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Musso & Frank: Love It or Hate It.

c
cujo May 26, 2013 07:39 PM

I love it. But I may be in the minority on this board. Here's why I love the place:
1. The food is consistent and well prepared.
2. The portions are more than ample. I usually take home half of my meal.
3. Every menu item i have experienced has always been spot on. My current favorites are the fried oysters, calves liver w/ grilled onions, flannel cakes, chicken pot pie, and for dessert, the torten. I also love to drink Arnold Palmer's. Their bardenders know how to make them better than any other restaurant I know.
4. Food aside, the place is quiet. You can actually have a conversation without raising your voice.
5. They are open all day. No such thing as a lunch menu or dinner menu.
Just one extensive menu, day or evening. Hungry at 3pm? No problem.
6. The waiters and management are professional and friendly, without being obtrusive.
7. They have free parking for 2 hours in their own private parking lot. The attendants are careful with every vehicle they park. You won't find new dents or scratches when you return.
8. I am a sucker for nostalgia, especially vintage Hollywood style. This place reeks of silent screen and early talkies movie stars.
9. If you are alone , you have the option to sit in a small booth or their elegant counter. Diners at the counter tend to chat with each other about their favorite menu items. It's fun.

Please share your Musso Frank dining experiences, both good and bad,

  1. e
    Ernie May 31, 2013 07:21 AM

    Love it. Steaks and fries are good especially with their excellent Béarnaise, their Roquefort is amazing, and martinis are second to none.

    My family has been going here for many years and I find it to be a very comforting experience having dinner there, especially in the Old Room. The old-school service is unlike anything else in the area, and a refreshing change from the typical aloof transplant/actor/server types you so often come across in Los Angeles.

    1. westsidegal May 30, 2013 09:29 PM

      didn't love it nor hate it.
      always felt that it was meh.

      in my expense account days, i'd normally steer the meeting to Pacific Dining Car downtown to avoid M&Fs.

      just liked the PDC food and service much better.

      maybe because i wasn't brought up in LA, i have no nostalgia for "the old days in LA."

      the martinis at Pacific Dining Car were just FINE as were the steaks, the bread, the wine list, and the potatoes.
      the service at PDC was always attentive, efficient, and unobtrusive.

      musso and franks just never seemed to measure up to the PDC standards.. . . .

      1. s
        susiequeue May 30, 2013 06:51 PM

        I am with Cujo! I am a love.

        But you don't go for the food... or if you crave cutesy chatty service... or if you want to be where all the hip foodies go. You also don't go if you're on a budget.

        You go for the Old Hollywood feel. It is amazing. It is, of course, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and you can sense Raymond Chandler talking up Scott Fitzgerald in the next seat. Maybe James Cain sat over there; surely a Huston or two dined over there.

        That's why I love it. And, God willing, they can't take that away from me!

        1. Tom P May 29, 2013 12:14 PM

          Love it. Love it, love it, love it. Sure there are land mines on the menu. But most of the food is very good and some of the food is terrific. I love all the 'improvements' 'the kids' have made in the last year or two, from taking reservations, to better wine, to returning to the side caddies for cocktails etc. I've been trying to branch out and try different things, which has been fun.

          The Macaroni Au Gratin, for instance, is unlike any mac-n-cheese you have ever had, and so good.

          The chicken with many cloves of garlic, which is a whole boneless chicken, wow, amazing. The sauce is to die for.

          And I can never get enough of the sand dabs, even though I love their grilled filet and the pork chop.

          1. f
            Fig Newton May 29, 2013 10:59 AM

            I have a total addiction to their roquefort dressing, and really enjoy their salads in general. We had a good meal there recently ... it's actually a great place for vegetarians with all their good veggie sides (my aunt asked for the asparagus to be put on the grill, and they happily obliged).

            2 Replies
            1. re: Fig Newton
              k
              kevin May 29, 2013 11:09 AM

              Yeah, but that grill does have a hell of a lot of beef and pork grease on there.

              1. re: kevin
                f
                Fig Newton May 29, 2013 11:11 AM

                Yes, agreed. I chose not to remind her of that. ;)

            2. r
              rickym13 May 28, 2013 11:48 PM

              love their classic martini :)

              1. c
                CastironJim May 28, 2013 03:35 PM

                I love Musso's but it is changing.

