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Favorite Fictional Bars and Restaurants ?

  • t

So what are your favorite fictional Bars and Restaurants?

From Books, TV, Movies, etc. Or maybe it’s a fictional dinner you read about once, saw on the tube, one that caught your eye and imagination?

Where are they, what are they like, and who invented them?

J. Forester

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  1. v
    Vital Information

    I'm rather like a broken record here, but my favorite remains a very real place, used frequently in the fiction of James Ellroy: the pacific dining car.

    I am also partial to a scene in the James Bond BOOK Moonraker, where Bond joins M at his club and they eat dinner. I especially like the part where Bond juices up his fancy champagne with speed so he'll be sharp for his spying later that night.


    1. Mac's place - a cozy old fashioned steakhouse in D.C. with dark walnut paneling, featuring reliable,discreet European waiters who have been on staff about 35 years. Created by Ross Thomas/Oliver Bleek. Featured in several books, most notably "Twilight at Mac's place". Brain fade denies me the ability to provide the names of the two owners, but they are retired NSI types who get involved with nefarious characters and plots that are far from simple. Great reading.

      1. Well, obviously there is the great "Big Night" stuff, by Stanley Tucci--a deathless classic. And the original food movie, "Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe" still wears well if you can get anyone to show it.

        For fiction, though, I'd go with Rex Stout who, as the World knows, invented the sizeable gourmand Nero Wolff. Stout was no mean trencherman himself and Wolff was something of an alter-ego. Stout forced himself to write one NW book per year to support his appetite for food and travel. He always wrote it in February b/c it was the shortest month. Tossed it over the editor's transom and set sail for Europe.

        If you do not care for whodunits or have outgrown them, get "The Nero Wolff Coookbook" which give story snippets and then recipes for the goodies that were mentioned. Also has a nice section trumpeting American Food long before the recent crop of champions was even thought of ,, let alone born.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Hazelhurst

          I'll second Nero Wolfe's dinner table. Fritz had to be some cook if he was able to tame Wolfe's palate and temper. Another reason would be to share the company of Archie Goodwin, of whom I had an intense crush on.

          1. re: Can

            I'll 3rd Nero Wolfe's table. But as for bars I'd prefer any of the ones in Raymond Chandler. For the dialogue and the highballs if nothing else.

            1. re: Lisa Lou

              Re: the bars --yes indeed! And cold and dark and not-too-loud. Lots of shadows. "Double Indemnity" sort of stuff

              1. re: Hazelhurst

                Definitely agree with the Nero Wolf books. My husband and I have decided we want the brownstone and the wonderful meals!

                Also, has anyone read the Monsieur Pamplemousse detective stories by Michael Bond? The character is a retired police officer who works for a food guide in France. Wonderful food descriptions combined with very funny story lines.


            2. re: Hazelhurst

              I'm with you on Nero Wolfe--just to spend a day in his dining room! Probably the best eats in NYC in the 30's.

            3. I'll go with the diner in "Diner"...the great Barry Levenson film about growing up in Baltimore. It's a little bright in there, but still a wonderful place.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tom Whalen

                I'll second the "Diner" diner. In fact I went to Fell's Point once and tried to find it but alas I failed - I was in a hurry to get to an Orioles game. What made those scenes was the mindless chatter of both the main characters and the waitresses/owner at the diner. Great movie!

              2. As a kid sometimes my best meals were the ones I read about. My mother is a LOUSY cook. For some of my friends with the same problem theirs were ones they saw on TV or the silver screen. So here’s where I would love to be hanging out right now. A classic pub with a sci-fi bent. Maybe it's because I am a sci-fi fan or maybe that I am a psycho-therapist, but it's the combo that makes it fun. I think I’ll have to pull out one of my old dog eared copies and chill out with an imaginary frosty one right now.

                One of my favorite bars is Callahan’s Saloon from Spider Robinsons tales about this favorite place to hang your hat for those down on their luck, ex addicts, telepaths, aliens, talking dogs, murderers, and other interesting folks. It’s named after the proprietor, Mike Callahan and located out in the wilds of Syosset, Long Island on Route 25A. Not to far from my alma mater, Stony Brook. Or anyway it used to be before it got nuked when the patrons were busy saving the world from aliens or cockroaches or alien cockroaches or some such thing. But that’s not one of my stories but Spider’s. Anyway, drinks are all a half a buck, Yup just four bits. You pass a single to the bartender and get your own change from a cigar box full of quarters at the end of the bar, unless you exercise your option. It's based on an honor system and there are very few violators. The option is that if you choose you can deep six your glass into the fireplace while making a toast. The theory being that in declaring your pain it becomes less. "Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased" It’s one of those places where if you have a problem they will help. Not that they’re nosy. As a matter of fact if you seem down in the dumps no one will butt in and ask you why, they will leave you in peace. Or else get 86’ed with a skull ache by the bouncer / piano player with a face like an old shoe. But if you decide to spill the beans about your woes this group of folks will listen and help as they can. Sometimes with magical results.

                The drink of choice besides good beer such as Anchor Steam or Rekhards Red, is Irish Coffee. Brewed with the highest class beans of your choice and an appropriate Irish whiskey to suit. Have you ever had an Irish Coffee drunk? Caffeine and alcohol, what a mixture. It’s psychedelic in nature. A wide awake buzz like sipping rocket fuel. Of course we have all heard TANSTAAFL There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Well at Callahan's there is. So you can moderate your alcohol intake with a bite to eat every now and then.

