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Remember these Restaurants?

Swiss Echo on Pico in West L A
Great American Food & Beverage - Santa Monica
Jacks at the Beach - S M
Café California - S M
Meyera - Vegetarian in S M that was way ahead of its time
Tepparod (sp) Thai - Hollywood
Martoni's - Hollywood

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  1. I loved the Swiss Echo! Best calves liver & onions.

    2 Replies
    1. re: budlit

      My grandparents' next-door neighbors owned Swiss Echo. They moved up to Goleta in the early 80s and opened a Swiss restaurant up there (someone else took over the Echo).

      1. re: budlit

        Swiss echo had the best salads and...

        Gooseberry Pie!

      2. In the 70's a group of us met at a friend's business in Hollywood to play cribbage and kibitz. Afterward we would go to Martoni's to drink and once in a while eat. Very "rat packy" type of place for sure.

        15 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          Are cribbage and kibitz card games? I have never heard of them.

          1. re: bringiton

            Cribbage is a card game. Kibitz (alt. "kibbitz") is another type of game (in the hands of a master, even an art), sometimes with only one player and an audience (sometimes unwilling) that is engaged in the subject of the kibbitzing. Several chowhounds are adept at this game. One could argue that kibbitzing is the raison d'etre for Chowhound.

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictio... or, better still, look for it in "The Joys of Yiddish."

            1. re: New Trial

              New Trial -- Thanks for your hilarious response. I am not SURE that CH is the raison d'etre for Chowhound, but your idea is certainly fuel for thought.

                1. re: New Trial

                  Hoppe's Old Heidelberg
                  Fiori d' Italia
                  Moskva Cliff
                  La Serre
                  Jean's Blue Room
                  I especially miss Jean's!

                  1. re: Fru

                    Loved Jean's Blue Room! Did you ever actually eat at Fiore d'Italia? I never once saw anyone go in or come out of that place! How about Stromboli? It was on Ventura Blvd. about a few blocks west of Van Nuys Blvd.

                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                      I loved Jean's Blue Room! I miss everything about them. And yes, we ate at Fiore d' Italia on special occassions...Shrimp Scampi was my dish! They used Deruta pitchers in the form of chickens to pour wine. We used to call them the 'Spit-Up Chickens'. Gosh, it's been 40 years? I don't think I have ever been to Stromboli.

                      1. re: Fru

                        I got to Jean's Blue Room only twice. It wasn't my parents' type of place. I was always intrigued by Fiore d'Italia as I went past on Ventura but my family's go-to Italian place was Dino's Pizzeria on Victory and, after it closed, Mazzarino's on Riverside. I can't even remember where Fiore d'Italia was anymore.

                        1. re: Kate is always hungry

                          As far as I can recall Fior d'Italia was at 14928 Ventura Blvd, sherman oaks 91403

                      2. re: Kate is always hungry

                        I was at Fior d'Italia maybe a half dozen times over the years because it was my then girl friend's grandmother's favorite place for dinner (and her grandmother lived about a 1/2 a mile from it in Sherman Oaks). It was charming and old fashioned in a good sense, but the food was nothing beyond solid.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Do you remember where it was located? I'm on Ventura everyday and I don't recall where it was. I just remember being intrigued by it since I never saw anyone go in or come out of the place! I was sorry they closed up before I got to go there.

                          1. re: Kate is always hungry

                            I'm mostly in the SGV now so this is based on memory only, but I believe it was either Travelini's or Fiori that Mitchell Litt Antiques replaced.

                            1. re: Fru

                              I think there was a Travaglini's farther west on Ventura in Encino. I just looked it up. It says 17500 Ventura Blvd. and it's now the home of Buca di Beppo.

                        2. re: Kate is always hungry

                          OMG Stromboli! I lived in Sherman Oaks when I first moved to LA 36 years ago, and Strom's was our default place to go whenever we wanted good Italian food. My now ex and I went there so often that when we got married, our regular waitress Kathleen comped us a bottle of champagne to celebrate. I think we even had our "rehearsal" dinner there (it was spur of the moment, we were pretty casual about those things). After we left LA in 1984, we went back once or twice. I think they had moved by then (1986), and it wasn't the same.

                          I just remembered something else about Stroms. One night we were seated in the back room and noticed Marilyn Chambers with her manager/husband/boyfriend (whatever his status was, and he was wearing a black satin jacket with her name on it--it was the '80s after all). There was a large group nearby celebrating an older gentleman's birthday. Marilyn went up to him, draped her arms around him and wished him a happy birthday. Most of the room realized who she was and it was interesting to see the reaction from all the diners.