                Friday night for dessert I ordered one of my faves, the rice pudding. The rice pudding usually comes as a round scoop in bowl with Chantilly cream poured over the top, but not tonight. The rice pudding was delivered in a large tulip dish with cinnamon sprinkled on top. No Chantilly cream, nor even a dollop of whipped cream adorned the dish. I called over the manager and told him how after enjoying Musso's wonderful rice pudding for decades, this was a complete disappointment. They graciously took the dessert away.

                The manager couldn't comment on any change as he had been there for less than a year.

                Seems they also changed the breading on their onion rings, I prefer what they had before.

                Musso & Frank is a palace of tradition; I'm sorry to see them fixing things that aren't broken.

                4 Replies
                1. re: CastironJim
                  l
                  latindancer May 28, 2013 04:12 PM

                  I know :).

                  It's those little, quiet, innocuous, unnecessary changes that begin.
                  An old regular notices the wonderful cream isn't there, the bowl has changed, the size is a little smaller.
                  A younger 'I know how to make things better' creeps in.
                  Nothing needs to be fixed.
                  Leave everything alone.

                  1. re: latindancer
                    c
                    CastironJim May 28, 2013 07:31 PM

                    The size was actually larger but the without the Chantilly cream it was a one note dessert not worth eating.

                  2. re: CastironJim
                    c
                    cujo May 28, 2013 04:17 PM

                    I wonder if they would be willing to serve the original, upon request. Worth asking. The chef is very familiar with the original rice pudding recipe. He grew up eating everything on the menu because his father had a house account. Talk to him. He's a very nice guy.
                    The flannel cakes are now smaller than they used to be, I remember when they were so large, they would hang over the circumference of the plate. Now they are the same size as the plate. Probably better for my waistline. But still-----
                    I agree that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

                    1. re: cujo
                      k
                      kevin May 28, 2013 04:22 PM

                      They also added an official website in the past year or two.

                  3. t
                    Thor123 May 28, 2013 12:01 PM

                    Its been years since I was there, but once upon a time, Musso had a great open face hot turkey sandwich with thick, hot fries. Other than that can offer no insight (other than I am positive Dan Tana's should have been on Gold's 101 ahead of Musso).

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: Thor123
                      c
                      cujo May 28, 2013 12:25 PM

                      I haven't been to Dan Tana's for many decades. It's a great old school restaurant and always crowded I loved their food and especially their dessert called Giovanni's Parfait.
                      Thanks for reminding me. I will go there this week, for old times sake.
                      Gold isn't big on restaurants that existed before he was born.
                      Tana's, as well as Musso's fall into that category.

                      1. re: cujo
                        k
                        kevin May 28, 2013 01:27 PM

                        What about the apple pan ?

                        Phillipes ?

                        PDC ?

                        Ciros ?

                        El Tepeyac ?

                        Mussos, of course.

                        These are all older restaurants that he likes.

                        1. re: kevin
                          c
                          cujo May 28, 2013 01:51 PM

                          Gold likes Musso's? Does he say which menu items he likes best?

                          1. re: cujo
                            PeterCC May 28, 2013 01:58 PM

                            "Musso's, if you look at it a certain way, is a living museum of 1920s American cuisine: the avocado cocktails, crab Louie, jellied consommé, grilled lamb kidneys and Wednesday sauerbraten that William Faulkner and Charlie Chaplin used to enjoy, presumably after they had lubricated their insides with gin. If you grew up in Hollywood, the waiters are likely the same ones who used to bring you flannel cakes when you were a kid. Mixology has made great strides in the last 94 years, but Manny is still the guy you want making your martini. And although you can undoubtedly find more dependable steaks and chops and sautéed petrale sole in Los Angeles now, it always feels like a privilege to slide into one of the booths underneath the faded mural and contemplate your first bourbon of the evening."

                            1. re: PeterCC
                              k
                              kevin May 28, 2013 02:40 PM

                              Thanks Pete.

                              You responded even better than I could have.

                              Did you purchase a copy from the newstand or gain access to a digital copy on the website ?

                              1. re: kevin
                                PeterCC May 28, 2013 03:19 PM

                                Digital.

                              2. re: PeterCC
                                k
                                kevin May 28, 2013 02:41 PM

                                Btw, I also agree with his sentiments regarding Manny. He's truly a class act. And the first thing I have to do when ever I go there is grab a couple drinks at the bar.

                          2. re: cujo
                            t
                            Thor123 May 28, 2013 01:38 PM

                            If you go to Tana's make sure to ask to sit in the front (bar) dining room. Also, highly recommend the Chicken Beckerman (but only with dark meat) or the Steak & Peppers. Have fun.

