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Old L.A.- Where would Bogie eat?

randomsummer Apr 24, 2007 07:16 PM


I'm a Seattleite heading to L.A. for the first time this week. I have four days to eat and on one of them I'd really like to hit up a classic, Old Hollywood place. A place where Bogie & Bacall might have dined...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! And if you visit Seattle I'll tell you where to get the best Thai I've ever had!

Thanks :)


  1. b
    BSW6490 Aug 6, 2009 02:50 PM

    Dan Tana or Pepponi

    1. r
      randomsummer Jul 26, 2009 04:44 PM

      Hi there! I only used Chowhound the once to find the answer to this Q. Now that I'm asking again for S.F., I wanted to belatedly thank you guys for all of your help with the L.A. query. We visited Musso & Frank's and it was perfect. I loved the red-coated waiters and the frozen-in-time quality of everything in the place, including my spaghetti and my friends' steak, and especially my sidecar glass that came with a sidecar of sorts :)

      I found a set of barware like that at Value Village once, but I don't know the proper term for it: it's a smaller martini-style glass with rounded edges, and an accompanying glass that looks like a mini milk jug.

      My only regret is not getting parking validated... thanks again!! I was overwhelmed with the great responses, and I can't wait to visit again and try more of your picks.


      7 Replies
      1. re: randomsummer
        lil mikey Jul 26, 2009 07:09 PM

        The best Sidecar in town is at Lucques. They make their own simple syrup from scratch.

        1. re: lil mikey
          Jennalynn Jul 27, 2009 10:04 AM

          Can you buy simple syrup? It's just sugar and water. I thought everyone made it themselves.

          1. re: Jennalynn
            lil mikey Jul 28, 2009 03:00 PM

            Whatever they do with it, it's delicious. And it tastes different from others I've had. The explanation they gave me was that the pastry chef made the simple syrup each night especially for this drink. Maybe they use confectioners sugar or something else that's unique. Whatever they do, it's quite tasty.

            1. re: Jennalynn
              Bjartmarr Jul 28, 2009 05:19 PM

              Yes, you can now buy simple syrup at Trader Joe's. I was a little surprised too.

            2. re: lil mikey
              Burger Boy Jul 27, 2009 10:27 AM

              I think theat they meant the extra pour from the martini was put into a small vessal called a sidecar.

              1. re: Burger Boy
                JPomer Jul 29, 2009 03:34 PM

                I'm with burger boy, 'cept maybe the sidecar came with a sidecar at Musso

              2. re: lil mikey
                SugarFrosted Jul 27, 2009 02:16 PM

                Yes! And they use cognac instead of brandy. It's awesome! They're also serving it at Tavern. It's so smooth. Hands down the best Sidecar in L.A.

            3. Beach Chick May 12, 2007 11:32 AM

              Polo Lounge and Dan Tana's

              1. m
                mwn Apr 30, 2007 02:16 PM

                Where is the best Thai? Wild Ginger?

                3 Replies
                1. re: mwn
                  purediva May 11, 2007 06:03 PM

                  For a Bogie vibe, head to Carlitos Gardel, an old school-swank Argentinian place that has live Tango music on the weekends. Great big juicy steaks and garlic fries.

                  1. re: purediva
                    mardy May 12, 2007 10:05 AM

                    If after reading all this, you're gonna choose Musso and Frank's or La Dolce Vita, forget the former and go with the latter. There is absolutely no comparison. Musso and Frank's you go to once, mainly because it's totally unremarkable. La Dolce Vita you'll go back to next time you're in Los Angeles.

                    Of course, if your stack of chips is high enough, consider dining at the Beverly Hills Hotel or the Hotel Bel Air on Stone Canyon Drive. The ghosts of old Hollywood are alive and well at these places....

                    1. re: mardy
                      mc michael May 12, 2007 11:12 AM

                      That's true there is the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

                2. pinotgrisgirl Apr 30, 2007 09:35 AM

                  I would think that The Bounty restaurant in the Mid-Wilshire district would have attracted Bogie. Stiff drinks and great steak. Also, The Galley on Main Street in Santa Monica.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pinotgrisgirl
                    mc michael Apr 30, 2007 04:24 PM

                    I can maybe see them there though I suspect they would go to Chez Jay over the Galley.