                          We ate at Fiore d'Italia a few times but it was a splurge over Stroms. Very stuffy, more formal. I think the location is now Panzanellas where I dined last winter with my son.

                          1. re: alwayshungrygal

                            Was just talking with an old friend about Stromboli.....(home made breadsticks)...Kathleen was our waitress, really enjoyed eating there....

                2. Yes, my mom used to bring me to Swiss Echo, they had the best soup.
                  Another addition would be Pickle Bills on pico on eastern edge of Santa Monica, best hot beef sandwiches and gravy. Disappeared in late 60's or early 70's.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: malibumike

                    So nice to see a mention of one of my favorite meals--hot beef sandwich and gravy. Where is your favorite hot beef these days? :)

                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                      Kate, unfortunately I have never found anything to compare to Pickle Bills, especially the gravy. I smoke a brisket at home but Never come close to the gravy.

                      1. re: malibumike

                        Have you given the Gravy (or Dirty) Fries http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/top-ro... at Top Round http://toproundroastbeef.com/ in Hollywood a "taste drive?"

                        1. re: malibumike

                          I haven't had a hot beef sandwich in quite a while. The last one I had was at Rae's in Santa Monica on Pico. I like mine with an extra bowl of gravy on the side. It comes with homemade mashed potatoes. Yum!

                    2. Remember Staks, upscale, googie style coffee shop on Century, close to LAX? It had a small creek around it with fish & tadpoles.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: budlit

                        I remember a Staks (or was it Stax) near Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks in the very early 70s. I think I remember they had really good char-broiled hamburgers and kosher pickles.

                      2. I'll add Cafe Casino in Encino...with a conveyor for the trays!

                        Magic Pan is also just a memory.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: laxfoodfeedback

                            It was great fun with kids because of all the activity with the trays. It was cafeteria style, as I remember???

                            1. re: liu

                              Correct. My kids loved it too and the pastries were not bad.

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                Oh! I remember the pastries!
                                Thanks for filling in some of the blanks, wienermobile.
                                It was even more fun than I remembered!

                        1. It's not been that long, but we really miss the best sushi bar in town: Katsu/Tama Sushi.

                          1. Loved Jacks at the Beach
                            Konditori in BH
                            Cafe Swiss on Rodeo

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: maudies5

                              I remember Penguin's on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica. My dad used to take me there for cake and milk when I was a kid.

                              1. re: Miri1

                                I never made it to Penguin's but I always wanted to eat there. :(

                                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                  The building is still there as is the neon sign but it is now a dentist office.

                              2. re: maudies5

                                I frequented Cafe Swiss in the 70's. The owners' wife served the best swiss cocktail-size meatballs as free hor d'eurvres when sitting in the bar area and having a drink and listening to live piano music. Those were the days!!!!

                              3. Or these:
                                Madam Wu's Garden
                                Moongate inn
                                Gen'l Lee's Man Jen Low
                                The Fog Cutter
                                The Portofino Room
                                The Lobster Barrel
                                Smith's Fish Shanty

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  We ate at Edna Earle's Fog Cutter for many family celebrations. Haven't thought of that place in years!

                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                    The steaks were $2.95 in 1959:) Edna's son was a very successful real estate developer and he sent his Rolls to pick up Edna's two white dogs for their weekly grooming.

                                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                      Frascatis on Wilshire in Beverly Hills and other locations too. They had a great tiramasu dessert plus really tasty food and a great vibe with lots of regulars.

                                      1. re: ZoeZ

                                        I think I remember the Belgian Frascati restaurants. I ate at Villa Frascati on my 18th birthday.
                                        Villa Frascati on Sunset
                                        Frascati Grill on La Cienega
                                        Chalet Frascati on Wilshire
                                        Rotisserie Frascati on Wilshire

                                    2. re: mucho gordo

                                      Allen Hale Jr's The Lobster Barrel. And The Skipper was usually there to greet you and call you little buddy too.

                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          We took our son there one night when he was about 2 or 3. He'd never seen a whole lobster on a plate before and it scared the ###$ out of him. He refused to eat and just laid down on the bench.

                                        2. re: mucho gordo

                                          Smith's Fish Shanty...into the whale's mouth front door.

