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Far East Cafe (Little Tokyo)

Francesca Smith Jan 23, 2001 03:37 PM

I am doing research on this now-closed restaurant. Does anyone have any information on this formidable institution? I am looking for photos, menus, memories- whatever you have!

  1. e
    elisha Jan 24, 2001 05:00 AM

    it was featured in a scene of "farewell my lovely" with robert mitchum.

    I used to eat there when I was in high school. loved the boths. never ate upstairs, but heard some people got to.

    2 Replies
    1. re: elisha
      Jessica Ritz Jan 24, 2001 03:29 PM

      An obvious good bet is the downtown Central LA Library. Not only is the photo archive incredible, there's also a Southern California menu collection! I need to take a field trip and peruse stuff. You can start a search at: http://www.lapl.org/elec_neigh/index....

      1. re: Jessica Ritz
        jflorendo Jan 29, 2001 03:16 PM

        Random thoughts about this place:
        When I was a kid (late 1970's-80's) I used to come here with my family almost every other Sunday night. It's where I learned to love Chinese food (it took me a few years admittedly...), so my nostalgia for this place is quite strong. When in Little Tokyo I always walk by just to make sure that it hasn't reopened (no such luck). I loved the ambience of the place.. with those wooden closed-off booths and black tables. Very private, but extremely casual. The waiters all seemed ancient and would always remember us and joke with my mom and dad about us getting bigger.. then they seemed to start dying off. I used to love the almond duck, the wonton soup, and especially the pan fried chicken chowmein noodles (god, I'd kill to find this cooked exactly like it was there somewhere). Probably not the most creative menu.. but the place just oozed with an older classic LA tradition..(the Chinese restaurant equivalent of Musso's?) I think it was around during the Depression. After dinner we used to always walk and shop around Little Tokyo, especially the Ginza store in the outdoor mall. If this ever reopens, I'll be first in line, though I doubt it'll ever be the same.

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