                There are events most nights such as pun contests, live folk music, tall tales nights, riddle or smoke blowing contests and such. We've all seen people blow smoke rings but have you ever seen a smoke knight fighting a smoke dragon? These folks like to keep entertained and occasionally exercise the gray matter between the ears. Or if you’re in the mood you can throw some darts or six. It's my kind of place where a little rumgallalah or ballyhoo isn't out of place and you never know who might drop by. It could be an apologetic Hitler, two men with one brain, your mirror self, or a nageneen (an leprechaun related type who has a massive thirst and can put most bars out of business. they have a magical attraction for booze.)

                Well however you look at it... it's all fun.
                so let's go and toss back a few, make some toasts, and tell a few tall tales...


                12 Replies
                1. re: The Rogue

                  I agree with you! Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon sounds like the place to be!! Great tales surrounding this place.

                  BTW...Spider is supposed to be releasing a new book soon.

                  1. re: The Rogue

                    I have always found the Callahan's stories--both the concept and execution--to be hopelessly mawkish and overly sentimental. It's a 14 year old boy's dream of a bar.

                    1. re: CliffA

                      Cliff A- I think you missed the whole point of this post. It is to discuss YOUR own personal, favorite, fictional bar or restaurant. Out of well over 30 posts so far, yours is the only one that condemns and attacks anothers personal choice in a FICTIONAL bar.

                      I find that there are a few different types of posters on this site.
                      There are those who request information and in turn those who gladly respond with an abundance of well thought out and researched material, and sadly those who make a short and useless comment that helps no one.
                      The folks who wish to joyfully share their thoughts and opinions on something or somewhere they have tried. And in response those who come back with questions or comments that are useful in nature to explore the issues, or woefully those who must bash others, instead of making constructive remarks.

                      Just like food, books are personal things. I find some of the other posters thoughts and feelings to be quite different from my own. That is the fun of this discussion board, to see a glimpse into how others think, and more importantly, feel. What grabs some folks and transports them to a different place? One that for THEM is a better place. For me it is an opportunity to look at one of the reasons us chowhounds got this way. It's not just the food for many of us, the technical information. It's the adventure, romance, excitement, the chase. The thought of trying something new. The quest for experiences. Because when one looks at it, what are we? Just a bundle of experiences tied together. In life, we do not always get the chance to do all we wish. So part of the fun is the possibility of being a armchair eater or traveler. To develop and use ones imagination. To not necessarily have to travel to L.A. or Seoul to try some new restaurant or dish, but instead to just read a critique. To hear others comments and descriptions. To put yourself in the place of that food writer and imagine the meal they had, the restaurant they visited, the ambiance or lack thereof.

                      The fictional theme takes that one step further. To have a place, that for even one person, is where they would like to go... to escape reality for awhile... to relax and enjoy some writers fantasy. To become a part of something different.

                      Why not instead, just post what your favorite may be? Let us see who and what you are. So far all you have shown us is that you can be negative and condemning. Is that the sum of your essence? Or is there more to you?

                      Jonathan Forester

                      Ps. As for your comments on Spider Robinson’s books.

                      "I have always found the Callahan's stories--both the concept and execution--to be hopelessly mawkish and overly sentimental. It's a 14 year old boy's dream of a bar."- CliffA.

                      Well Cliff A. that’s your opinion. You have a right to it.
                      I will challenge it since you threw out the glove.

                      In my opinion, I find that his stories challenge me mentally. Not many writers do, I have read over 20k books so far and feel that I know of what I speak. Robinson’s inventive puns and complex riddles both amuse me, as well as force me to think. His references to books, music, and places are written so expressively that I have to track them down and see if I agree. Or don’t, as is my option. Both have happened.

                      His themes of people caring for each other, helping one another, having love for each other strike a chord with me. Maybe, as I said in my original post, it is because among other things, I am a therapist. I have done extensive work with troubled youth, young adults, and adults. I have also worked with police psychologists and forensic specialists. I have seen the good and the bad in life. More so than many others, I know how messed up our society is.

                      I relish the thought of a bar where people don’t go to get drunk and run away. A place instead to go for companionship, conversation, and fun. To help each other over the tough times and to be better people and grow. Emotionally, mentally, as a human being. A place that if you go there often enough you find that you don’t have to drink to dull your problems and make you forget. It’s a place that isn’t for escape but for growth. For love. Yes, that is sentimental, and I am proud of it. I am humbled to be allowed, for the short while I am reading, to gain entrance to a place as special as Callahan’s. Whenever possible I try to help make places like Callahan’s come to life.

                      As for Spider’s writing, no matter what he writes about you are challenged and intrigued. You want to take part in it and experience the events, people, places, things for yourself. Take coffee for instance. I personally only drink it on rare occasions. I am sensitive to flavors and think most coffee tastes like used food. I very much enjoy and appreciate a good cup of coffee, but loath a mediocre one. When I read something so engagingly descriptive about the joys of coffee, I want to run out and have some, gallons if possible. Cups and cups of GREAT coffee that will cure my ills, make me smarter, better. Leave me feeling all is well with the world. That takes skill.

                      Skill to have won awards all over the world.
                      To have stories used successfully with troubled, adjucated, and high risk young adults to teach them social skills and a different way to look at life.
                      To have books keep getting reprinted over and over again in dozens of languages.

                      1. re: The Rogue

                        You've read 20 THOUSAND books? No wonder you're wound so tight. You need to get out more. Anyway, my favorite fictional tavern is Smade's Tavern from the "Demon Princes" series by Jack Vance.

                        1. re: CliffA

                          I think you owe more of an apology. And, grabbing onto a tiny typo is pathetic and supercilious.