                                        3. Tepparod Thai, just off Vermont. Was it Melbourne? I think it was everyone's first eye opening exposure to Thai food.

                                          I'm wondering if it was LA's first Thai rest.

                                          Yes to a few others, but not in a good way.

                                          1. Or the great food hut built in the parking lot that became the Bistro on Canon Drive,

                                            It was run by the wife of a famous actor, name now forgotten by me.

                                            I was working at that time at Cantor Fitzgerald next door and she made the most memorable breakfast dishes that caused us to flock to her place daily.

                                            1. GAF&B- always great for groups.

                                              1. How about these?
                                                Charthouse on Third Street, East of LaCienega? It was next to a recording studio and all the rockers were always in there. Great steaks and Chocolate Mouse Pie

                                                LaPlace on Santa Monica Blvd., at Beverly Glen, in WLA, then the owner, Edo Lubich opend Edo's Other Place on Pico near Fox Studios.

                                                1. Tepparod Thai was the first Thai restaurant I ever ate at. That was in the 1970s and it was recommended by Elmer Dills.

                                                  The places I miss the most are Pickle Bill's in Santa Monica and La Barbera's Pizza in WLA.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. Cyrano restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood. I was addicted to their Caesar salad.

                                                    1. The Maryland Crab House, Hymies, Jacks at the Beach, The Mediterania, Picillo's, Belmont Pier, Clifton's Cafeteria.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Baron

                                                        Clifton's Cafeteria Downtown should be re-opening soon. "Plans call for Clifton's to have multiple bars and restaurants in markedly divergent styles throughout the four-story building. The 5 million dollar remodel with also include the redone redwood cafeteria."

                                                          1. re: bringiton

                                                            Did they move or no longer in business/ is there something similar now?

                                                            1. re: laxfoodfeedback

                                                              Maryland Crab House has been gone for more than a decade now. It became a restaurant called 2424 Pico, and subsequently became Josie.

                                                              I'm not aware of anything similar in L.A.

                                                        1. The Courtyard Cafe, Reno NV, El Pollo Asado, pretty much every diner in West Seattle has gone belly up or lunch-only, & I keep seeing advertisements for TGIF; but they have 0 locations in the entire state.

                                                          1. Went regularly to Casa Mia in SM Canyon on West Channel Rd. and loved the ambiance and food. Saw Christopher Isherwood there several times over the years (he lived close enough to walk over). Drinking, eating, laughing and loud conversation (I'm sure looking back on our times in there that other tables were probably wishing we would take our leave, sooner rather than later).

                                                            1. Sneaky Pete's was fun
                                                              Jimmy's was fun and elegant and the Caesar salad, prepared by Michael , who came from Jacks at the beach was great.
                                                              Hungarian Budapest on Fairfax. Seltzer on every table.d

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                My parents took us to Hungarian Budapest for my grade school graduation dinner. I don't remember what I had. What did you like there?

                                                                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                  It was a long time ago. I seem to remember stuffed cabbage and a lot of other very heavy food. As I recall, it was tasty fare but nothing I wanted to experience again.

                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                    For years, every time we had a family celebration, we'd joke about having gone there for that occasion! I seem to recall some kind of chicken dish.

                                                              2. I still miss Knoll's Black Forest Inn. One of my father's favorite restaurants when it was time to eat German food.

                                                                A Chowhound ode to their closing here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/58607 and an LA Times review of it here: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-05-1...

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. The Matador on Pico in W.L.A. Loved paella and Hemingway Steak. The owner, Bill Fremont was a class act,

                                                                  1. Golden Star on Sunset or Hollywood Bl. in late 70s. We liked the charbroiled burgers with "everything". Apparently many of Hollywood's hookers liked them too. To quote Molly Picon in "For Pete's Sake", "Eat. You'll need your strength!"

                                                                    1. Maryland Crab House! I haven't thought about the place for a long time. Good memories.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: perk

                                                                        Fond memories of eating at the Maryland Crab House with my family.

                                                                        The tables covered with many layers of newspaper. One full sized trash can at the end of the table for shells, mallets at each place setting.

                                                                        The waiter would come out with a large tray of steaming crabs and just empty them out on the table.


                                                                        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                          Not only was there the Maryland Crab House in Santa Monica (although I thought they had that white butcher block paper on the tables?) but the daughter of the couple that started it actually left in a dispute and opened her own place in Sherman Oaks on Ventura Blvd. called the Chesapeake Crab House. Then her parents turned around and opened a second branch of the Maryland Crab House in Encino.