                            1. re: Thor123
                              k
                              kevin May 28, 2013 02:42 PM

                              I highly recommend the one-pound Dabney Coleman (prime New York strip) and get the sliced tomatoes or a salad for the side, instead of the obligatory pasta, which is pedestrian and perfunctory if you ask me.

                            2. re: cujo
                              Will Owen May 28, 2013 01:44 PM

                              But he DID put M&F on his 101 Best list, cujo.

                              I've been staying out of this because I've been there exactly once, and that was almost 30 years ago, but I immediately recognized that we'd entered both a time-warp and a Legend. The polite, attentive service for two out-of-towners who were getting only sandwiches and iced tea, and the long list of old-fashioned homey dishes on the menu, made a simple lunch pretty special … although that was the most expensive corned beef on rye I'd ever ordered. But it was very good. And I don't know if the jacket rule was in effect in the mid-'80s, but nobody said diddley to me about it.

                              Anyway, it's a trek from Pasadena, I've got a lot of handier options - including other sources for liver and onions - so I've not been back even though I'm a lot closer than Tennessee now. But it's good to know that there's still one place I could order a martini and not have to specify gin, nor ask that the vermouth be an actual ingredient.

                              1. re: Will Owen
                                k
                                kevin May 28, 2013 02:45 PM

                                :)

                                I think you might enjoy a return visit after all those years in your case, Will.

                                Caveat emptor (but you probably already know this): The prices are even more expensive now. The corned beef on rye is about 17 bucks now. No clue how much it would have been in the mid 80s.

                                Here are my recs again (if anyone has any interest in checking it out but I do agree with another post that you are either going to hate this place or love it):

                                Flannel cakes.

                                Crab louise.

                                French fried potatoes with bernaise sauce.

                                Grenadine of beef.

                                Hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.

                                Mac n cheese.

                                Bread and butter pudding.

                                Diplomat pudding.

                                And the mixed drinks at the bar are textbook-perfect. Each one running the gamut from the venerated martinis to the grasshoppers are paragons of the genre.

                                Btw. Ask for the off the menu Ecuadorian Special.

                                1. re: kevin
                                  wienermobile May 28, 2013 02:56 PM

                                  & The Chicken Pot Pie....

                                  1. re: wienermobile
                                    l
                                    latindancer May 28, 2013 03:07 PM

                                    & The Lobster Thermidor

                                2. re: Will Owen
                                  l
                                  latindancer May 28, 2013 03:07 PM

                                  I love the Liver and Onions at Musso and Frank.

                                  I ordered it at Dan Tana's one time and that was enough for me...
                                  It wasn't at all the way it should be prepared and I ended up leaving the majority of it on the plate.
                                  Where do you go for yours may I ask?

                                  1. re: latindancer
                                    c
                                    cujo May 28, 2013 10:51 PM

                                    FYI Dan Tana's used to serve a pasta dish called chicken livers caruso. It tastes nothing like grilled calves liver with onions.
                                    .

                                    1. re: cujo
                                      l
                                      latindancer Jun 7, 2013 06:47 PM

                                      <It tastes nothing like grilled calves liver with onions>

                                      I didn't order the 'pasta dish called chicken livers caruso. I ordered the calves liver and onions.
                                      It was not prepared the traditional way.

                                      1. re: latindancer
                                        c
                                        cujo Jun 7, 2013 07:01 PM

                                        I believe you. It's unfortunate that you had that experience.

                                        1. re: cujo
                                          m
                                          maudies5 Jun 7, 2013 09:31 PM

                                          My husband always orders the liver and onions at The Grill in Beverly Hills. He has also had the Musso version. Prefers the Grill's Liver and Onions.

                                          1. re: maudies5
                                            c
                                            cujo Jun 8, 2013 06:54 AM

                                            I will go to the Grill and order their liver & onions. Thanks for the tip.

                                            1. re: cujo
                                              t
                                              Thor123 Jun 8, 2013 05:20 PM

                                              Love liver and onions. Was going to order the liver special at Osteria Angelini but was talked into the pork chop. Was good, but should have gone liver.

                                              1. re: Thor123
                                                c
                                                cujo Jun 8, 2013 11:56 PM

                                                I will give it a try. It's a fine restaurant.

                            3. k
                              kevin May 27, 2013 03:32 PM

                              I'm in the complete minority in this one.