                          1. re: PicayunePrunes

                            Actually it is the one thing that Cliff A got right... weird huh... maybe he is just able to nit pick and picayune 'cause he just don't get it... 20k not a typo... under exag more like it.

                            1. re: The Rogue

                              Are you now saying that (a) you have indeed read some twenty thousand books and that (b) this qualifies your opinion in some way? IF you've been reading for 40 years this would still mean more than a book a day, every single day. I either hate to know what kinds of books these are, or what kind of cursory (speed) read you are giving them.

                              Just trying to follow what you're saying ...

                    2. re: The Rogue

                      Dang! You beat me to it!

                      Though it might be considered a bit of a rip off, I always thought that Larry Niven's Draco Tavern would be a fun place to get intoxicated.

                      Link: http://www.larryniven.org/stories/Smu...

                      1. re: z

                        Z whoever you be... ya'll are a critter after my own heart... Draco's is a fine place to sip a few...

                      2. re: The Rogue

                        Another Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon fan here.

                        Though I vastly prefer Spider's short stories to his novels. The shorts are very nicely tightly plotted while his novels tend to go off on overly rambling info-dumps.

                        Other great SF places I'd like to go: Cowboy Feng's Space Bar anf Grill (Stephen Burst) and I'd spring for one dinner at Douglas Adam's Restaurant at the End of the Universe just for the dinner show, even though the idea of the talking dish of the day squicks me out.

                        1. re: The Rogue

                          Another vote here for Callahan's! Fine pub culture.

                          1. re: The Rogue

                            I thought of Callahan's right away. I'd make sure I had singles because well, you know Mike won't make change for a five, ten or twenty.

                            Also I'd like to have a cocktail at the OJ and listen to the nonsense from the regulars. Is there furniture in heaven? What do the angels sit on? Will exercise kill you?

                            I'd quietly enjoy my beer while waiting to see if a couple guys show up and ask for a bottle of bourbon or maybe a fellow who orders a beer with salt. Then I'd wonder what sort of criminal activity was going on and I'd skedaddle because something always goes wrong around those guys.

                          2. I know of at least one other Chowhound who would be a regular at The Rickshaw as portrayed in Billy Wilder's The Apartment. It ranks high in my fantasy canon, and if there was any justice, or decent cocktail sensibility in this world, one would be able to sip umbrella drinks in 60s style Asian splendor on any given night of the week in NYC, but such is far from the case - unless I'm missing somewhere. The only thing that comes close if if I happen to to make close visits to The Peppermill Lounge/Lee's Hawaiian Islander and Marion's Continental, stick my head into Ruby Foo's (though not actually consume anything 'cause well, ew!), spin around three time and make myself a Mai Tai. If anyone knows a less geographically challenging method of recreating this joint, I'm all ears.

                            Was also always intrigued by Damon Runyon's tough guy/swell joint "Mindy's". Based on anyplace actual?

                            "One evening comes along about seven o'clock I am sitting in Mindy's restuarant putting on the gefilte fish which is a dish I am very fond of..."


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Kat Kinsman

                              I have no authority for this, but I believe Runyon's "Mindy's" is based -- and not very loosely -- on the original Lindy's Restaurant in the Times Square area.

                              1. re: Kat Kinsman
                                Vital Information

                                I hope this comes across in the spirit it's intended...

                                Without knowing you in the least, I have to say that Kat Kinsman is the about the best name for a habitue at a favorite fictional bar or resturant.


                                1. re: Vital Information

                                  Half the time, I'm pretty sure I am fictional. I'd love to eat at some of the restaurants and bars that pop up in my dreams - ones with limitless steak tartare, gougeres, and Mai Tais there but for the asking. Sigh.

                                  I went to Churrascuria Plataforma last week and it sure as hell seemed like something I imagined in a fever dream - the ceaseless parade of skewered meats, feijoada and Caipirinhas. Same thing with the fontina & truffle fondue at Artisanal. That couldn't have been real. Again with the sighing.

                                  And my name is entirely non-fictional though people often assume the contrary.


                              2. c
                                CatherineC in NYC

                                I'm not sure I'd want to go there, but my favorite bar sign (and commentary) is in a seedy Tijuana bar, The Golden Horseshoe, in the story of that name by Dashiell Hammett. The Continental Op reads it during a lull in the action:

                                " 'Only Genuine Pre-War American and British Whiskeys Served Here.'

                                I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more..."

                                I just love it!

                                Barwise, I would love to go anywhere Nick and Nora do in Hammett's "The Thin Man".

                                1. The meals at Delmonico's in The Alienist whet my appetite.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mc michael

                                    Thanks, Michael. I could remember The Alienist, but Delmonico's had fled my memory. Pat

                                  2. I really like Rosie's, the bar/restaurant hangout of Kinsey Millhone, the heronie of Sue Grafton's alphabetic-novel series.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: P

                                      Sue Grafton's father, C.W. Grafton wrote about driving to upstate New York all day, parking his 1940 business coupe and ordering a Steak, Baked Potato W/Sour Cream, glass of Milk, Apple Pie and a pitcher of coffee. The book was 'The Cat Began to Gnaw the Rope".

                                    2. Definitely, Rosie's in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Malhone series. It's definitely a Chowhound kind of place.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: Lori D

                                        That's the only place I would let the owner belittle me into eating what she thinks *I* should eat.

                                        1. re: Can

                                          Oh, I don't know, I'd love walking in and having the chef tell me what i should have for dinner...Kind of like a down to earth omakase!