                                                                          The original Maryland Crab House was in what is now the location of Josie on Pico in Santa Monica - 2424 Pico.

                                                                      2. Zucky's at fifth and Wilshire in Santa Monica. When they moved from their original location, my parents were shocked that they were charging an exorbitant $1.25 for a corned beef sandwich. I think they may have been the first to break the $1.00 barrier. Edited to add original location was ocean park boardwalk.

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                          Yes Zucky's was great, they had the best Lox sandwiches with sour cream, you had to ask or you got cream cheese, also the creamiest cheese cake.

                                                                          1. re: malibumike

                                                                            I wouldn't call Zucky's great..but I was there all the time....

                                                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                                                              ...and their sign is still there on Wilshire and 5th!

                                                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                Some people thought that the Z was a3 and called the restaurant "three uckys"
                                                                                Zucky Was the wife of one of the partners.

                                                                              2. re: wienermobile

                                                                                Zucky's sign is still there because Santa Monica gave it landmark status.

                                                                            2. re: maudies5

                                                                              The first place I moved when I got out of high school was just 1 block north on California. I used to walk to Zucky's very frequently.

                                                                              My rent back then was $25.00 a month.

                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                My Nana would take me to Zucky's any time I visited her in SM! Such great old memories on this board! There was also a place across the street from the park on Santa Monica (?) name "The Broken Drum". I remember the absolute best pancakes I've ever tasted in my life and real maple syrup served warm! We'd go there after church on Sundays. Also Stern's on Washington, great BBQ but the most memorable parf for me was the crab apple slices on every plate and the shirley temples! Thanks for the great memories CHers!

                                                                              2. Here's a pretty obscure one. Does anyone remember Raf's on Cahuenga, a small lunch place a half-block north of Sunset? This was a few decades ago, and I was doing a lot of recording at studios in the neighborhood, so I frequently ducked in for a bowl of Raf's always-delicious soup of the day.

                                                                                1. I almoist forgot an good Australlian restaurant on Ventura Blvd. In Woodland hills called the Kangaroo Inn. probably disappeared in the 50's.

                                                                                  1. Nickodells in Hollywood was well known to those who worked In the area and enjoyed big martinis at lunch

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                      Everyone from Paramount and KHJ-TV ate there. I got to go after I was on Engineer Bill's TV Show. Red-light Green-Light.

                                                                                    2. Has anyone mentioned the original Brown Derby?
                                                                                      How about Carolina Pines?
                                                                                      La Toque

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                        I met the future Mrs. G. at Carolina Pines on a double blind date.

                                                                                      2. Raphael's Cantina on Pico

                                                                                        Stern's BBQ on Washington

                                                                                        Yokohama Ramen on Barrington

                                                                                        Woody's Shorgesburger

                                                                                        Song Hee

                                                                                        Chuladus Thai in Culver City

                                                                                        Erawan Thai corner of Colfax and Magnolia (My 1st Thai)


                                                                                        Miss them all!

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: mar52

                                                                                          Woody's Smorgasburger is still talked about by my wife who grew up in the WLA area. When she was little her father took her there. I found this blog post about it: http://www.oldlarestaurants.com/woody...

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            Wow, the last time I posted on that thread was in April.

                                                                                            I'm a forever lover of Woody's!

                                                                                        2. Hard to believe no one has mentioned Scandia on this thread yet. I found this site just now that has mentions of so many of these places and includes a photo of them - here is the one of Scandia http://www.oldlarestaurants.com/scandia/

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            My husband and I had our first date at Scandia. We also had the distinction of being the only ones to charter the Wine Cellar for just the two of us. It was our 10th anniversary. Great memories of Scandia.

                                                                                          2. I can't forget the best Mexican place in the valley was El Gato on Sepulveda. Great food and mariachi.
                                                                                            Best sea food in the area was Mel's Landing and, in the beach area, Millie Riera;s Sea Food Grotto

                                                                                            1. This memoria is seems to be strictly LA based.

                                                                                              May I add:


                                                                                              The Scandinavian buffet restaurant on Harbor Blvd., Anaheim near Disneyland.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                                                Sambo's? In Santa Barbara?? Great pancakes. On a par with Uncle John's in Santa Monica.

                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                  I ate at the Sambo's in Santa Barbara in 1965 and they were really good pancakes. Some years later when I went back, maybe in the early 70s they were not the same.

