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.

148 Responses to Scandia

  • JA says:

    My husbands father was bartender at Scandia for many years. He talks about picking up the telephone one night at home and on the line, was Liza Minnelli asking for Johnny, my husband’s father. Ms. Minnelli wanted Johnny to bartend at a private party she was throwing.
    Apparently, Johnny met many celebrities at Scandia but he was always tight lipped and respectful when it came to the customers he had served.

  • Ellen says:

    In the ’50s my father, ‘Casey’ Cassity, was a member of the Scandia Vikings. When Ken Hansen, the owner, went to Europe to buy for the new Scandia that was to be built all the Vikings took turns being Maitre d’. I’m sure they had a VERY good time on their shifts. Once a year there was a blood drive. Bet some of the recipients enjoyed their transfusions. My father died in ’56, so he enjoyed Scandia in its heyday.

    They served wonderful snails, removed from the shells & on a mushroom cap. superb Apple Cake, even a surprisingly good Spanicsh Gazpacho.

  • Linda says:

    Ah, so many amazing memories of Scandia. Beef Wellington on Thursdays, saving room for Othello cake! Never had a bad meal or poor service. So sorry to see it closed – just thinking of it makes my mouth water.

  • Patrick Scully says:

    Today is the anniversary, in 1978 of my wife Laura’s and my first date at Scandia. We were 22 and 24 years old at the time – roughly 2 decades younger than most of our fellow diners at the time, and we no doubt had quite a bit less money than they and probably looked it! I remember being handed a 10-sizes-too-big blue blazer to wear by a rather stern older man who greeted guests and if needed enforced Scandia’s dress code. Alas, my humiliation at the door was followed by an exquisite meal and a feeling my life was about to change…
    We went back to Scandia, mostly for brunch, a few times in the ensuing years, but had stopped dining there long before they closed in 1989. I’m just a little sad that Laura and I can’t go back to Scandia, tonight, to celebrate the 36 years of life and love we’ve had together since our first date there.

  • Rob Spencer says:

    Ah yes, Aquavit. Soon after my dad joined the Vikings, he proudly brought home a bottle of it and a special Aquavit glass. The glass was like a small wine glass, except it had no base, just a stem. It came with a small dish, like a petri dish, that served as a receptacle. Dad told us all about the traditions surrounding Aquavit, and said that the idea of the glass was that once your host filled it, you could not put it down without emptying it. There was a bottle of the liquor in our freezer for many years.

  • Edwin Self says:

    The first time that I had a Viking lunch as a guest of a member, one of the guys at our table ordered a bottle of Aquavit. A waiter hovered above us and refilled out small glasses every time we drained them. By the time the entree arrived, and later the dessert, I had only blurred vision of them passing in front of my eyes. By the way, nobody answered the restaurant phone during these lunches (pre-cell phone), so that no Viking could be caught by any suspicious caller. But back to my lunch. When it was finally over, I looked for my host, who had driven, and was told that he had been sent home in a cab. I was in the same condition so was escorted to a stall in the men’s room by a waiter. I sat there for about an hour, during which time I heard various Vikings enter the next stall and leave behind their lunches. Finally the waiter returned and said that I had to leave, since they were preparing Scandia for the dinner crowd. I staggered out to the valet and declared that I was still too drunk to drive. He gave me the keys and instructed me to go sleep it off in my car, which was in their parking lot.

    By the time I came to, It was dark outside. Still drunk, I drove home at about ten miles an hour, every turn I made feeling like is was riding the the teacups
    at Disneyland. Back at my apartment, the phone was ringing. It was my secretary, I was an executive at NBC, wondering if I was all right. I slurred that I was and went to sleep on the floor next to the phone.

    The next day a couple of Vikings called. I asked them what had happened to the host of the Aquavit bottle and they said he was taken home unconscious where he was carried to the front door on the shoulders of several Vikings, As though he were a Norse corpse. The guys on the phone then said I seem like their kind of guy and wanted to know if I wanted to join the Vikings.