                              I LOVE IT.

                              But in my opinion not all of the food is good.

                              My favorites:

                              Flannel cakes.

                              Crab louise.

                              French fried potatoes with bernaise sauce.

                              Grenadine of beef.

                              Hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.

                              Mac n cheese.

                              Bread and butter pudding.

                              Diplomat pudding.

                              And the mixed drinks at the bar are textbook-perfect. Each one running the gamut from the venerated martinis to the grasshoppers are paragons of the genre.

                              Btw. Ask for the off the menu Ecuadorian Special.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kevin
                                c
                                cujo May 27, 2013 08:54 PM

                                Please tell me about the Ecuadorian Special. Is it food or an alcoholic beverage? Thanks.

                                1. re: cujo
                                  k
                                  kevin May 28, 2013 01:27 PM

                                  It's a mixed drink. There's alcohol in there.

                              2. f
                                farmertomato May 27, 2013 12:43 PM

                                Older restaurants can serve as relief for those of us burnt out on the trendy memes of the moment in the dining world. Cute ingredients and alternative preparations are loved by food critics because they give them something to write about, but a lot of younger people really don't have a firm grasp of the difference between good and bad in many areas, including music and mealtime. Enduring the decibel level at Little Dom's makes me crave a Musso's meal, even if it's not as well-prepared. It's the experience, and if you don't like the Musso's experience, PLEASE stay away for your sake and ours.

                                1. Gypsy Jan May 27, 2013 12:24 PM

                                  I was privileged to be entertained at Musso and Frank, the Brown Derby, the Dal Rae and Scandia by a certain class of gentleman who has long vanished from the scene.

                                  I vividly remember my wonderment at the atmosphere, the scene and courtly service by a professional class of waitstaff who have probably been long retired.

                                  The food I don't remember at all - except for the presentation of the Cobb salad at the Brown Derby.

                                  I totally understand why people go to Musso and Frank to recreate the memories and the magic.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Gypsy Jan
                                    l
                                    latindancer May 27, 2013 12:30 PM

                                    I know exactly what you mean.

                                    Aaah....that 'certain class of gentleman'. Manners. Class.
                                    The memories and the feelings.
                                    It's nice to know there are others, like you, who are able to describe what people like me remember.

                                    1. re: Gypsy Jan
                                      b
                                      brandygirl May 27, 2013 04:36 PM

                                      Well said. We've lost so many good old-school restaurants. It's not just the memories that bring me back to Musso's, but the type of service and atmosphere. Mostly, though, I go back for their Welsh Rarebit. I don't know anywhere else to get it in L.A.

                                      1. re: brandygirl
                                        i
                                        ilysla May 29, 2013 11:12 PM

                                        Pretty sure I've seen it on the menu at Ye Olde King's Head in Santa Monica. I think I might've even ordered it once....

                                        1. re: ilysla
                                          PeterCC May 29, 2013 11:52 PM

                                          Yep, both King's Head and the now-shuttered Tudor House across the street had Welsh Rarebit, which my older daughter loves.

                                          1. re: ilysla
                                            b
                                            brandygirl May 30, 2013 06:11 PM

                                            I've lived in L.A. my entire life and never made it to Ye Olde King's Head (or many other places long on my 'must visit' list). I will definitely try it. Thanks!

                                          2. re: brandygirl
                                            p
                                            Piggyinthemiddle May 31, 2013 06:07 AM

                                            For a traditional Welsh rarebit, if delivered by a Scotsman, try The Gorbals on Spring Street. Another good one can be found at The Pikey, in the old Coach & Horses on Sunset.

                                            1. re: Piggyinthemiddle
                                              c
                                              cujo May 31, 2013 08:50 AM

                                              And the Tam O'Shanter on Los Feliz. They call it the Scottsrarebit, which must is an homage to their former name----The Great Scott,

                                        2. m
                                          maudies5 May 26, 2013 11:32 PM

                                          I will never understand why all of the love for their martinis. Nothing special. If I want a really great martini, I'll go to The Brentwood. Now, they make a damn good martini.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: maudies5
                                            l
                                            latindancer May 27, 2013 12:12 PM

                                            We all have our favorite, secret and quiet places to sit at the bar and nurse a martini...,
                                            Mine was, always will be, The Hamlet on Sunset, in the privacy of those who cared enough to keep things private and know their clients.
                                            That's Musso's for many and always has been.