                  2. m
                    mc michael Apr 25, 2007 07:17 AM

                    Another possibility is Marino's on Melrose--very old school Italian. Paramount types often hang there. Jimmy's in Century City would have been good, but I think that's history. Maybe, Le Dome on Sunset. I could also see them at the Turf Club at Santa Anita, but it's the wrong time of year.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mc michael
                      pinpei Apr 29, 2007 05:28 PM

                      Yes, Jimmy's is long gone. As is Le Dome.

                    2. smak34 Apr 25, 2007 01:48 AM

                      Dan Tana's (old school italian), Trader Vics, Formosa Cafe, Canter's Deli, Paul's Kitchen (Downtown LA)

                      1. f
                        frostbitn99 Apr 25, 2007 12:21 AM

                        Hello fellow Seattleite! I would check out Musso & Frank's on Hollywood. A very old Hollywood steak house. Also, the Formosa Cafe is very old Hollywood as well (was featured in the movie L.A. Confidential). http://formosacafe.com/

                        And if you want good Thai, check out Chao Krung on Fairfax or a little hole in the wall in Santa Monica on SM Blvd - Talay Thai. Chao Krung has much better atmosphere, but my boyfriend who is Thai loves Talay Thai.

                        Have a great trip!

                        1. j
                          JeetJet Apr 24, 2007 11:34 PM

                          Lawry's The Prime Rib on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Do not forget the hot fudge sundae made with C.C. Browns Hot Fudge sauce.
                          Make a reservation ASAP


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: JeetJet
                            JeetJet Apr 25, 2007 12:04 AM

                            Another old place is the Tam. Bogie is just a few blocks away at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale. Do not forget the hot fudge sundae made with C.C. Browns Hot Fudge sauce.

                            Tam O'Shanter
                            2980 Los Feliz Boulevard
                            Los Angeles, California 90039
                            (323) 664-0228

                            1. re: JeetJet
                              bulavinaka Apr 29, 2007 08:41 PM

                              Good call, Jeet. Tam O'Shanter was another go-to place for the Hollywood elite since the 20's... grilled artichokes and the Prince Charlie, please...

                          2. m
                            mc michael Apr 24, 2007 10:49 PM

                            I saw Bacall a few years back at Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. In the old days, I think they'd eat where they could smoke. Today, I think they'd show up at Cut in BH or 7 Grand downtown before dinner at Roy's.

                            1. Jennalynn Apr 24, 2007 07:54 PM

                              There are only a few places left... and they may not be what you would consider current Hollywood Glamour!

                              You didn't say the food had to be great.

                              For my money, I'd say drinks and bar appetizers at Trader Vics and dinner at Musso's.

                              Musso & Franks 6667 Hollywood Blvd. 323-467-7788. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm (since 1919)

                              Trader Vic's - 9876 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210 310-276-6345 (since 1955)

                              The Formosa Cafe 7156 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, Monday-Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday-Sunday 6pm-2am.
                              323-850-9050, since 1929

                              Micelis 1646 N. Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood (323) 466-3438 (one block off of Hollywood Blvd.), since 1949.

                              Pacific Dining Car, 1310 West Sixth Street Los Angeles, CA 90017 213-483-6000, since 1921.

                              The Smoke House, 4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 845-3731 ( since 1946 )

                              There are other restaurants of that era that Bogie and Lauren likely did frequent, but not on a dress up night.

                              Canters Deli
                              Pinks Hot dogs
                              The Pantry
                              El Coyote
                              El Cholo
                              Langers Deli
                              Pig 'n' Whistle

                              19 Replies
                              1. re: Jennalynn
                                randomsummer Apr 24, 2007 08:01 PM

                                ah, wonderful! yes i'm not thinking of the quality of the food so much as the atmosphere, but it's nice to know that some of them do match up. i should've mentioned that i do want to dress up, although if i'll be turned away for not wearing designer frocks i suppose that'd be good to know. :)

                                1. re: randomsummer
                                  markethej Apr 24, 2007 08:02 PM

                                  This is LA; there is no dress code!

                                  1. re: randomsummer
                                    Jennalynn Apr 24, 2007 08:06 PM

                                    For a more upscale moment, I would say have drinks & apps at Trader Vics. It's very old Hollywood, and fun. (and plan on taking a taxi, those "Polynesian" cocktails complete with floating gardenias pack a wallop, have the Scorpion!) But avoid the dining room - overpriced and underwhelming.

                                    Musso & Franks is not dress up, but it is old old Hollywood.