                                          1. re: galleygirl

                                            Oh sure, I don't mind that...but are these chefs as abusive and intimidating as Rosie?

                                            1. re: Can
                                              Caitlin McGrath

                                              Oh, I don't know, I think Rosie's just bossy. After all, Kinsey doesn't suffer fools gladly, and she loves Rosie as much (or more) than she complains about her.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                Good point..And I forgot, she has the constant supply of freshly baked goods from her handsome, and still spry, octogenarian neighbor ;)

                                                1. re: galleygirl
                                                  Caitlin McGrath

                                                  Now, Henry's fictional kitchen is a place I wouldn't mind hanging out, myself.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Hmmm, kindah like Shelby Foote with a bread oven.....

                                        2. re: Lori D

                                          Does anyone know if it is modelled after a real bar in Santa Barbara (as so many of the other places in her books are)?

                                          1. re: Lori D

                                            If I may add a second mystery series - Janet Evanovich's books contain evocative prose about, most notably, Hungarian cusine (the cooking of the main character's mother) and pizza.

                                            1. re: Lori D

                                              And how about Chicago's The Golden Glow from the VI Warshawski books.

                                            2. re: Lori D

                                              Rosie's is a favorite of mine too.

                                              I used to go to a long gone place in Honolulu. They had one food item available at lunch. Take it or leave. Friday was chili dogs, I think Tuesday was chicken salad? Or was it meatloaf? The barmaid must have been a cousin of Rosie. Her name was Willie. One of a kind.

                                              I am kind of surprised "Elaine's" in NYC hasn't showed up, maybe not fictional, but certainly fictionalized often enough.

                                                1. re: Fydeaux

                                                  yes front page news some months back.
                                                  does that mean it is now a fictional place?

                                            3. Not such chowhound answer, but the first place that came to my mind upon reading the question was Rick's Cafe Americain in "Casablanca" -- for the atmosphere, if nothing else.

                                              1. p

                                                The Korova Milk Bar in Clockwork Orange. I always get milk plus - milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom . This sharpens you up.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: PicayunePrunes

                                                  Ultra Moloka! Horror show my droogies. Almost Russian.

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    Staying on Kubrick, the bar at the Overlook Hotel. "the hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd"

                                                2. I was caught by the Whistle Stop Cafe in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe when Idgie saw that alcoholic Smokey Lonesome had the shakes so bad he could not get the soup spoon to his mouth. She quietly took him outside and told him a sweet story while giving him some whiskey. When her story was over, Smokey was better, no word was spoken about the whiskey and they went back into the restaurant where he was able to finish his dinner. One of the kindest moments I remember from the big screen.

                                                  1. Aah, that would have to be the scene, over a luncheon in the garden in "Women In Love", where Alan Bates demonstrates how to eat a fresh fig...

                                                    1. Douglas Adams' Restaurant at the End of the Universe (the mere fact that there IS a RESTAURANT at the end of the universe is a completely charming thought for me!)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: SciFiFreak

                                                        Yes, but would you want to interview the cow before you ate a steak?

                                                      2. b
                                                        Brandon Nelson

                                                        Adam's Ribs...

                                                        The only detail I can offer is that it is in Chicago. M.A.S.H. die hards will remember Adam's from the episode where Hawkeye Pierce goes to great lengths to get his BBQ fix during the Korean War.


                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                                          Yeah but he forgot the coleslaw...

                                                          1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                                            Praise the Lord and pass the sauce!!

                                                            1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                                              I remember that episode...I wouldn't mind having a drink at the Swamp either....

                                                            2. Ok, OK I guess I haven't had a huge literary career...or maybe two kids just drove
                                                              the "read" ones out of my head, but the bar in "Star Wars" really changed my opinion of some of the barflies in my home town. I also think 10 Forward on Star Trek Next Generation is quite wonderful when Data offers a reconstituted commander Scott (aka Scotty) a real drink instead of the current fav synthahol laced scotch(may it never arise).

                                                              Or how about the pub in Hard Days Night where an awol Ringo tries to choke down the"fresh this morning" sandwich.

                                                              And if you really go back ther is the "very expensive" French resturant in Top Hat with Fred Astair where the floor show is actually dollies on young artists fingers. Fred has to dance because they can't pay the bill, and Edward Everett Horton is afraid the sauces are rather hard to clean off the dishes they will have to do!


                                                              1. How about "The Brick" in Cicely, AK (Northern Exposure)? When Adam was working as the chef, there was no finer place to eat anywhere.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Tom Whalen

                                                                  The Brick sounds like a good place to chow down. Adam may be a psychopathic and paranoid whacko, but he's a chowhoundin' one.

                                                                  1. re: The Rogue

                                                                    "Yeah, I was there. I was there when the Tet offensive was launched, I was there when Saigon fell, and I was there reducing a cream sauce with a beaucoup lovely from Pleiku when Charlie came out of nowhere and ambushed her kitchen. She taught me everything I know about poultry. And I told you I didn't want to talk about it!"

                                                                    Wouldn't it be great if we could get "A Cook's Tour" with Adam instead of that poseur Anthony Bordain?

                                                                    1. re: z

                                                                      "Why do we cook? Because we're HUNGRY. And when I'm hungry, what do I want? Something that YOU made? Noooooooo, I want something GOOD -- something that ***I*** made!"

                                                                2. Mystic Pizza!!!!!From the movie of the same name,an underrated gem "A little slice of heaven"....Who could forget the tightly held secret ingredients in the sauce, and the celebration when they get a great review from the snooty restaurant critic who doesn't even finish his pie...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: galleygirl

                                                                    You betcha ! I'll take a slice of the house pie, The Mystic Pie. Then pour me a frosty one and I'm all set.