                                          2. SilverlakeGirl May 26, 2013 09:27 PM

                                            I actually love Musso & Frank, not for the food but for old LA nostalgia.

                                            The meals I've had there are hit or miss but I adore the bar. For the bar alone they should stay open.

                                            I have always been fascinated by one of their appetizers ... I have never tried it but I'm always curious: celery stalks stuffed with cream cheese topped with a black olive.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                              ipsedixit May 26, 2013 09:32 PM

                                              I have never tried it but I'm always curious: celery stalks stuffed with cream cheese topped with a black olive.
                                              ____________

                                              Isn't that like Lesson 1 in Home Economics for 5th graders?

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                SilverlakeGirl May 26, 2013 09:34 PM

                                                Yeah, so why is it on the menu? Or why is it STILL on the menu?

                                                It should have come of in the 1960s.

                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                                  c
                                                  cujo May 26, 2013 09:41 PM

                                                  The celery stalks are stuffed with roquefort and cream cheese.
                                                  They are a favorite of folks who drink bloody mary's and martini's. It's a signature appetizer. I'm not a drinker and I have never tried the item. However, I have friends who go there regularly just for the stuffed celery and stiff drinks.

                                                  1. re: cujo
                                                    SilverlakeGirl May 26, 2013 09:53 PM

                                                    Thanks.

                                                    Their martinis are amazing. I may just have to try that next time. Now I'm wondering why they don't have it at the Pacific Dining Car on 6th.

                                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                                      c
                                                      cujo May 26, 2013 10:21 PM

                                                      Good question. I believe Musso's is the only restaurant in Los Angeles that serves that item. I have no idea why..

                                                      1. re: cujo
                                                        g
                                                        granadafan May 27, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                        I haven't eaten celery sticks with cheese since I was a kid and don't really have a desire to eat them anymore, Roquefort cheese or no.

                                                        1. re: granadafan
                                                          Servorg May 27, 2013 10:52 AM

                                                          Reminds me of the relish tray that they serve as a complimentary starter at the Dal Rae https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1G1... and which I really enjoy each time.

                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                            c
                                                            cujo May 27, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                            Dal Rae is another of my favorite restaurants. Old school and great food. I also love Lochober's in Boston and the old Luchows in NYC.

                                                            1. re: cujo
                                                              Baron May 27, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                              Dal Rae? Now you're talken. I've been wanting to go there for quite some time. A classic restaurant with classic food. Roast Duck looks good, plus a relish tray, table side caesar salad. If you still enjoy Musso, then go...and wear one of your Members Only jackets. Vintage is always in.

                                            2. f
                                              foodiemahoodie May 26, 2013 08:39 PM

                                              I end up there once a year and each time I go in with a positive attitude and hope that it has finally changed in a good direction.

                                              And each time my hopes are dashed on the rocks of disappointment. And I try to order safe food - that is - nothing too ambitious. Like...uh...toast.

                                              Last time I went, I met an old friend for dinner. Someone I'd been told had "flipped out" and disappeared. He didn't seem any nuttier than usual, but had a young Russian wife - who had such weird plastic surgery, it actually affected my appetite.

                                              Which, by the way, is SO Musso! A freak show.

                                              The time before that was a group of old friends (from high school days) getting together to hang with with this one friend who back in the day was a handsome surfer with a build like a Greek god. He got into a prestigious acting class - and his comrades almost all became well-know stars. But he was the one everyone thought was going to hit. But he did flip out. At dinner he was overweight, balding and missing his two front teeth and his shirt was stained. A guy with so much promise now looked like a homeless indigent.

                                              Musso!

                                              I've had better experiences, but these last two experiences pretty much sum up Musso & Frank for me.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                c
                                                cujo May 26, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                You told me about your flipped out friends. It's entertaining but you didn't mention what menu items you ordered that you didn't like.
                                                I have to agree with you about the freak show. Keith Richards eats there every day..He holds the freak title.

                                                1. re: cujo
                                                  Servorg May 27, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                  " Keith Richards eats there every day..He holds the freak title."

                                                  The freak apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

                                                  As to the food at Musso, it isn't cutting edge anything, but I'll still go for their flannel cakes once a year and I wouldn't be afraid to eat dinner there. It's just 90's cooking (1890's that is) personified.

                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                    wienermobile May 27, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                    Their Thursday night special Chicken Pot Pie still makes me very happy after all these years. The definition of true comfort food.

