scandia, Lawry’s,Trader Vic’s/Don the BeachCombers, Stuffed Shirt (Newport Beach), and the original version of this http://tinyurl.com/y3exuxwq which rotated back then in The Theme Building of LAX.
    Sorry to say, except for Ship’s, don’t recognize your list…LOL
    Oh, BTW, Lest you consider touring later this year, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/y5uhefpv as well as Google search ‘visitAlbuquerque’ , we indeed have superior Anglo restaurants. While you may enjoy Mexican food in the foothills of NW LA, I’ll take you a step further on my dime to enjoy New Mexican Cuisine which is by infusing/kicking up Mexican recipes with our home grown Green and/or Red Chile, i.e. New Mexican Cuisine. Seriously, we sprinkle roasted/peeled/chopped Green Chile on our scrambled eggs, top it on our lunch as being a Green Chile CheeseBurger, and smoother a Sopapilla which houses chicharrones/frijoles, with Red Chile! Alas and No, I cannot treat you to a platter of Fried (strip) Clams nor a Lobstaaah Roll that I miss dearly.

  • Rick says:

    The Original BBQ was on Vermont; not Western

  • John Hindsill says:

    BVLR(NM) Yep, it is sad not to get feedback after replying to others.
    I still live in the greater L.A. area, in the foothills NW of downtown. I have lived in LA almost all of my life, except for a sojourn in San Diego.

    I have no real favorites. I would go to places in spurts, and not go agan, having found someplace else. But those that I remember fondly include:
    Ships-Westwood & Culver City
    Micelli’s-Hollywood (still in business almost 60 years after my 1st time)
    Carrillo’s Mexican Restaurant-WLA
    Steak and Stein-Pico-Rivera (I think still around)
    Sterns BBQ-Culver City
    The Nine Muses-Hollywood adjacent
    Michael’s Restaurant-Canoga Park
    The Oar House-Venice/Sta Monica (cheap drinks loud music)
    Beverlywood Deli-nr Hamilton HS. This one was special. My fiance and I used to have brunch there most Sundays. On our first married Sunday she informed me that she didn’t like deli’s!!! Despite that revelation, we are 51 years married.

    So, Bob, what’s on your list, aside from Woodys?

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

    Hey John! Thanks so much for affirming I wasn’t smokin too much Smog back in the day, crazy as it was, well before Seinfeld introd us to there being such a thing as…”Bizarro World” http://tinyurl.com/crk3dqc !
    ~ Elsewise, it’s kinda sad that Folks make a Comment, but typically don’t return to see how Folks may have, like yourself, followed up!
    Be that as it may and if I might ask…. where do U live now and what was your favoritest haunt & why, way back when?

  • John Hindsill says:

    BVLR(NM) Re; Numbers Changes–Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles was numbered differently from RB running through BH city limits. LA street numbering resumed on either end of that city’s limits. There may be other examples of this, but I’m not aware of it.

  • Nan says:

    Original barbq on western bear 8 th? Best coleslaw with ribs

  • Elle says:

    Do you remember the name of the restaurant that was located next to Le Dome on Sunset Blvd. in the late 80s? I believe it was in the 8730 Sunset Tower building.

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

    Ooo Ooo Neal! “Some of the restaurants were great!” Yes, but what about the people! And how did ya get a job as a Valet on Restaurant Row in your time?. In the beginning of the ’60s I rode my Vespa along some busy street that I didn’t know was split between Beverly Hills and somethingorother…isn’t it all LA. I.e. the numbers on one side of the street were way out of sync…UNBEKNOWNST to me initially…with those on the other side per the “city” it was in, as I tried to find a place hiring Valets. Alas, I was naive to the reality that you didn’t work for the restuarants, but for a company that “placed” ya at a restaurant with all the ins and outs of Seniority as to which one! Memories are foggy today, but I think your TIPS went to them and not to making you a millionaire!!!!
    So, what was the scam if any in your day? Are you still bound by rules of “Confidentiality” or signing NonDisclosure Contracts binding you not to describe some “wonderful” encounters or views you had with Celebs in your day…i.e. as you didn’t share some herein last time?

  • Neal Elkind says:

    This is for Charlotte Jean. The Coriscan was on Melrose i believe near Vermont. Thet closed in 2017.

  • Neal Elkind says:

    Oh man, some of these restaurants were great. I parked cars at Ollie Hammonds Steak House, Lobster Barrel, and many others on La Cienega. This was in the late 60’s early 70’s when gas was .19 a gallon

  • Melinda says:

    Does anyone remember “Pooches” (this may be a misspelling)? It was located at the southwest corner of National Blvd. and Robertson, in the 1960s and possibly until the early 1970s. It was a fast food
    restaurant with only outdoor seating.

  • Vicki Epstein says:

    Hody’s … a FAV as a small kid — we thought it was such a treat, especially the pirate or clowen masks w/the kid’s menu on it … that & Sambo’s … LOVED on wk’ends

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