                                                                                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                    That's roughly when I was there on business. My territory changed and was never able to go back. You could be right about them being different.

                                                                                                  2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                    My friend's husband owned Uncle John's. later on he had different pancake houses in Santa Barbara San Jose and Tucson.

                                                                                                    1. re: paprkutr

                                                                                                      I remember Uncle John's in Santa Monica. Great pancakes.

                                                                                                2. Another fave was Le Dome on the Sunset Strip. What a crazy rock and roll hang out. Great food (for a while) and private rooms where god-knows-what was going on. OK, I know what was going on but discretion is the better part of valor.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: trimtab

                                                                                                    I liked that place too. And then Nicky Blair's for drinks LOL!

                                                                                                    1. re: trimtab

                                                                                                      I liked Le Dome a lot. Never thought of it as a rock and roll hang out. More formal dining IMO. Eddie now owns and runs Il Piccolino on Robertson, which is outstanding Italian.

                                                                                                      1. re: trimtab

                                                                                                        Le Dôme was great. They had a fantastic fish en croute with a duo of light and dark sauces that was so delicious

                                                                                                      2. TIck Tock restaurant in Hollywood served delicious homemade food.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                          Best Turkey dinner ever at the Tick Tock.

                                                                                                        2. Love's BBQ...Aaaah, so sticky!

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                              Everything was 'best' there. The ribs were unique and unmatched anywhere.

                                                                                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                Oooooh, the short ribs...with pickling spices and lots of something very very sticky...and so delish!

                                                                                                                1. re: liu

                                                                                                                  But the absolute BEST thing at Love's - better than the beans, the ribs, the sliced beef & ham - was the cole slaw. To me, that is what cole slaw should be.

                                                                                                              2. re: liu

                                                                                                                Loves was great. Monty's did really good ribs too. Much different. Also used to get great big beef ribs to-go (my dad did) from Donte's Inferno in the Valley.

                                                                                                              3. There was a place in LA that was a jazz/blues place that had live bands, dancing with food.
                                                                                                                I wish I could remember more but it was the 80's..

                                                                                                                I miss Ships.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                  Didn't Ships have toasters on the tables?

                                                                                                                2. My best memory is of La Rue's on Sunset Blvd. I took my future frau there for her high school graduation back in 1952.

                                                                                                                  1. There's no end to this. Just remembered Tracton's for their green goddess dressing and a slab of prime rib bigger than the plate. We could always get a great steak at Ollie Hammond's or Chuck's or House of Edward's. And who could forget Andre's or the Hungry Tiger?
                                                                                                                    When in the seedier part of town at 3am, a good breakfast could be had at Toff's on Vermont.

                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                      Tracton's is alive and well just outside of the San Diego Fairgrounds / Horse Racing Track.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                        I think you meant to write that it's just outside of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                          Tracton's - heh. Their phone # was one digit off from ours, and we used to get calls ALL the time from people trying to make reservations (this was the Valley location).

                                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                            They moved down there from LA around 50 years ago???

                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                Maybe they'll move to Vegas next. I can dream, can't I?

                                                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                  I went several years ago and it was a really good pre-track lunch. Really cool old school vibe. Lobster Bisque and Prime Rib done really well. I'll never forget ignoring the very nice waitress's warning to be careful of the horseradish sauce. LOL!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                    Red Tracton's is my favorite restaurant when I go down to San Diego -- I'm almost always in Del Mar/Solana Beach/Carlsbad area. It is on Via de Valle, just west of the 5, on the north (right, if you went west from the freeway) and have free valet parking. Still have the great prime rib. Sides of fries or baked potatoes aren't as ridiculously enormous as they once were, but still large. I had a happy hour special of onion strings ($4 or 5) at the bar a couple weekends ago and it was more than enough for 4 people, and very delicious -- crisp, not greasy, served with a bbq sauce alongside. Very old-time atmosphere and good service. Prices up there with current high-end steakhouses. Bar, and entire restaurant, is popular and jammed during racing season across the street.

                                                                                                                          2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                            Speaking of Green Goddess Dressing, has anyone mentioned the Velvet Turtle? One in Chinatown and one on Sawtelle. IIRC there was one in Palos Verdes too.