                                                                    1. re: galleygirl

                                                                      There's a real Mystic Pizza in Mystic Ct. Apparently the movie was shot nearby and not in the actually location so I guess you could say the movie version is fictional. The pizza at Mystic Pizza tends to get poor reviews but I think people have an attitude towards it because of the movie. I went there a few years ago and thought it was one of the top 10 pizzas of my life.
                                                                      As much as I'd love to hang with Annabeth Gish at Mystic Pizza, sign me up for a bar stool at Paddy's (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

                                                                    2. for the young at heart or the literary in-tune: HARRY POTTER!!! who doesn't want to gobble some crumpets and tea in The Leaky Cauldron? and what about the candy store in Hogsmeade... bertie bott's every flavor beans, chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties, and on and on.. PLUS the food that appears in the Great Hall!!! they feast like kings and queens! for those that haven't read the books or are embarrassed to, DON'T BE! they are written amazingly and they are worth every page and more. AND... you have until june or july to read all four before the fifth come out!!

                                                                      also... it's not fictional but on the naked chef i love all his friendly cheese shops and butchers/fishmongers. jamie oliver also seems to always be in a quaint little coffee shop at the beginning of the show too...

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: katydid

                                                                        Let's grab our broomstciks and go... I just picked up a new Cirro-Stratus 2002 and had custom pipes and nitrous injection installed, a fancy flame paint job, and I'm ready to rip... so let's go get some grub.

                                                                        1. re: katydid

                                                                          How could I forget? I'm always curious about Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, granted that I don't get stuck with vomit- or booger-flavored ones.

                                                                          1. re: Can

                                                                            Jelly Bellies does make Bertie Botts every flavor beans -- I think its mostly an assortment of their regular flavors with a few additions -- black pepper, grass, and yes, booger.

                                                                            Link: http://www.jellybelly.com/TopNav/Sear...

                                                                            1. re: foodnut

                                                                              Callahan's-sound like a great place to unwind

                                                                              Milliway's (the resturuant at the end of the unvierse)-the ultimatey dinner show. While I'm at why not go to the other edn and have one at the Big Bang Burger bar

                                                                              Cafe Diem (from the TV show "Eureka", who wouldnt like eating somewhere where the chef can prepare practically anything you want perfectly.

                                                                              The Mended drum (for terry prachett's discworld) if I was feeling suicidally rowdy.)

                                                                              That's about all I can think of without going into places that really wouln't count (mosty becuse there in stories I wrote, and so, of course fit my personaly tates exactly)

                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                While I am deeply tempted by Cafe Diem it would be one of the most dangerous of all the fictional bars, ever threatened by those daily mistakes over at Global Dynamics.

                                                                        2. I've always been enamored with Mostly Martha, and would have loved to have been in the dining room where she rips into the customer who complained about the overcooked foie gras -- especially when she pulls the tablecloth away!

                                                                            1. re: MattInNJ

                                                                              When Aerosmith is playing--see you there!

                                                                            2. That recurring restaurant in Maeve Binchy books.

                                                                              1. Baghdad Cafe'?

                                                                                Alice's Restaurant?

                                                                                1. Fiction or non, put me down for Cheers.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. Hands down, Rick's Cafe Americain from the movie Casablanca. And for many years, there was a great Jazz room in Chicago called the same. 8-)

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                        I immediately thought of Rick's, my favorite as well, but for an even seedier place, how about The Blue Parrot, run by Signor Ferrari, played by the great Sydney Greenstreet.

                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                          Rick's was seedy? I though it was fairly classy. And the Blue Parrot is never shown, only mentioned in conversation.

                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            Gambling was going on at Rick's shocking, plus the letters of transit and the killing of Peter Lorre. The Blue Parrot is shown, when Rick goes to sell his bar, and I think the young couple goes there, but could be wrong. Here's a link, scroll down a bit.


                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                              I enjoyed the link - thanks JC!
                                                                                              I don't think the young couple from Bulgaria go to the BP, they just ask Rick if Ferrari will keep his word. "He always has."

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                Casablanca was on not long ago and I forgot to record it. Kicking myself but I'm sure it'll be back soon. Obviously it's been too long since I've seen it as the mind gets fuzzy.

                                                                                      2. Does anyone else remember the short-lived TV series 'Franks' Place' starring Tim Reid? The food at Frank's looked incredible!

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                          I've never seen the show but I seem to recall reading, in an article about (or an interview with) Chef Austin Leslie years ago in Gourmet magazine, that the restaurant in 'Frank's Place' was based on his restaurant (something along those lines).

                                                                                          1. re: blackoak

                                                                                            You are correct and I was going to put Frank's Place down as my choice. The restaurant it was based on was Chez Helene.

                                                                                          2. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                            I was working at CBS at the time, and we were all completely in love with Frank's Place. It was a great sorrow that this series didn't make it. One of the best pilots EVER!

                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                              One of those rare shows, like "Sports Night", that was just too good to last.

                                                                                              I dont suppose you have any insight on whether "Frank's Place" will be released on DVD....

                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                Frank's Place ran on Tv for several years! Two of my friends were in that series.

                                                                                            2. Another one would be Al's Dinner (Happy Days), Mr Dafazio's pizza joint (Lav & Shir), The Regal Beagle or Jack's Bistro (last two of 3s Company).