    You guess the answer.||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules

  • Sandy says:

    I was a senior in high school and my boyfriend took me there before the prom. I had no idea of the value of the place at the time. I just remember it was so elegant!

  • Felix says:

    We went there for our rehearsal dinner. They had a quaint little wine cellar. It was wonderful.

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

    Ah yes Matty, nothing like a neck-tatted ‘hottie’ with a ring nose, displaying her protruding belly below her croptop asking in a rather put-upon manner “Whadda ya want?” (To be fair, I wonder if I’d have been chastised for my DA back in the day!!? LOL) Of course some might say I shame myself by stopping at fast food Sonic Drive-In last night rather than supporting a dying fine dining spot. In any event (LOL), the young kid-waiter skated over to me to check if I wished anything else (despite their ‘push-the-button voice communicator) and then, to my amazement, offered “May I take your discard bag for you?!” Aha, there is still hope!!!!

  • Matty says:

    I wish we still have this type of eatery with all it’s class, service and distinction. The end of a much coveted era.

    God Bless you all.


  • Juan Godinez Jr. says:

    My Father, Juan Godinez Sr, started working here as a dish washer in the mid 60’s. By 1975 he became a waiter. He was real proud of working there because of how disciplined his co-workers were and how well groomed they all add to be. He really liked doing things by the book and here they did. He would reside the menu to me and my sisters at home, he would show us the famous autographs he’d receive, and he developed real close relationships with his co-workers. They nick named my dad “El Pelon” because he was bald. He was so proud of his nick name, he’d sometimes introduce himself as “I am El Pelon”.

  • Suellen Liker says:

    I miss the “Good old days” when Scandia existed & class was “King”. My husband and I went there once or twice a year. The food and service was exquisite. I’m left with fine memories.

  • BOTVOLR says:

    Here is a four page Scandia Menu from 1981 that apparently is in the LA Public Library archive: or . Using an Inflation Calculator, their $19.50 Filet would be ….”all things being equal” (whatever that means!)….$49.95 today! Thank God (am I allowed to say that?) or Gawd, your Social Security and Defined Benefit Plan Pension has kept up!!!! Skol! Na Zdrowie! Slainte!

  • Jason Lopez says:

    My Father worked there in the 80’s John Lopez he was considered cptn . I remember the flash lights they gave to customers. I met mulhummit Ali and always remember seeing Jerry Dunphy there! Great Restaurant great food and there isnt service anymore like that in any place in Hollywood or Beverly Hills it doesnt exist!!!

  • Cliff Lang says:

    No commenters mentioned Lud or François behind the famous bar. They were the best at their biz. They soon learned everyone idiosyncrasies and habits. Listening to them plying there trade with humor and insult in smooth continental accent was top entertainment on the Sunset Strip I thought. I was initiated a Viking in the 60′ s and my favorite memory was meeting General Doolittle upon his Viking induction which became convivial over Bloody Marys’ when I mentioned I was with NAA. Dick Wittinghill often supplied morning radio commentary on the Scandia regulars. Not many left now. Scandia was a class institution, food was good too.

  • Mel Karp says:

    In the 1960-70 era, my friend Cliff was a member of the Vikings & a big UCLA
    Fan. We would meet at Scandia for an early brunch on Sat, then take the Viking arranged private bus to the stadium for the football game. Cocktails were served on the bus. I remember the game where Simpson scored 4 touchdowns to beat UCLA.
    What I will never forget is the hospitality of the Scandia hostess & staff. When I arrived without a jacket for dinner one night, they provided me with a blazer that fit!

  • Don Hylton says:

    My brother Kenneth Hylton and I were guests of the Viking Club in January 1970 when our father George W. Hylton passed away. He was a member of the Viking Club. I have an engraved glass with my name as a souvenir from that day. Don Hylton

  • Catherine Frost says:

    Invited for Veal Oscar so I thought I’d look up Scandia, as was always my choice for dinner. I was fortunate to be the guest of Bronislau Kaper on many occasions in the 1960s. Enjoyed not only the service but the best Veal Oscar ever. It’s the one by which all others are measured & found lacking.

