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Jun 7, 2011 08:50 PM

Golden Bull in S.M. cyn

Been there 50 or 60 years, anybody tried it lately?

Golden Bull Restaurant
170 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

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  1. Can't imagine Don has changed the place in that period of time - why, it works.
    Same old food, with same old clientele.

    1. I was always under the impression that it was known as a gay bar. A couple of years ago, some friends moved to S.M. Canyon ( they are straight) and fell in love with the place. They love the ambiance, service, steaks, prices and the fact that it is very family-friendly restaurant. Our friend, described The Golden Bull as the quintessential neighborhood dive/steakhouse

      Golden Bull Restaurant
      170 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

      3 Replies
      1. re: maudies5

        It used to be more of a gay hangout in decades past, but times and the neighborhood have both changed. Don used to own the Friendship, the former gay bar just west of the Bull, but it closed as times and the neighborhood have changed.
        But the food was always good, drinks always quality, and the value was quite high.
        Prime Rib was always a good weekend recommendation.

        1. re: carter

          It was almost always referred to as the "Gay Bull" back in the day...Greg (owner of Stanley's in Sherman Oaks) older brother Jay lived right around the corner at one time.

          1. re: Servorg

            good thing he moved closer to Mo's in Burbank - the commute today would kill him.
            And Greg did not live far there either.

      2. Not in recent years - - but, I should.
        First began going there in the late 50's - - when Don was the bartender - - Even some Celebritiess in the Bar and i the Booths. Always had to have a Booth in the Bar - - Waited and Waited drinking Martini's - -
        I knew I had a drinking problem when I was having trouble standing up at the bar - - waiting for a booth and drinking Vodka on the Rocks !!
        LOL - - Sober now 37 years - -Maybe that is why I have not been back in a long time - -
        Best to Don !!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: BuddH

          You can grab drinks there before heading to Baldi.

        2. Went there maybe four or five years ago......

          Food was passable, had my kids with me so it was fine for them. Drinks were good. Decor was three's company meets Melrose place....kind of 70s & 80s mishmash.

          1. I seem to recall in the 70s there was a Golden Bull in West LA on Pico near Corinth. Then it became something else with a B name. Barkleys? Bentleys?
            No, wait it became Billingsley's which apparently is still there.

            14 Replies
              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                Whaddayamean, "a senior moment"? Is there any other kind?

                1. re: Servorg

                  That's it, but previously the sign said The Golden Bull (nothing about Billingsley's that I recall).
                  Was there a relationship between these Bulls?

                  1. re: mc michael

                    I don't think they are/were related. Originally (at least from what I've read/heard) the Golden Bull was originally just a bar named The Bull and was part of the gay scene that grew up in that little enclave that is the SM Canyon.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        I was raised nearby and your info is correct. A couple of years ago a nice family moved into the s.M. Canyon area and raved about the Golden Bull. I had never thought of it as a family restaurant, but our friends said that it was a great place to take their kids on Sunday evenings for a delicious, reasonably priced prime rib dinner. Re: Billingsley, I have heard that they are better known for lap dances than prime rib.

                        1. re: maudies5

                          There is a bikini dancer place next to Billingley's -- I've never read or heard of any connection.

                    2. re: Servorg

                      Sev, how's the food and drink at Binngingsleys ????

                      1. re: kevin

                        Reviews of Billingsley's on this board have been less than favorable -- key word would be "tired." They are stupid by having an online menu without prices on their website -- their steaks are a value by today's prices:


                        (I don't know how up-to-date the menu pages menu is.


                        kevin -- want to try it for lunch?

                        1. re: kevin

                          Billingsley's used to have a certain, shall we say, blue-hair charm about it. Cadillacs and old codgers showing up for the Early Bird special, and knocking back the (rather strong) drinks in the lounge. They had Green Goddess salad dressing on the menu, if you get my drift.

                          Sadly, I believe it has gone a bit downhill in recent years; and with the choo-choo train construction, they've lost one of their prime charms -- ample free parking has been usurped by the train path.

                          I do recall having decent pork chops there (and the aforementioned green-goop salad)...and the decor is amusing in an ersatz Wild West

                          (But I highly doubt there is any lap dancin' going on in the oldsters lounge area, contrary to another poster's intel. I mean, we are talkin' Depends here, people...)

                          1. re: spoonlicker

                            There was the spot next door with the lighthouse for those that liked their strippers to keep their clothes on. I think gone with the expo line.

                            1. re: jessejames

                              The place next door (before it became a non-nekkid "strip" club) used to be the beloved Kelbo's, famous for ghastly pseudo-Hawaiian food, flaming rum drinks (lovingly slapped together in a ceramic skull-mug by a crusty old bartendress), and FABULOUS tiki interior. It was a true classic, and is much missed.