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                                                                                              1. Agree w/all the posters who want to sit at Nero Wolfe's table and I would add the only resto he ever visits, owned by his best friend Markos ( I think.) Also any of the Sicillian restos visited by Inspector Maltobano and the Bangkok joints by Thai cop S. Jitpleecheep. Tho' all of the resto's frequented in Venice by Commissario Brunetti sound delicious, I'd still rather eat with his family at their own table.

                                                                                                  1. The Club New Yorker from "The Gang's All Here." Not for the food, but for the fantasy.

                                                                                                    1. Zorba the Greek, book and movie. Starts in a cafe in Pireus and goe on to Madam Hortense's ramshackle hotel and Zorba's simple hut. Some of the favorite quotations of my life. From memory so forgive errors. I read it every five years.
                                                                                                      "Am I married? Wife, children, the whole catastrophe!"
                                                                                                      "There is but one sin that God will not forgive. If a woman asks a man to her bed and he does not go."
                                                                                                      "How simple a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple heart."
                                                                                                      "Teach me to dance!"

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                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        In the catastrophe quotation I forgot the important word "house".

                                                                                                      2. The mess hall from Catch 22. Chocolate covered cotton.

                                                                                                        1. "Cheers"......"Rick's Cafe" (play it again Sam)

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                                                                                                          1. re: HotMelly

                                                                                                            We'll always have Paris and the "La Belle Aurore".

                                                                                                            1. re: HotMelly

                                                                                                              Not to be picky but the full name was, "Rick's Cafe Americain" and then there's the other cafe, "The Blue Parrot".

                                                                                                            2. Cast me in with the "mawkish 14-year-old set" because I thought of Callahan's right away. (I know that the comment is 7 years old.) On the same vein, I'd probably love a midnight kitchen raid with Lazarus Long, to "top your tanks up."

                                                                                                              The Leaky Cauldron never seemed like it was the place for good food. I'd rather go into Hogsmeade to sample Madame Rosmerta's fine fare at the Three Broomsticks.

                                                                                                              I'd also like to get a sugarfix at the bakery in Robin McKinley's "Sunshine" even though I don't have much of a sweet tooth.

                                                                                                              I find much of the description of restaurants in fiction, particularly in mysteries, to be overwrought and therefore not as appealing or believable. One exception was a decription of a clambake in a Trixie Belden mystery I came across as a kid. It took me 25 years to finally get to one and satisfy that itch.

                                                                                                              1. I've always loved the idea of the diner from 'Atlas Shrugged' where Dagny, on her search to figure out who is John Galt, finds the world's greatest living philosopher cooking at an isolated diner in Wyoming. Before she realizes who he is, she is almost moved to tears by his deft and elegant handling of the simple food he prepares.

                                                                                                                At least that's how I remember it.

                                                                                                                1. I always wanted to go to Mel’s Diner and talk old movies with Vera, or go to a party catered by the Stanislavski Catering Co. from Hannah and Her Sisters (or at least be invited to that lavish Thanksgiving table!)

                                                                                                                  If only I could go to Seinfeld’s diner and hang out with George and Elaine...

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                                                                                                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                    Joe's Diner for pie at the 2007 indie film Waitress.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                      That brings to mind the diner in Twin Peaks - cherry pie and hot black coffee sound really good about now.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                        The diner in the pilot was real but in the rest of the series it was a set. I've been to the one in the pilot several times, it's in North Bend Washington. It burned down at some point and the look changed somewhat when it was rebuilt but there is a lot of Twin Peaks memorabilia.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tofuburrito

                                                                                                                          Another vote for Cheers.

                                                                                                                          And the Italian restaurant in "Moonstruck."

                                                                                                                          1. re: kagoo

                                                                                                                            <And the Italian restaurant in "Moonstruck.">

                                                                                                                            That was The Grand Ticino. They made wonderful Tortellacci.

                                                                                                                    2. re: cuccubear

                                                                                                                      Right...and order the BIG SALAD...you know, it's like A SALAD, but BIGGER? :)

                                                                                                                    3. How about Holling's The Brick on Northern Exposure. It would be fun watching O'Connell(Maggie) punch Fleischman (Joel) in the nose and break it.

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                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                        The Norther exposure thing reminded me of another one that migh be fun for the atmosphere, the Dead Dog Cafe In Blossom, Alberta (If you're unfamilar with this one as anyone Canadian you know who listened to CBC back in the 80's or 90's)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                            Frasier was a long-lived successful series, but the brothers' restaurant Les Freres Heureuses (The Happy Brothers) was an unmitigated fiasco that lasted all of one night!
                                                                                                                            I'm suprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.

                                                                                                                      2. There are some really cool literary suggestions on this thread that make me want to get these books and read them. Especially the Nero Wolfe stuff, but all of it sounds good. I'm impressed by all these suggestions. I went through a Raymond Chandler phase and am pretty sure I read every one of his novels.

                                                                                                                        The thing I thought of is a bit less literary. In the movie Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega takes Mia Wallace out on a date, and she suggests a place called Jackrabbit Slim's. Turns out to be a burger joint where they have a twist competition. One of my favorite scenes, beautifully shot and the dancing is great.

                                                                                                                        I love a fading 70's cocktail lounge, and love the one in Jackie Brown called the Cockatoo Inn. I've mentioned that movie on this site before.

                                                                                                                        Great topic for a thread.

                                                                                                                        1. Butch's Place ( with Hoagy Carmichael at the piano) from one of my favorite movies-- "The Best Years of Our Lives"

                                                                                                                          Kitty Russel's Longbranch Saloon of "Gunsmoke" fame.

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                                                                                                                          1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                                                            The Longbranch! Of course!