  • BOTVOLR says:

    Aah, my dear Carol…Was it you? I can still smell the daisies in your hair or was it patchouli which you left wafting behind to enchant us as we waited for the valet to bring up the car per visiting the in-laws as we came up from Kansas? But “Carol”!!! Seriously!!! Surely you must’ve been something like Moonbeam? Paxie? Justbeautiful? Joy to the World!
    Seriously: All that aside…did you go on barefoot? What are you up to today….Right? Left? Vegan? Did you read Atlas Shrugged?
    Wishing you a Grand CHRISTMAS:

  • Carol L says:

    Went there once for lunch barefoot. Well , it was 1966! And I was a teenager! The maître’D almost had a fainting spell! We ended up at Cyrano’s down the street. It was quaint and had a fireplace, as I recall. Cyrano’s closed long before good ole Scandia did tho…

  • BOTVOLR says:

    Being a token ‘poor’ student* from SC, the dating of the daughter of a somewhat egotistical doc from Hermosa Beach was additionally compensated for by several ventures to Scandia as well as the likes of places along Restaurant Row, La Cienega, of the day. While we so delighted with ‘normal’ fare let alone service, he’d opt for the Steak Tartare as a show of his Danish Machismo…what a waste. In any event, LOL, I thought I could easily get used to this way of life of ‘normative’ Californication in contrast to my New England youth’s preference for breaded veal cutlets or “If it’s Wednesday, it’s Prince Spaghetti Day!”
    The 60’s were the days when I could pull into The Portico of Dino’s Lodge (you know, with Cookie, right next to 77 Sunset Strip!) with his daughter sitting sidesaddle on my Vespa and look Tres Chic!! to listen to great Jazz drinking a Stinger or Sloe Gin Fizz or Grasshopper (under age) while mellowing out with the view through the glass wall overlooking twinkling LA Basin. All were so Priceless adventures!!!
    *YES ROB! Bob Hope was indeed a nice, genteel man who I had the enjoyment of telling him and his family where to go while ushering (for $7.50 & a box lunch!!!) on the 50 yard line at SC football games…. along with the likes Peter Lorre (2 yrs before he died), Jack Lemon, Red Buttons etc.
    *Poof/Puff-no magic dragon….as all went away in Grad School in Dry Kansas!!!! Ok, Ok…steaks/BBQ were great in KC!

  • Ivan says:

    Best Brunch in LA
    For years we would go for
    All the surprising dishes .
    Before butter fever and the
    Tyranny of health food.
    Just magnificent tastes and
    Superior service.

  • Alan Humason says:

    I delivered bread there for Pioneer Bakery for about a three-month period, when I was running the route that took in Scandia, Le Dome, The Palm and others. The Scandia chefs were very cool and generous; usually I spent a little time yakking and walking out with some kind of delicious dessert pastry. I never actually ate a meal there, sad to say . . . always thought of it as a class place.

  • Rob says:

    I went several times as a young man in the late 70’s and early 80’s, absolutely loved the place. The clientele was elderly and we kind of stood out. One outing I drank too much and over ate. While waiting on valet I removed my sports coat and used it as a pillow on the sidewalk, the elderly were not impressed. They made a version of Coquille St. Jacque that was to die for, never found another version that could touch it.

  • Bonnie says:

    Ah Scandia! I have such fond memories of this wonderful “old world” place, where we would go for special occasions and parties back in the Seventies.

    As an after work spot, it became a favorite of many of us who worked in the Beverly Hills vicinity. We knew we could get a good drink, meet nice people, and have their wonderful free meatballs as appetizers.

    It was also a good spot for celebrity sightings, and I remember seeing many a movie star there from time to time, such as Jack Lemmon and his lovely wife Felicia, Rona Barrett – the gossip columnist and her husband to name a couple. What we so enjoyed was that no one made a fuss over the celebrities, they were just part of the sophisticated bar scene at Scandia.