                                                                                                                            Used to have the salad w/GGD and prime rib bones in BBQ sauce. Don't remember anything else but I think I went to all 3 of them.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                                              I remember the Turtle and, similarly, Victoria Station. I'll never forget my personal best at Station's AYCE beef ribs; 11, I just couldn't do one more.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                We used to go to Victoria Station for lunch when I worked in Hollywood. I always got full by taking too much salad, no matter how hard I tried to cut the portion down!! I loved taking the little tram up the hill.

                                                                                                                                Does anyone remember the chinese place on the hill going up to Universal City? They had a great Sunday brunch with champagne, dim sum and lots of AYCE goodies!! Great view too. I was sad to see that place go. I planned one of our holiday lunches in one of their private rooms, that was really good!!!

                                                                                                                                1. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                                                  That's one reason why I'll never eat a salad. They expect you to fill up on the cheap ingredients and not be able to eat much of the good stuff.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                    Victoria Station Universal City was the most successful restaurant in the chain and one of the most successful restaurants in LA. They would serve over 1000 meals a day.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                                      So,why did they close??? For that matter, why does any great place eventually close? I know; rhetorical questions.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                        Parent company of Victoria Station went bankrupted, complete mis-management. There is even a book on how they destroyed the company "Prime Rib and Boxcars. Whatever Happened To Victoria Station?" Hardcover
                                                                                                                                        by Tom Blake (Author) Universal Studios owned the location. They ripped the train cars out and turned it into The Marvel Cafe. If they had done that a few years later it might of actually worked. The building is is now a Universal Horror Maze and has been absorbed into the theme park.

                                                                                                                              2. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                                                I loved the Velvet Turtle, too. I moved from LA to Scottsdale AZ in 1988 and the Velvet Turtle was also here in Phoenix located on Camelback Road, I think it closed in 1990 or 1991. Too bad. All the real good stuff is gone,

                                                                                                                            2. What about Mike Lyman's in Downtown LA? Great "men's club atmosphere" (though women were very wlecome), old-style waiters in white jackets, massive leather banquettes -some circular - and shrimp or lobster cocktail served in large silver bowls ensconsed in a mound of ice.
                                                                                                                              My mother used to take me there aged 5-6 in the Fifties, as the climax of shopping expeditions at Bullock's or Haggerty's (remember that name?). The waiters couldn't believe that a little girl could finish the adult-sized spaghetti and meatballs, but I proved them wrong! Also served great steaks and lamb chops with the frilly white pants thought so haute gamme at the time. A real piece of LA restaurant history.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Piggyinthemiddle

                                                                                                                                You went to Lyman's after shopping @ Bullock's - must have been the downtown store? If shopping at the Bullock's Wilshire store, you would have stayed to dine at the tea room there. It was a very special setting in a gorgeous building. Food was good enough, but the experience...
                                                                                                                                Cyrano's on the Sunset Strip - how many mortgages did I pay there over the years?
                                                                                                                                And the original Hamburger Hamlet on the strip, now occupied by a specialty car dealership I believe. Not so much for the food as the scene, whether for lunch or dinner. Grab a table on the balcony and you just watch the parade of people walking by or coming in to eat.

                                                                                                                                1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                  Wow, I haven't thought about this place in ages. I had my rehearsal dinner there many moons ago!!! Thanks for the memory!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                    My wife and I will always remember Robaires. We live in the Valley and we were going to go to Robaires for our first anniversary dinner. We got off the Hollywood Freeway at Highland and ran into bumper to bumper traffic. We slowly made our way to Franklin, got back on the freeway and got off at Cahuenga to be greeted with more traffic. We forgot that it was the night of the Hollywood Christmas Parade and there was no way we were going to get south of Hollywwod in time for our dinner so we turned around and had dinner at Rive Gauche instead.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                      Wow. Robair's. I remember they had great cassoulet on Wednesdays.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: trimtab

                                                                                                                                        Lucques is serving Cassoulet on February 23.

                                                                                                                                    2. Anyone remember The King's Arm's and The Queen's Arm's?

                                                                                                                                      1. Ekberg's Steak House in Woodland Hills lasted for many years. The highlight of our meals at Ekberg's came late in the evening, when Mr. Ekberg would dim the lights and play a recording of "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," by organist Ken Griffin. While the music played, the chef ran around the room playing along on various noisemakers (bulb horns? bells? I'm not sure which now). It was a bit otherworldly for newcomers, and we used it to boggle the minds of our friends.