                                                                                                                            Although if you're there for the food I think I'd still pick Nero Wolfe's place on West 35th St, with his famous chef Fritz. Either that or Brinkley Court at Market Snodsbury, where the amazing Anatole cooks for Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                                                              Butch's Place - good call!

                                                                                                                              I’ll add the train station tea room from Brief Encounter and the Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club from Austin Powers.

                                                                                                                            2. Since I live in Maryland and work in DC, "The Spot" from George Pelecanos' Nick Stefanos books.

                                                                                                                              1. I haven't read any other replies so I apologize if this has been posted 100x's already but hands down it's the bar in Star Wars!!!!

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                                                                                                                                1. God Bless Zombie Threads!

                                                                                                                                  The Silver Bullet from the old Coors commercials looked like a cool place for a drink of four.

                                                                                                                                  Then there's the BadaBing from "The Sopranos". I wouldn't mind a meal at Vesuvio from the same show.

                                                                                                                                  And Mel's Diner from "Alice".

                                                                                                                                  If anyone has read any of the books from "The Pot Thief" series, there is a bar/restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque that the main character goes to every day for margaritas and guacamole that sounds like a good place to kill some time.

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                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                                    I handled an insurance claim after Irene at the strip club that serves as the Bada Bing in the series

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                                      Oh yeah: The Crab Shack from "My name Is Earl".

                                                                                                                                    2. Old thread but a goodie, here goes, Louis Restaurant in the Bronx Looks like a nice, peaceful place, at least until Michael Corleone blasts his two dining companions, Virgil "the Turk" Sollozzo, and corrupt police captain McClosky. The Turk said the veal was the best in the city, good enough for me, and no innocent bystanders were hurt.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                        That was "pain in the ass innocent bystanders", per Clemenza.

                                                                                                                                      2. 10 Forward, of course!
                                                                                                                                        Love the glowing tables and multi-level chess games.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                                          Synthahol? Not for me. Maybe Guinan keeps a few bottles of the real stuff behind the bar.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                                            While I love the 10 Forward I think I'd have to go with Quark's.

                                                                                                                                          2. Callahan's Cross Time Saloon. good drinks and interesting people. I want the coffee machine.

                                                                                                                                            The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It take farm to table to a whole new level.

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                yup just like me, lots of other people like it too. wish someone would do a pop-up with them as the theme.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: tjinsf

                                                                                                                                                You do NOT want that coffee machine. Spider may have known sewers quite well, but he didn't know coffee.
                                                                                                                                                Unrested coffee sucks...
                                                                                                                                                That "fresh roasted" stuff you get from Stumptown (or the other places what know what they're doing) is at least a day old minimum (more likely two or three for a good rested batch), unless you beg & plead... and promise you won't use it for a few days.

                                                                                                                                              3. The Eolian, from Patrick Rothfuss's books. Not so much for the food, but the drink and the music.

                                                                                                                                                1. The Regal Beagle from Three's Company and Moe's from The Simpson's

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vealcheek

                                                                                                                                                    Regal Beagle good one, and this brings up some all time guy questions, Janet or Chrissie, Ginger or Mary Anne.

                                                                                                                                                  2. "Big Kahuna Burger! That's that Hawaiian burger joint! I hear they got some tasty burgers!"

                                                                                                                                                    -Pulp Fiction

                                                                                                                                                    Actually, the 50's themed place looked fun, too!

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                                                                                                      There are now some real Big Kahuna Burger eateries out there!

                                                                                                                                                      Jack Rabbit Slim's --- I'll have the Douglas Sirk Steak, bloody as hell.

                                                                                                                                                    2. The diner in Diner.

                                                                                                                                                      The Golden Horn bar in Barfly.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I have this thing for Penelope Cruz in Woman on Top. The exploding man in Monty Python's film, The Meaning of life.
                                                                                                                                                        .the Thief, the Cook and the Lover, Mostly Martha, Chocolat and of course Harold and Kumar go to White Castle!
                                                                                                                                                        Creepy Delacatessen and the wonderful film of Latin culture, Tortilla Soup. Damn, I'm getting hungry!

                                                                                                                                                        1. How about some shrimp poppers, pizza shooters, or extreme fajitas at Chothkie's as long as Jennifer Aniston is serving instead of too much flair wearing Brian.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. How about "Mom's" where the uber cool Peter Gunn hung out in the 60's.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Pop Tate's Chok-lit Shoppe, Riverdale, USA.

                                                                                                                                                              Who wouldn't have liked a hangout like that in high school?

                                                                                                                                                              1. Woody Harrelson as Pepper in “The Cowboy Way”. He and his partner eat at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                Waiter: How would you like your steaks cooked?
                                                                                                                                                                Pepper: Oh, just knock its horns off, wipe its nasty ass, and chunk it right here on this plate.

                                                                                                                                                                1. The Moon Under the Water pub from George Orwell's 1946 essay.

                                                                                                                                                                  Sadly less and less traditional pubs to be found in England now.

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                                                                                    Or then, at least according to GO. I was always particularly intrigued by the idea of ceramic beer mugs, which I had never seen in my life at the time I first read the essay.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tampopo, and wherever the omuraisu was prepared, in the movie Tampopo. Not that the locations are fictional in reality, but for the purposes of the movie they were.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. On Slings & Arrows the theatre company had their own in-house pub. I'd love to hang out there, drinking hard cider, and enjoying Frank and Cyril's witty ditties about Shakespeare.