    How I miss that place, no where quite like it in LA now!

  • Ed Schmith says:

    In the 60’s I traveled to LA on buying trips and still remember my dinner at Scandia. The Caesar salad, which was prepared table side was incredible. I noted the ingredients and have been making at home for over fifty years to the delight of family and friends.

  • Eric says:

    Throughout the 80s my father Bill was a bartender at Scandia. He had a successful real estate career, however, he loved the social aspect of being behind the bar and was sad to see it close up. The list of celebrity regulars was a mile long. Popular hangout of the LA Raiders and Dodgers which I found impressive more than the TV stars.

    Sometimes my mom would take me to watch him in his element. Even at 12 years old I loved their oysters in a half shell, veal cutlet and the liver pate.

    Lots of great memories in the 80s.

  • Cindy says:

    My dad was an executive chef in the late 40’s early 50’s, my mom was the bar cashier who slipped her engagement ring in her mouth the night they were robbed..
    I spent my early years in a play pen in the kitchen being looked after by a salad chef names Clarice. I have eaten there many times and have been to the very extensive wine cellar, which at one time was considered to be one of the top in the world.

  • rick bergsrud says:

    When I was at UCLA, my folks came out to visit & stayed most of the winter
    – I believe 1974. At any rate, my mother ordered I believe salmon that was
    prepared in a paper bag. It was great – and the most memorable dish at the

    Can you tell me how to make that recipe and the name of that recipe

    thank you —————————– Bergsrud

  • Matt says:

    My father used to take our family to these old school Los Angeles restaurants in the 1970s, such as Scandia, Perino’s, Chasen’s and Lawry’s. Also Taix which is still there.

    What I remember most about Scandia was the food that wasn’t on the menu. My father used to ask “for some seafood” and a towering silver multi tiered tray of cold oysters, shrimp, crab legs, lobster, smoked salmon, and a smorgasbord of other delicacies on ice would appear.

    At all these restaurants the food the regulars got was quite different from the standard fare.

    What I remember about Lawry’s, which still goes for today, is how big the slabs of prime rib would become after the server who rolls up those silver carts was tipped a twenty dollar bill. Once my Dad commented on how the cuts of beef had been getting smaller and smaller over the years, and a waitress told my dad that so-and-so (the carver who had just rolled up) had been with the restaurant for fifteen years and that nothing had changed.

    My Dad didn’t say anything, but as she walked away he held up a Jackson which the carver took as easily as a shark gulping a minnow, apologizing with a, “She’s new” about the waitress.

    I’m not so into red meat these days but when I have taken a girlfriend to Lawry’s I’ve always remembered to tip the carver (besides of course the maitre d’ for taking us to a good table – something else I learned from Pops), and not one carver has turned down the money and the portions have remained huge.

  • Lauren says:

    My parents used to go to Scandia once a month in the 1960s and 1970s. Sadly I never went. They were a posh couple with sparkling friends (I sensed this even as a very young child). We had a live-in, and we always had to go to bed WAY before the group of adults got home from Scandia. My parents loved it. So, so, so sad I never got to experience it !

  • Charley says:

    I went there several times. But my favorite memory has to do with something else. I was at The Coffee Bean buying coffee beans. I said I wanted a blend of 1/2 mocha/java and 1/2 columbian. The owner of The Coffee Bean said to me “You want Scandia blend”. Apparently that is the blend they served at Scandia.

  • Shel Willens says:

    I have been married to the same woman for over forty years, but clearly remember Scandia with great affection. It was my second date with Sheila, and very special because her parents were taking us to Scandia. The restaurant was all it was reputed to be. A glamorous place with a famous clientele, food and drink that deserved the wonderful reputation the place had, and service that was always attentive, never excessive and always graced with a personal touch that was a hallmark of this fine restaurant. And the Hansens were always there to guide the staff and welcome a clientele that returned again and again for the specialties of the house, charm, elegance, and great food.

