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Oct 7, 2013 03:06 PM

The Buggy Whip Has Served its Last Steak & Potatoes

According to LA Eater after decades in business The Buggy Whip near LAX has closed for good. Another one bites the dust.

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  1. It was a slow death. RIP. I wonder how much longer Patreiili's Steakhouse in Culver City has to go. Both are close to LAX. You'd think that the location would be ideal for a good restaurant say Hustons or a Gulfstream.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Baron

      Are Houston's or Gulfstream rests that viable?

      Haven't they been closing around the LA area, not expanding?

      I have never been in Billingsley's but I suspect the end is nye.

      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

        My belief is that the Hillstone Group has merely been rejiggering their platform and business plan. Hence, a plethora of Houston's have become the South Beverly Drive Grill, or renamed as Hillstone or consolidated with Gulfstream.

        1. re: kevin

          I thought the Houston's name change to Hillstone's etc was to avoid being technically classified as a chain restaurant (more than 'x' amount of restaurants under the same name) where you have to list nutritional info and ingredients. I think there are some other compliance issues as well...

          I think the limit used to be 6. So you would have 6 Houstons, 6 Hillstone's etc.

          1. re: LATrapp

            Hillstone is their flagship store (with almost the same menu as Houston's) They only open one in each area they are in except two in NYC.

            1. re: wienermobile

              That's possible, although word around the time was that it was to avoid being classified a chain restaurant. For instance the Houston's in Santa Monica changed almost overnight to Hillstone with almost no changes other than the sign over the door and the name on the menu coincidentally when the regulations went into effect. Changing one (or two) in each market would certainly help reach the limit. Here's a long winded article that I just found. Anyhow, apologies for the derail here.


        2. re: SilverlakeGirl

          An Enterprise Fish Co. might be a good choice. I'd like to see a comfortable restaurant serving good food at reasonable prices. We have Panns, Dinahs, numerous gastropubs. We need a place that serves great salads, soups, breads, steak and seafood. Comfortable booths, quiet music, nice bar and lounge.

        3. re: Baron

          at this point, i'd be happy with ANY decent restaurant.
          from what i've been told, the big developers, the ones who build 5 and 6 story apartment buildings, are hungering after land in that area.

          (still, i can't resist "voting" for a restaurant in that spot: 26 Beach would be my pick.)

          1. re: Baron

            There's a Houston's in El Segundo, not far from the airport. I doubt they'd open another so close.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              I just used Houstans as an example of a decent restaurant. Anything would be better than the Buggy Whip, (RIP) or the dreadful Patrelli's. They both have great locations, on site parking, convenient and easy to get to. For us Westsiders who are fed up with the traffic. Even a great Deli that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. (dream on)

          2. Mr. Taster. Calling Mr. Taster, Mr. Taster, where are you ????

            I think you might have been there last customer.

            And I guess I missed my first and final martini to be served at the Buggy Whip. No wonder why it looked closed for lunch when I happened to pass by there the other day on my way to Pann's for some lunch.

            1. Paging Brent's Deli. Phone call for Mr. Brent's Deli!

              10 Replies
              1. re: Servorg

                As much as I'd love a Brent's Deli in that location I don't think that would be a good spot for them. Santa Monica-Brentwood-West LA would support them much more. We want Brent's to be able to stay around. Black Pastrami Rubens for the westside...YEAH!

                1. re: wienermobile

                  I don't know. LAX would drive (ha ha) a lot of traffic their way in that location. On top of that they would be right off the 405. Making it much more likely that folks would stop by on their way to and from the south bay and the west side/SFV/downtown.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    If it was in that location I wouldn't mind.

                    But as Mr. Wienermobile stated it would work better in West LA.

                2. re: Servorg

                  You don't want that man.