                                                                                                                                                                      I also wouldn't mind trying the Quill and Tassel, the very upscale restaurant owned by The Hon Simon and his wife Minty on Posh Nosh. Although it seems haughty belittling of patrons is de rigeur there!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                                          Another one that comes to mind, The Bells and Motley (Agatha Cristie). Not only is the food noted as being good by Mr. Saterthwaite (and given that he is noted as an epicure, that is probably high praise) but you never know, Mr. Harley Quinn might be there and then interesting things would begin.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Seems like a pretty good floor show, compounding interest to pay for the meal seals the deal. I wonder if Thomas Keller has seen/read/heard this stuff?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Nick's Saloon in "The Time of Your Life" by William Saroyan.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I've enjoyed reading some of these responses - fun to see that this is an '02 thread, it seems that some fictional bars would have been born since the thread was started.

                                                                                                                                                                              for me, some of the classics- Rick's, Moe's, Cheers - very much fit. I would have liked to join the guys from Goodfellas for just one meal in the joint, too.

                                                                                                                                                                              I've got one obscure entry - if any of you have read the French mystery series featuring "le poulpe" (the Octopus), there's a cafe he always eats at. Does a great job of capturing the vibe of a random neighborhood cafe in Paris. Don't know exactly why that's the first one that came to mind, but it was.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Moe's Tavern from The Simpsons.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Has anyone said "Pie in the Sky"?

                                                                                                                                                                                  (from a British TV detective series of the same name...)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I can't believe I forgot to mention Big Wong's, from Kinky Friedman's mystery novels. Of course it is a very real restaurant (my favorite dish there is the congee) but in the context of his books it plays the role of a fictional place, just as his real friends do that he puts into his books as characters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                                                      Pommeroy's on Fleet street.. from Rumpole of the Bailey is a great one as is the Oxford Bar in Edinburgh in the Ian Rankin John Rebus series.(The latter may in fact be a real bar.. )

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                                                                        How I miss Rumpole with his Chateau of the River Thames wine and his wife, "She who must be obeyed."

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Oxford Bar is indeed a real bar. I hate that Rebus has been retired,,,

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                          Its not clear Rebus has been retired. The latest installment ends with him possibly being reinstated as the retirement laws have changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And there seriously were discussions in the Scottish parliament about mandatory retirement age simply because of Rebus. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Cop+fur...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, so I must have missed something. The last book I read ends when his gangster tipster was dying... and probably did die in hospital. Rebus was distraught he wasn't able to finally bring him to justice. Rebus jumps on the bed and shakes him furiously. The end. Thanks for the update.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. There is an American writer of British police procedurals named Martha Grimes who titled all 22 mystery novels after the names of British pubs. Her cast of zany, eccentric characters play a very large part in the novels. They gather in a pub called Jack and Hammer in the fictional village of Long Piddleton, where they try to assist the central character, Superintendent Richard Jury of New Scotland Yard, solve the crimes. Of course they always succeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Then there's a series of mysteries by Edward Sklepowich set in Venice. The main character, Urbino Mcintyre a resident of Venice and solver of crimes, hangs out at the non-fictional, very real, Caffè Florian.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Great idea for a thread. I haven't read through yet but did you tell us your favorites Rogue?
                                                                                                                                                                                        Well I am re-watching deep space nine so I have to mention Quark's and also the Klingon restaurant on the promenade and the Vegas bar running 26 hours a day in the holo suite. I want to sit at that bar and sip a two olive martini and listen to the hologram sing fly me to the moon. Not to mention the meal Odo and Kira didn't eat on their first date. Oysters Rockefeller, Caesar Salad and Chateubriand.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Not that I'm a big Hawaii lover but, a beer at the King Kamehameha Club with Rick, TC and Magnum would be kinda cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Anyone read the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher? It is set in Chicago and there is a bar that caters to wizards and such. Fantastic beer brewed by the owner and cheesesteaks to go with. Plus if Dresden shows up things get really exciting.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                              Always wanted to try one of Mac's special brews.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. John Lescroart's novels, which are set in San Francisco feature Dismas Hardy's pub, The Little Shamrock. Reportedly the place to go to enjoy a well poured Guinness.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Also featured in the series is Lou The Greeks, which has the distinction of serving Greek-Chinese fusion. Not likely to get a Michelin star, but kudos for the imagination.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Anyone for The Leaky Cauldron, The Three Broomsticks, Madam Puddifoot or The Hog's head?

                                                                                                                                                                                                Or (switching authors) Bayswater Inn?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can do that at Universal Studios in Florida. Speaking from experience - skip the Butterbeer. It is vile!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Skip Church's Bistro, Miss Temple's and the Bluth frozen banana stand from Arrested Development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. anyone up for the max - saved by the bell, where kids went to almost as much as school and no one had to pay for anything...ever. aside the jukebox.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    the peach pit for the original beverly hills, 90210 - everything looked delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Joe's Bar from the Highlander TV series. Great blues and the immortal male regulars there weren't too bad to look at, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. How about the palace in Little Mermaid. The chef seemed quite adept as long as the food wasn't moving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Arnold's from Happy Days, the quintessential 50's hang-out

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The Krusty Krab, where SpongeBob works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The bar in the bowling alley in The Big Labowsky. " Simetimes you eat the bar and sometimes, why the bar he eats you."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'd like to visit the diner in Oregon (some say it was Denny's Diner) where Jack Nicholson "tried" to eat and see if I could get an order of whole wheat toast without them holding the chicken salad. Alas, if this place truly does exist, I'm sure it's already been done....ad nauseum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant or upstairs at Fopa's"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Anyone remember the name of the resto Doc and co. go to in Inherent Vice? No, 'if you remember...', jokes