  • Scot Verdin says:

    I went to Scandia for my high school prom. We were there for hours it seemed…not in a bad way. In restrospect, I remember Scandia more than my prom or my date….sorry. We were asked if we wanted Martinis?? before dinner. What were they thinking?….. The only thing I remember eating was pureed, creamed spinach which I thought was wonderful.

    After graduation, I left for college, got my degree in Economics and have been a waiter in Seattle ever since…well there’s a story if you ask, but never forgot dinner in old school LA….ask me about dinner at Lawry’s!!

  • Ralph says:

    Lunch at Scandia was the first thing I charged on my corporate AmEx card in 1983. Back when working for Manufacturers Hanover Trust meant first class meals, travel and accommodation.

    My clients were Fortune 100 CEOs and CEOs and if they ordered steak, so did I. If the client had five drinks and I didn’t he wouldn’t do business. None of this “I’ll have salad, and designer bottle water ” crap. After a week on the job, drinking and eating lunch and dinner at expensive LA restaurants took a toll.

    I worked out a plan with the bartender, hostess and maitre’d: Serve me two drinks and a maximum of only two drinks regardless of what I order. My client pounds back four bourbons. I drink four screwdrivers except the last two were orange juice. My client complements my capacity to drink.

    When I was paying with the corporate Am Ex, I’d tip 30% – 40%. I took all my dates to Scandia. When I was there on my own dime, I was charged 50% of the menu price and treated like royalty. I never asked for a discount. The staff always went out of their way to impress my dates.

    Once, I asked a waiter for some tissues for my girlfriend who was coming down with a cold. A busboy was dispatched to the drugstore across the street where he bough a box of Kleenex which was removed from its container and arranged on a tray and brought to my table.

    On another occasion, an older gentlemen at the table next to mine decided to smoke a particularly noxious cigar. All the other patrons were visibly affected, but no one spoke up. Finally, I asked my waiter to ask the gentlemen to please put it out but he refused. A couple of minutes later, I stood up, walked over to his table, picked up his cigar from the ashtray and put it out in his salad. Before he could respond, his wife scolded him for smoking and a round of applause came from patrons and staff.

    I never experienced the pre-Petersen Scandia, but in 1983-194 it was the favorite of everybody in the Money Market and For Ex departments at Manny Hanny LA.

  • kathrynn bogie says:

    I remember going to Scandia quite a bit in the 60’s. Once for Thanksgiving where we had split pea soup and they poured ice cold champagne in the center of the small soup cups. When the flaming “swords” came out with a pork chop, lamb rib, piece of steak it was quite spectacular. At the bar I remember being served the blinis or rather small crepes with caviar and vodka frozen in a huge block.

  • Rob Spencer says:

    My Dad was an habitué there from 1964 into the early 70s. He was a member of the Vikings, and he knew Ken Hansen and his wife pretty well. Mom met him there regularly for after-work drinks, and on special occasions the whole family got to go.

    One of these occasions was my birthday, probably my 6th. I loved the food there, especially their Chocolate Mousse Cake. At the next table was Bob Hope with a small party (including his wife). I was excited, because I was a big fan. Dad said, “He’s a very nice man, and would be happy to give you an autograph.” I didn’t want to bug him, but at Dad’s insistence I went over and stood by his chair. I recall he looked HUGE, this famous man who was right before me. I made a half-hearted attempt to get his attention, then went back and said, “He’s busy.” But a Scandia postcard, with his autograph, arrived at the table within half a minute.

    Dad was right: Bob Hope was a nice man!

  • Andy Furillo says:

    My pop, Bud Furillo, must have written a million columns on or out of Scandia. Remember the “Vikings?” Some civil do-gooder celebrity club? Had their weekly luncheons there. Always made for good copy. BIG sports hangout. And hello to you, John Lovell! See you around town.