                                    1. re: Jennalynn
                                      Golem Apr 30, 2007 01:56 PM

                                      TV's is closed. Musso and Frank's food is really only so-so. Great classic martinis, however. There's also Taylor's (I think that's the name) Steak House on Western, or the Pacific Dining Car, downtown. The PDC is supposed to have the best steaks in the downtown area.

                                  2. re: Jennalynn
                                    carter Apr 24, 2007 08:04 PM

                                    The reason most of these places are still here is nostalgia - it surely isn't the food, PDC, Musso and Langers notwithstanding!
                                    ps - Cole's is closed for the moment, btw!

                                    1. re: carter
                                      ellen4441 Apr 24, 2007 08:31 PM

                                      also there is the Buggy Whip, known for their steaks and prime rib, and their homemade green goddess dressing. They are located on La Tijera, a few miles from LAX......... I remember red velvet booths, and their is usually nightly entertainment on the piano

                                      1. re: ellen4441
                                        nyfoodjoe Apr 24, 2007 09:08 PM

                                        God bless the Buggy Whip....ask for Daisy what a doll
                                        Also ...La Dolce Vita

                                        1. re: ellen4441
                                          Hughlipton Jul 28, 2009 04:53 PM

                                          It weas a place where the infamous Mickey Cohen used to dine. Talk about Los Angeles history.

                                          1. re: Hughlipton
                                            JeetJet Jul 28, 2009 10:35 PM

                                            Now I would like to sit at a red booth in the seat Micky's girl, Candy Barr, sat at. Old school ambiance don't get better than that.

                                        2. re: carter
                                          Griller141 Apr 30, 2007 09:39 PM

                                          Don't mess with Langer's on this Board...Nostalgia or not, it's the best pastrami or corned beef on rye in this part of the world. Can't argue with you about Musso's or PDC though.

                                        3. re: Jennalynn
                                          yogachik Apr 24, 2007 09:03 PM

                                          Don't forget the places where they would eat later in life - places like Mateos, Dan Tanas, Nate n Als, Peppones, La Scala (alas, no longer in its original location), Chez Jay..

                                          Too bad we no longer have Scandia, Brown Derby, Chasens, Gatsbys...

                                          1. re: yogachik
                                            randomsummer Apr 24, 2007 09:40 PM

                                            so awesome, i am getting on the plane very soon and can't wait to have my drink @ trader vics and dinner at musso's. you guys rock!

                                            1. re: randomsummer
                                              mcmal Apr 25, 2007 03:34 AM

                                              Be warned, Musso's (a place I go and love, but usually justm for drinks) doesn't have such great food. Take that into account when ordering.

                                              But the suggestion for Dan Tanas is pretty good. Not nearly as old as Musso's but old enough, and old school. You can still find old Hollywood types hanging out there until 2AM.

                                              1. re: mcmal
                                                Jennalynn Apr 25, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                Except that Dan Tana's opened a decade after Bogie died.

                                                So it depends on how literal the OP is ; )

                                              2. re: randomsummer
                                                modbetty May 9, 2007 11:01 AM

                                                where did you end up going? What did you think? We're getting on the plane tomorrow for LA and would love to hear about your experiences!!

                                            2. re: Jennalynn
                                              msmd310 Apr 30, 2007 02:06 PM

                                              The Formosa Cafe...med. food, but good call
                                              it is featured in a scene in L.A. Confidential
                                              definitely in the Noir vein

                                              1. re: Jennalynn
                                                tony michaels Apr 30, 2007 02:12 PM

                                                I think the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills definitely qualifies for a "Bogie & Bacall" type of place. Hard drinkers and real food with that NY vibe.

                                                1. re: Jennalynn
                                                  robwein May 11, 2007 04:44 PM

                                                  I'm sure he would (and probably did) eat at Nickodell"s on Melrose sandwiched between a couple of major studios.

                                                  1. re: robwein
                                                    DanaB May 11, 2007 05:25 PM

                                                    The Nickodell has been closed for around 10 years.

                                                2. m
                                                  markethej Apr 24, 2007 07:54 PM

                                                  Musso and Franks is definately prime old-Hollywood. Also, there's a restaurant in Beveryly Hills called La Dolce Vita which is very upscale Italian. Food is finished off tableside. The maitre'd takes all the orders. Very Old School. It's more Rat Pack than Bogie, but could be another contender for you. It was one of Sinatra's hangs.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: markethej
                                                    pinpei Apr 24, 2007 08:02 PM

                                                    Great call.