                  Then you will most definitely have a tough road ahead of you deciding between Brent's and Pann's.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Just had dinner at Pann's this past Saturday. We both had the 6 wings and waffle combo. My wife got a dinner salad but I didn't want a starter. The next thing I knew Penny was giving me a cup of the split pea soup on the house because she said she didn't want me to have to sit and just watch my wife eat. Penny is planning on working until 2015 and then retiring back to Thailand. We will really miss her if and when she goes.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      You know what ????

                      I don't think I've ever met Penny.

                      Does she usually work the dinner shift ???? If so, then that makes sense.

                      1. re: kevin

                        She is a wonderful waitress who always has a smile on her face and a funny remark to share with her customers.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Maybe I'll have to visit one day in the evening time. When is her shifts ????

                          1. re: kevin

                            Not sure. We are typically there on a Saturday night after 7PM and she is always there.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              I had no idea Penny was thinking of retiring in 2015. I agree with Servorg, she's really a sweetheart. She's pretty much there on Friday in the evening hours. She does go out of her way to help you. Everybody there is good, but Penny is exceptional.

                3. at least it was immortalized in super bad.

                  I liked piano bar atmosphere, the meatball app and sometimes they had those stone crabs from florida.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jessejames

                    the buggy whip was in Superbad ????

                    I must have missed that.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        shit, i don't fucking remember what scene or part of it it was in.

                        we're talking about the jonah hill/mclovin gross-out humor flick right ?????

                        1. re: kevin

                          bar scene, kitchen scene when dude gets knocked out

                    1. re: jessejames

                      also stood in for a gay bar on showtime's 'ray donovan'

                    2. I'll be the first to agree that the Whip's days have been numbered for a long while. I regret to say that I haven't revisited it since the last management takeover, but the reviews were harsh. I think that, and the fact they took the booths out of the bar (for Happy Hour) did me in.

                      When I look at speculation of what might replace it, I too have to chuckle. That particular location has been off-the-grid and difficult to work for some time. Even ol' Marie Calendars couldn't make a go of it across the street.

                      All in all, whether you thought the food was acceptable, so-so, bad, or just plain dismal.... there's a bigger picture to what has gone past it's prime. Your old school steak and cocktail joints are fast fading. And no, Houston's is not a steak place. It has a good steak, but only if you enjoy dining at place that's louder than a hockey game. Sorry, that's one reason I don't eat at Houston's (or that ilk) often.

                      The Buggy Whip simply outlived it's location and style. My gramps lived 2 blocks away and would head over after church at St. Jerome's.... this before the San Diego Freeway was built. My dad, brothers and I still met for lunch once a month -- up until they stopped doing lunch. And I will miss the booths and piano player. I'm not sure anything close to what the Whip once was will survive there. RIP indeed.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: cagey

                        There's also a Fleming's steak house a few blocks from Houston's, also El Segundo.

                        Hard to imagine a higher-end steak place venturing in to Buggy Whip neighborhood, alas.

                        That whole airport-north area is really kind of a culinary wasteland, huh?

                        1. re: Jack Flash

                          Yes, Flemings is somewhere we occasionally go - but only for the happy hour menu. (They do a pretty darn good burger and other appetizers). I was less than enchanted with their prime rib, and while it gets busy and noisy it's not the "echo chamber shout-down" that Houston's can be.

                          Re: desolation of Airport-North.... Pann's is still there, but that's a whole different experience. A googie coffee shop is *not* a tuck-in booth steak joint. (I harken back too to the Cavalier on Manchester, which disappeared around 12 years ago.) I think a lot of places in that neck of the woods simply have changed demographic. That, and the culinary pursuits of the neuvo-hound.

                          1. re: cagey

                            anyone been to that derricks jamaican spot also on la tiejera?
                            always looked intriguing

                            1. re: jessejames

                              I like Derricks. They used to barbecue the chicken out on the sidewalk, but I don't think they do that anymore. I like it better than Coley's.

                        2. re: cagey

                          I landed my first job at that Marie Callendar's :-)

                          I also lived 2 blocks from the Buggy Whip for most of my life but I only had dinner at the Buggy Whip twice. Still, a bit sad to see it leave based on nostalgia alone.