  • gary harrell says:

    I worked at Scandia restarant in the late sixties as an apprentice and it was a wonderfull place….the head chef was Chef Borgman from Switzerland..max borgman maybe…a member of the Vikings Club got me the job as I was taking cooking classes from Chef Gregiore…the executive chef at the Beverly Hilton Hotel…Scandia had its own butcher shop where we cut up the whole carcasses of prime beef…we learned to bone fish, such as shad…they served shad roe in the spring…and salmon of course, Scandia used lots of fresh salmon and it had to be perfectly boned…I worked with the chef saucier and thedanish pastry chef….most of the cooks were european at that time and I learned so much there….I went on to teach french cooking classes, had a private catering company and worked for John and Pilar Wayne catering parties….cheers to Ken Hansen and Scandia

  • Carolyn Kunin says:

    A lovely restaurant, and greatly missed. There are no scandanavian restaurants in Southern California. But more nostaligic for me was the older Bit o’ Sweden almost directly across the street. As a child, I felt as if I was dining in a grand castle – the back of the chairs and the height of the ceilings were so high. Food was served buffet style (smorgasbord) and the hot dishes, like the scrumptious meat balls, were served in chafing dishes. At Scandia my favorite dishes were the steak tartare, prepared for you at the table, and the veal oscar.

  • Barbara says:

    My ex husband (a Dane) was Chef at Scandia in the mid 70’s. I remember eating there on several occasions. Once Chip Carter (President Carter’s son) came for dinner with lots of secret servicemen. We saw several well known people there. It was a fabulous place. What a shame it closed.

  • Andy Powell says:

    Barbra Streisand celebrated her 39th birthday at Scandia in 1981. The meal was made by the restaurant, but she had her birthday cake done by an outside caterer.

  • T. G. Smith says:

    Favorite table here was just before you go into the main dining room, just to the right, there were a few small tables. There was one under a beautiful painting. My spot. Did I mention: I LOVE THIS SITE. T. Smith

  • Shelly says:

    I ate there many times in the fifties and sixties and the food was extraordinary: Tornadoes Theadora was a favorite along with Celery Victor, sthe stuffed calm appetizer, Veal Oskar, and everything else.

  • John Lovell says:

    My Uncle, Gilbert Gonzalez, was an apprentice chef at Scandia in 1956 and 1957. His father, Joseph Gonzalez, was the head chef at the Mona Lisa on Wilshire Boulevard. Their dream was to open a restaurant together. The dream came to an abrupt end when Gilbert was one of six people murdered at the Club Mecca bar on April 4, 1957. To this day, the Club Mecca murders remain the worst mass murder in the history of the City of Los Angeles.

  • carol says:

    My husband was just lamenting that we never ate there. I used to work at a Petersen magazine, ‘TEEN, in ’81 and remember hearing then that the restaurant was Margie Petersen’s. Wasn’t there a midnight supper?

  • Tim Loose says:

    The last time I was at the Scandia was in 1965 or 66. My and my girlfriend, Tony, meet my dad British composer, Phil Green and his wife. The Greens were horrified that Tony wore sandals to the Scandia.

  • Jorn Dan Benedictus says:

    Hi Mark,
    My Uncle Frode Benedictus Christensen was the Maitre’D from around 1955 to 1975 when he died. I was taken to Scandia by my cusin Frodes dougther and got the greatest dinner with Champagne, Wine and Cognac everything as a gift because i he was my uncle, and i was from Copenhagen, My sister got the same treatment at the Danish Palvion in New York during the World Fair. Best Jorn

  • Steve says:

    My parents were blue collar kids from San Pedro. My dad scraped together a few bucks & took my mom there for a special night out. Dad handed his ’64 Ford Falcon to the valet. It stood out as the only economy car there.

    I never got a chance to eat there. My wife bartended at Billboard Live/Key Club, across the street from the former Scandia. I hung around that area a lot. I’d look at the building & envision my folks there on their big night out.

  • Kathie says:

    I worked at ABC in the mid 80’s and went to Scandia once for a business lunch. It was getting to be somewhat frayed around the edges by then, but the food was good…service impecable and it still had some “star” appeal. Roddy McDowell was in the booth next to us.

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