                                                    Also in the Sinatra vein, Dominick's on Beverly in West Hollywood. The Chairman of the Board used to own it.

                                                    1. re: markethej
                                                      LisaStitch Apr 30, 2007 11:11 AM

                                                      I love La Dolce Vita - great great service and I absolutely love everything I've eaten there. In addition to Sinatra (whose music they usually play in the restaurant), the Reagans frequented it - there is even "The Reagan Booth" you can sit at.

                                                      Love the Trader Vic's rec too for some really fun drinks.

                                                      1. re: LisaStitch
                                                        Jesdamala Apr 30, 2007 02:13 PM



                                                        It seems Trader Vic's has closed. Bummer if true!

                                                    2. Suebee Apr 24, 2007 07:52 PM

                                                      On the more casual side, you may want to also try The Apple Pan (great burgers) and Phillipes (french dips).



                                                      Also you'll want to stop in at the Farmer's Market at Fairfax and Third. Our usual standby is Loteria for beef tacos, but Dupar's is good too, especially for a piece of pie.


                                                      All have been around forever. Have a great time in our city!

                                                      1. monku Apr 24, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                        If you're in Hollywood you should definitely cruise by "Thai Town" about 15 blocks east of Musso & Frank on Hollywood Blvd. between Western Avenue and Normandie Ave..
                                                        You'll find so many Thai restaurants and businesses your head will spin.

                                                        Los Angeles has the largest Thai population outside of Thailand with 66% of all Thai Americans living in Los Angeles.

                                                        On weekends there's the Wat Thai Buddhist Temple in North Hollywood where they have several food booths of Thai food ranging from $1-$5/dish. A Chowhound trough for Thai food.

                                                        1. p
                                                          pinpei Apr 24, 2007 07:31 PM

                                                          I would also go to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The weather will be great, so call to reserve an outside table. Or, if you don't want to go to the Polo Lounge, one of my favorite spots is the coffee shop at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It's downstairs from the lobby (make a left on the way to the Polo Lounge). It's a counter only, and they don't take reservations, so grab a seat when one opens up. I think it's the best (but certainly not the cheapest!) breakfast in LA (they also do a very good lunch). Also, there's great people watching there.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: pinpei
                                                            randomsummer Apr 24, 2007 07:41 PM

                                                            thanks so much you two!

                                                          2. monku Apr 24, 2007 07:26 PM

                                                            I'm sure Bogie & Bacall (along with Orson Wells,Ernest Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin) dined there. It's been there since 1919. Oldest Restaurant in Hollywood.

                                                            One thing to order if its the right time of day is their famous flannel cakes.

                                                            Musso & Frank Grill
                                                            Los Angeles
                                                            6667 Hollywood Boulevard

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: monku
                                                              JeetJet Apr 25, 2007 12:44 AM

                                                              The OP has had me reading about Bogie all night. Yep, he ate here. What more is good to eat here? I read that Bogie ate eggs and ham for lunch at another place. Does Musso & Frank Grill have that at lunch time?


                                                              1. re: JeetJet
                                                                Hughlipton Jul 28, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                Don't know if they do but I do know they have Red Flannel Hash

                                                                1. re: JeetJet
                                                                  Servorg Jul 28, 2009 05:42 PM

                                                                  I was under the impression that M & F's stopped serving their breakfast items at 3 PM (which certainly included the excellent flannel cakes) but I'm not sure if that covers the hash or not?

                                                                  Just to clear this up I called M & F and it's ONLY the flannel cakes that have the 3 PM cut off. Everything else in the breakfast arena is served all day long until they close.

                                                              2. p
                                                                pinpei Apr 24, 2007 07:19 PM

                                                                Musso & Frank is the most classic restaurant in Hollywood. It never had the glitz and glamour of, say, Romanoff's or Perino's (both long gone), but it's been around forever (1919) and is still a favorite.

                                                                6667 Hollywood Boulevard

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: pinpei
                                                                  Burger Boy Apr 24, 2007 07:25 PM

                                                                  I second that, all in favor say I. Have the Martini.

                                                                  1. re: pinpei
                                                                    bllrdfam Jul 28, 2009 09:02 PM

                                                                    IMHO Musso and Frank is a place to go to once for the historical value - I'm glad we went, but I won't be back - too many other places with better environment, food, and service.

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