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Nov 14, 2006 06:50 PM

Recommendations on classic, "old LA" restaurants

Hi there -

I am looking for a good dinner place that is a great, old LA restaurant. Along the lines of Hamburger Hamlet in BH...

Casual but elegant, big chairs, not snooty. The food doesnt have to be fabulous but it must be good.

Welcomes all kinds of people - young and old. West of LaBrea preferred, but I am open to all recommendations.


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  1. Musso & Frank, Pacific Dining Car.

    1 Reply
    1. Trader Vic's. I know it gets mixed reviews but the last time I was there this year the rack of lamb was great. Not exactly inexpensive. La Dolce Vida in Beverly Hills has been there for at least 40 years.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Hughlipton

        Trader Vic's is being torn down soon, so get it while you still can!

        1. re: hrhboo

          Is there a timeline on this? I'd like to go back in for one last over-priced Mai-Tai for old time's sake....

          1. re: cagey

            You know, I've heard numerous reports from people who have been there but I can't find any concrete information. If I find out anything more solid I'll report it here. It's always a good time for an over-priced Mai Tai!!

            1. re: hrhboo

              It's a sad sad day! Trader Vic's Beverly Hills is officially closed. Say goodbye to the best mai tai on the planet!

              1. re: odog

                Try Damons Steak house in Glendale for a different but excellent mai tai!

          2. re: hrhboo

            Is it just this one, or the whole chain that's being shut down?

        2. My family is the king of old school restaurants in LA (my 94 year old grandmother has lived in Beverly Hills since the 1930s).

          Some favorites include:

          La Dolce Vita, on little Santa Monica in BH

          Lawry's (La Cienega


          Madeo (Beverly Bl. just east of BH


          Madeo Restaurant
          Address: 8897 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
          Phone: (310) 859-0242

          Pacific Dining Car (Santa Monica)

          All are comfortable, big booth kinds of places, with good to great, if not exceptional, food. None are inexpensive.

          1. there are quite a few places that fit this bill throughout LA, but the only one where I really *feel* like I've been transported back to the past is the old Dresden room. Big cushy white seats, older bartenders in suit jackets who know what they're doing and are polite and chivalrous, and marty and elaine crooning on the other side of the wall. admittedly i haven't eaten here, only gone for drinks, so I can't say anyting about the quality of the food. They really win on ambiance though.


            2 Replies
            1. re: tannazie

              End up at Dresden periodically for meetings. It certainly fills the bill as one of the oldest places in the Los Feliz area (may, in fact be one of the oldest continuously operating relatively high end places in northern LA City - Taix and Tam O'Shanter are not at the same level). Plush booths, fancily dressed waiters, hushed atmosphere with live crooners occasionally. Competent chops and fish but not a food destination. The food doesn't reach the level of Musso and Frank's at its best, but I think it compares favorably on average. Not as expensive as M and F's ($25 entrees).
              If an old school place in this part of the City is your goal, you could do worse.

              1. re: tannazie

                I agree this is a classic. The food is good.

              2. Matteos on Westwood Blvd, b/w Olympic and Pico Blvds.