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      c
                                                      cujo May 27, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                      Funny stuff.

                                                      1. re: cujo
                                                        Servorg May 27, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                        Maybe with a slight reworking of the "Big Yellow Taxi" lyrics we can drill down to the core of this debate.

                                                        "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone. They paved paradise and put up an SBE/Bill Chait/David Myers/Vinny & John 'Shooktolo' restaurant."

                                                    2. re: cujo
                                                      f
                                                      foodiemahoodie May 27, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                      Point is - Musso's isn't about the food, but the weird scene.

                                                      I usually get the prime rib. But it's not very good. I don't recommend anything. (I have an ex girlfriend who would swear by the sand dabs - which I got once. Nothing exciting there either).

                                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                        l
                                                        linus May 27, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                        "Musso's isn't about the food, but the weird scene."

                                                        well, then that would make mussos as far from a fossil as it gets, wouldnt it?
                                                        sounds pretty cutting edge to me.

                                                  2. ipsedixit May 26, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                    Ok, where to begin ...

                                                    1. The food is consistent and well prepared.
                                                    >>> It certainly is consistent. And it is prepared. As to "well"? Well, that's a whole 'nother issue.

                                                    2. The portions are more than ample. I usually take home half of my meal.
                                                    >>> There's a reason you take home half of your meal. People usually make room -- at the restaurant -- for delicious food. That egg, guanicale pizza at Mozza? I would finish that thing if I had just scarfed down two egg salad sandwiches at EuroPane.

                                                    3. Every menu item i have experienced has always been spot on. My current favorites are the fried oysters, calves liver w/ grilled onions, flannel cakes, chicken pot pie, and for dessert, the torten. I also love to drink Arnold Palmer's. Their bardenders know how to make them better than any other restaurant I know.
                                                    >>> The bartenders do tend to do the classics quite well. Get them out of their comfort zone, however, and you might as well be drinking a blind mule.

                                                    4. Food aside, the place is quiet. You can actually have a conversation without raising your voice.
                                                    >>> Places with small crowds do tend to be on the sedate side.

                                                    5. They are open all day. No such thing as a lunch menu or dinner menu.
                                                    Just one extensive menu, day or evening. Hungry at 3pm? No problem.
                                                    >>> Same could be said for Denny's or the Original Pantry Cafe.

                                                    6. The waiters and management are professional and friendly, without being obtrusive.
                                                    >>> Ok, if you say so.

                                                    7. They have free parking for 2 hours in their own private parking lot. The attendants are careful with every vehicle they park. You won't find new dents or scratches when you return.
                                                    >>> The parking is a nice option. But I never, stress never, ever give my car to a valet. Never.

                                                    8. I am a sucker for nostalgia, especially vintage Hollywood style. This place reeks of silent screen and early talkies movie stars.
                                                    >>> I am too. But even I've finally given up on my Member's Only jacket, however.

                                                    9. If you are alone , you have the option to sit in a small booth or their elegant counter. Diners at the counter tend to chat with each other about their favorite menu items. It's fun.
                                                    >>> Dining at the bar, or at a chatty bar, is not unique to Musso & Frank.

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      c
                                                      cujo May 26, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                      They are very busy in the evening, especially on Friday & Saturday. If you don't have a reservation, you have to wait a very long time.
                                                      You don't need a jacket. No one wears one, except for the waiters. The jacket requirement was discontinued about 10 years ago.. When you last there?
                                                      Curious about what happened with your drink. What did you order that was beyond the bartender's expertise? A brandy alexander? A ramos fizz? a milk punch?

                                                      1. re: cujo
                                                        ipsedixit May 26, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                        Uh, what?

                                                        When did I say there was a jacket requirement?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          c
                                                          cujo May 26, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                          What did you mean by "a members only jacket"? I assumed you meant you couldn't get in without a jacket. I have vivid memories of Scandia seriously enforcing this rule.

                                                          1. re: cujo
                                                            PeterCC May 27, 2013 12:00 AM

                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Members_...

                                                            Ipsedixit's apparently too subtle way of saying the place has gone out of style... Though Members Only was relaunched and had a resurgence in the last decade. You could argue that to be the case with the restaurant.

                                                            1. re: PeterCC
                                                              c
                                                              cujo May 27, 2013 01:13 AM

                                                              Hmmm....Ipsedixit speaks a code that I don't understand..Thanks for interpreting.

                                                              I'm interested in knowing which menu items the Chowhounds found objectionable and why.