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: farmertomato

                                                                                                                                          Same here. Nothing like bringing a newcomer to Eckberg's. When you say steakhouse, you mean steakHOUSE --it was actually a converted residence. A very small dining room (essentially a converted living room) a smallish kitchen where you could watch the owner cook (what appeared to be a home kitchen fitted with professional level ovens/grills/stoves) and outstanding steaks. The owner had been in the meat business before semi-retiring to run the place and as a result had connections to obtain top level prime beef at a time (the 70's) when there were not many top level steakhouses in the LA let alone the parts of the Valley where Eckberg's was located that could give you that quality of meat. Very basic -- just steak and lamb chops as I recall, and when asked if he served fish, he would reply, "No, no, only people." When you paid -- cash only --you would be rung up at an old fashioned register with Eckberg muttering "money, money, money" and chortling as he counted out the bills and placed them in the register, kissing a rubber chicken as the cash drawer closed and the register bell rang. As noted, if someone put "I'm looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" on the juke box, Eckberg (who did all the cooking ) would pump up the volume of the music, run out of the kitchen and start dancing around, ringing a massive collection of bells hung on every available wall space, and then just abruptly head back to the kitchen without a word or extra gesture when the song concluded. I once saw him do it twice in a row. (If he was busy in the kitchen though and someone tried the twice in a row bit he would turn the music down --the man was an entertainer, but was serious about turning out a quality meal, hence you were not getting an improperly done steak just so he could dance around.) Terrific homemade apple pie for dessert. Just he and his wife ran the place --he cooked and occasionally waited tables, and she waited tables and bussed them, (He called her Gunga Din, because she would bring you water.) When he took your steak order he would ask you if you wanted it"rawraremediumraremediummediumwellwelldoneburnt" running all the words together in a two second burst. When the Eckbergs finally sold the place, a somewhat high end French place demolished the house and put up a new building and I recall that the menu as a tribute had a steak or lamb "ala Eckberg" that was served "rawraremediumraremediummediumwellwelldoneburnt." If you asked how the beef was, he would inevitably say "tough and stringy, tough and stringy" smiling all the while. Soft drinks and beer available, no wine as I recall, though among the beers was Heineken Dark, which seemed wildly exotic to find at a place in the Valley in those days. A real character, who clearly enjoyed what he did and gave you a terrific meal at a reasonable price. Thanks for jogging my memory on this unique and wonderful place.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BHAppeal

                                                                                                                                            And thank you for filling in a lot of the gaps in my Ekberg's memories. Reading your account, I'm reminded how absolutely unique that place was and how lucky we were to have gone there many times, boggling the minds of many of our friends along the way. Didn't Mr. Ekberg have a bit of schtick where he brought out a shriveled dried-out piece of meat and announced that it was your selection? Or maybe that was somewhere else. I haven't eaten a steak in years, but I'd show up in a nanosecond to revisit Ekberg's.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: farmertomato

                                                                                                                                              That's right -- I had forgotten about his bringing out a gristle ridden piece of raw meat and displaying it proudly as "your selection" before going back into the kitchen to allegedly cook the thing.

                                                                                                                                              Quite an act --and it was an act. On slow nights (which were rare) he would sometimes stop by our table and chat about various things in a perfectly normal manner. I recall once heading to the restroom and seeing Mrs. Eckberg in what I think was their den, sitting in an armchair and watching TV during a lull in the dining room.

                                                                                                                                              A testament to a love of showmanship and hospitality, as well as efficiency. (The key was that limited, but high quality menu -- maybe three or four entree items, pork chop, lamb chop, one or two cuts of steak, all broiled; basic green salad; a stuffed baked potato I think; and hot apple pie, a slice of melted cheddar on top optional.)

                                                                                                                                        2. Does anyone else remember Marcel and Jeanne French Café? It was like a cooler version of Taix

                                                                                                                                          1. Spago on Sunset & Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset…

                                                                                                                                            Two of the most missed neighborhood restaurants around.
                                                                                                                                            They were the 'go-to' places.
                                                                                                                                            Nothing else comes close for convenience, consistency and good solid food.
                                                                                                                                            I miss it all and always will.

                                                                                                                                            1. Does anyone remember these restaurants?

                                                                                                                                              La Strega
                                                                                                                                              Di Vita's on La Brea
                                                                                                                                              The Red Lantern in on Laurel Canyon Blvd.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                I loved La Strega's Pizza!!! Do you remember when they caught on fire? It was really a great lunch place for those working in Hollywood, went there a bunch of times and even ordered their pizza to go for our inside office parties.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                                                                  I only got there once, on the way home from downtown. I loved it but never made it back. I think I shared a cheese pizza with my brother and a salad. Back then, I took for granted that the places I loved would always be there whenever I'd come back. Sadly, I was wrong.

