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Apr 17, 2013 07:19 AM

Does anyone remember the name of the Mexican rest on La Cienega?

It was on the West side of La Cienega between Santa Monica and Beverly (across from Coronet theatre) in a building that looked like it was designed as an Acapulco restaurant at one time. It's been closed for at least 10 years.

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  1. The building was built in the early 60's for a giant tiki restaurant called the Islander. It even had a thunderstorm and rain shower show nightly inside the restaurant, After it closed it became an Acapulco in the 80's and now been torn down.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      It was also the scene of the first restaurant from Roy Yamaguchi as an owner before his chain of "Roy's" began and was named for the address "385 North". We went a couple of times and really liked the food. I was also at the Islander as a high school student in the 60's. Talk about "high kitsch" the Islander was the photo that accompanied the definition in the Dictionary.

      1. re: wienermobile

        This is great history! I'm looking to see if anyone remembers the name of the mexican restaurant that took over the space after Acapulco (and before demolition).

        1. re: eatmuch

          Well, let's start with the one after 385 North and before Acapulco:

          "385 North is no more. The big, contemporary-style restaurant on N. La Cienega Boulevard, which opened with great fanfare in February of 1984, has turned into Rosalie's--a Southern California branch (or rather reinterpretation) of the popular San Francisco restaurant of the same name. Rosalie's will be operated by Bill Belloli, with Rick O'Connell (who is a woman) as executive chef, both of whom serve the same functions at the Bay Area original. A co-owner of 385, Don Salk, describes Rosalie's menu as "sort of a cross between the Ivy's and Trumps' in feeling, but of course very much its own thing.""

          1. re: Servorg

            At some point Hollywood Pies was operating out of that address.

      2. Can you give a better description and when exactly you think it closed down?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Moose

          I don't have that much more detail than I've given. It was a non-chain (or at least not a chain we'd ever heard of) mexican restaurant. It opened sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. I don't remember when it closed, but it has been at least 10-15 years. I found an article yesterday (using the street address provided by wienermobile, thanks for that) referencing the lease of the space to "El Paseo Cantina." That was probably the name because the facts (timing/location) matched, but I have to admit it didn't set off any bells of recognition!

          1. re: eatmuch

            This mystery really made me intrigued, because I thought I knew all the restaurants there and I'm reading this post and wondering if the OP was just misremembering the Acapulco. But nope.

            The El Paso Cantina Grill:

            It appears to have been related to a group of restaurants from the South Bay. I guess there is at least one still in Torrance. It must have been in the 385 North La Cienega spot briefly between Rosalie's and Acapulco.