Scandia and Chasen's - Just Another Nostalgia Reminiscense
- Gypsy Jan Jun 25, 2013 08:21 PM
What do Chr's recall about Scandia?
Hubby ate there often in the day and the kitchen saved him big bags of leftovers for his Great Danes.
This was way before I met him, but I was lucky enough to be taken by relatives for the experience.
Hubby also was a regular at Chasen's and knew Richard Burton and Liz. Because he had business in Mexico City, while they were in Puerto Vallarta, he would haul down a cooler filled with their famous chili and drop it off before continuing on his way.
When it was considered the best restaurant in L.A - Scandia was the go-to place for our special-event family dinners. (as a kid - for my birthdays I prefered Lawry's and The Islander for their prime rib dinner).
My fav their was the Veal Oscar - if I remember it was veal on the bottom, then a layer of asparagus, then crab legs, topped with Bernaise sauce. There was homage to this at Hamlet Gardens and it definitely triggered some fond memories.
My "nostalgia" memory of Chasen's is being taken there as a kid for some rich friend's birthday party. I remember distinctly entering through the restaurant and seeing Alfred Hitchcock in the small entrance area, dining alone in formal attire. It was as though he was on display, like a figure at a wax museum. I'm sure they comped him every night just to sit there like that, facing the incoming traffic.
I was lucky enough in the '70's to have my office just a few doors from Scandia. Their bar was the best in the city; great drinks and all the meatballs and blue cheese dip you could eat.
At dinner, they had the best cold seafood platter in the city. Also, a great, deep wine list with some of the best Burgundies I have ever tasted.
In the basement they had a beautiful wine cellar that seated about twelve and was perfect for business presentations.
I miss this place more than any other that has closed. Although its neighbor up the street, The Cock 'n Bull, is a close second. Their lunch buffet was the best in the city.
re: Bob Brooks
I agree about Scandia...we used to take clients for drinks...and were usually were too full after the meatballs...but would often have the seafood platter at the bar...I miss Scandia terribly!!...but not as much as the Cock and Bull...this was my place from early childhood to the day it closed...we had our table by the fireplace near the bar...ahh the memories...Dean Martin and Richard Burton at the bar...Richard actually went around the restaurant on Christmas Eve kissing all of the ladies (including Mom!)...a Moscow Mule in a copper mug...the Welsh Rarebit...the carving station...the trifle pudding...I could go on and on! Memories!!
From the early 1970's to the time it closed, Scandia was one of my regular haunts -- I worked in Beverly Hills, and lived in the Valley off of Laurel Canyon so it was close to my commute routes over the canyons and a great place for a drink and late supper after working late. The open faced sandwiches in the bar were terrific, with an excellent variety of Aquavits poured from bottles encased in ice and chased by various Scandinavian beers. (A great bar -- copper topped, intimate and welcoming, with shelves over the bar where regulars from the charitable club the Vikings kept personal steins.) The formal dining room was a perfect place for special occasions. The veal Oskar --in fact all veal dishes were excellent, and I especially remember the Viking Sword -- various fine broiled meats on a skewer. Perfect gravlax. The highlight for me was the herring appetizer (perfect with Aquavit and beer). They would bring out a stand with several jars of different types of herring on it which you would eat along with one of the many exotic (well, for the 1970's) varieties of bread from the basket. (Swedish Limpa, a rye krisp sort of thing and pumpernickel.) A good example of a place where the owner set the tone of hospitality and service. When Ken Hansen died, it was never quite the same, despite the best efforts of one of Hansen's best customer's, Robert Petersen (of Petersen Publications) to carry on the Scandia tradition. The current lack of any Scandinavian places in Los Angeles, let alone a fine dining place such as the old Scandia, or something like Aquavit in NYC, still surprises me.