                                                              So far, only one person has named a menu item that he disliked, Sand Dabs. I still don't know why. Was it over cooked, undercooked or not adequately deboned?

                                                              If you were served a mediocre alcoholic beverage, which one? And what made it mediocre?

                                                              I get it. Many folks feel Musso's is passe. And they are correct. That is the very reason that Diane Keaton,Johnny Depp, Keifer Sutherland (and many other recognizable faces choose to dine there).
                                                              There are no autograph hunters or paparazzi. This is not a place that celebrities go "to be seen." It's a place they go to for a very good meal and a stiff drink (or two, three, etc) without being hassled.
                                                              And that is the real secret to their longevity and loyal customers.

                                                              So how about it, Chowsters, please post what you ordered that you disliked and why. On the remote chance that one of you actually enjoyed your meal, please post what you ordered

                                                              1. re: cujo
                                                                l
                                                                latindancer May 27, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                Hmmm....

                                                                Belvedere martini w/3 olives dry and liver &onions please...

                                                                When was D Keaton last seen there? Just curious.

                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                  The Chowhound Team May 28, 2013 03:24 PM

                                                                  Hey, folks, we removed a number of posts here that were a little off-topic and getting pretty testy. We hope people will refocus on the restaurant. Thanks!

                                                            2. re: cujo
                                                              iluvcookies May 27, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                              Member's Only jackets were all the rage in the 1980s... I'm sure ipse was using it as a metaphor, meaning just beacuse it's vintage doesn't mean it's good.
                                                              Images of the jacket in question:
                                                              http://images.search.yahoo.com/search...

                                                              1. re: iluvcookies
                                                                c
                                                                cujo May 27, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                Uh oh. I'm in big trouble. I have a closet filled with those jackets. My bad. Who knew?

                                                                1. re: iluvcookies
                                                                  Gypsy Jan May 27, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                  The reference to guys wearing "Members Only" jackets was shorthand speak to describe d-bags back in the eighties.

                                                                  Wannabe cool posers, much the same as the "hipster" of now, with their "ironic" knit caps and tats.

                                                                  Different generation, same old same old

                                                                2. re: cujo
                                                                  k
                                                                  kevin May 27, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                  That's a style of jacket from the 80s I believe. There's no jacket requirement that I have ever known since I've been going there.

                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                    Servorg May 27, 2013 03:57 PM

                                                                    I'd make a joke about a "straight jacket" but these days I have to watch my P's and C's and not live out my Bill Maher fantasies...

                                                            3. re: ipsedixit
                                                              j
                                                              jgilbert1000 May 28, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                              I really dislike valets too. However, what do you do to avoid valets? Park blocks away at a meter and walk?

                                                              1. re: jgilbert1000
                                                                ipsedixit May 28, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                I pay them to park my own car in their lot.

                                                                It's a win-win. They get paid, and I get to baby my car.

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  l
                                                                  latindancer May 28, 2013 12:15 PM

                                                                  My husband does the same thing.

                                                                  I'm now doing it after watching the last guy return my car imagining he was driving the Indy 500...tires screeching and all. That and nobody confessing to the fact my Bose headphones were gone and another time having to threaten calling the police until somebody (in a 'round about way) finally returned my iPhone when I tracked it and it was behind their counter.
                                                                  Yeah, I'm stupid.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                    Gypsy Jan May 28, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                    OK, not about food, which makes this Off Topic, but I heartily agree with ipsedixit about not using valet parking.

                                                                    We have had two cars stolen in the past, so no more.

                                                                    1. re: Gypsy Jan
                                                                      k
                                                                      kevin May 28, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                      Wow.

                                                                      It's sad. But Mussos is one of the only places I valet my jalopy. Probably because street parking or nearby residential parking is beyond difficult.

                                                              2. a
                                                                aventinus May 26, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                                I went there once and it was hideous.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: aventinus
                                                                  c
                                                                  cujo May 26, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                                  Would you be willing to explain what made the experience terrible?

                                                                  1. re: cujo
                                                                    Baron May 26, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                                    Years ago, when I worked in Hollywood I'd go there for lunch every chance I got and it was delish. I went ther about a month ago. The sand dabs tasted like they came frozen from Trader Joes and they were not cheep. The rest rooms were gross. The place seemed old and not clean. The place needs a face lift and the kitchen needs to be restored to its former glory. Of course it was quiet. Like a morgue.

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