                                                                                                                                                  I don't remember a fire.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                                                                    La Strega also had one the best wine lists in all of LA...I always wondered whatever happened to the contents of that cellar.

                                                                                                                                                2. Anyone remember Sarno's Caffe dell'Opera? I always wanted to go there but never made it.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                    I went to Sarno's in the mid 70's, The owners sang opera and it was a fun place.

                                                                                                                                                  2. In Venice "Pioneer boulangerie." It was big, was this a good place?

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laxfoodfeedback

                                                                                                                                                      I remember what you remember about this place: it was huge with lots of food!
                                                                                                                                                      And I have no idea whether or not it was good.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laxfoodfeedback

                                                                                                                                                        Liu & Lax

                                                                                                                                                        I loved this place. I first ate there in the 70s & had soup, salad, and lots of crusty French bread and butter.

                                                                                                                                                        My family or friends and I would call ahead to get the list of soups and then head out from Sherman Oaks. The soups were of a much higher quality than some soup chains that popped up in the early 80s. I must give partial credit to them for my love of preparing soups of all kinds!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for sharing your fond memories of this "bakery." Now I vaguely remember the soup area.

                                                                                                                                                          At first, I was not much interested in this post because, not an LA native, I thought I would not remember any of these restaurants from long ago. However, it is amazing to me how many I do remember and how many of some of the good ones have closed.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: liu

                                                                                                                                                            You're welcome! After I sent my post, I talked to my brother and we both became misty thinking about how much we loved going to the Boulangerie for a dinner of soup, salad, and bread.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                              There's some strange incarnation of Pioneer Boulangerie still alive on Montana and Lincoln. It's on the corner of the parking lot that is a Pavilions. My memory is fuzzy, but I seem to recall that they used to have that whole building and now it's shared with a Panda Express with one smallish sitting area. They have baked goods, coffee etc there, though they don't look that appealing, and they also seem to have morphed the menu into a sort of generic lunch counter.

                                                                                                                                                              You reminded me of another spot in SaMo that I used to go for casual snacks and coffee, Cafe Casino. It had just average food, but some decent baked goods, was inexpensive and had that great huge ocean-view patio with nice landscaping on Ocean and Arizona.

                                                                                                                                                      2. OHMYGAWD. Could we possibly be the same age? Just about every one of these places were so enjoyed by me. "Meyera"....now that's a name I never thought I would hear again in my life....She served a Cauliflower "Parachute" that was a fabulous meal....it was a whole cauliflower that had blue cheese and then all wrapped in filo and baked. YUM. And since you've got me going on this place, now I'm jones'ing for a treat that I know I will never have again....the chocolate chip cookies from "The Buttery", which was just a block or two away from Meyera.
                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for your post.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Otto's Pink Pig on Van Nuys Blvd?

                                                                                                                                                          1. I don't go nearly that far back in SoCal -- moved to Westwood in '86. Missed La Barbera, very unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                            I had a group of friends, mixed between social and work, who would meet for Friday afternoon happy hour. I remember when Westwood Village had places that offered $1 drinks! Cafe Cafe, on Lindbrook east of Westwood, had dollar drinks and an Italian buffet with garlic knots, pasta dishes, and more for free. A great time, buzz, and a dinner for almost nothing. Yesterdays a bit north on Westwood (later Chili's, now empty) had very inexpensive happy hour drinks, a second-floor outside patio/balcony, and also a free buffet. Alice's Restaurant across Westwood (a classic, now Tanino) also had a good happy hour. There was also Baxter's (on Gayley, underneath -- a lower floor -- the current Whole Foods). And Stratton's, a UCLA fraternity-sorority hangout on Broxton in a nice two-floor building with a horseshoe bar, where Barney's Beanery resides. And after every one of these bit the dust, there was Acapulco, with $1.35 margaritas during mon and/or fri happy hour (this raised) and free food (later a modest fee, then half-priced appetizers) but it alas went under a few months ago.

                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of Westwood Village, how about Mario's? The building was renovated and now houses California Pizza Kitchen. I loved going to Mario's back in the day. CPK, not so much. Okay, never really.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                V.D., Village Deli, next door to the Village Theatre was a mainstay of the village for years. Patrons of the theatre would munch on the VD's pickles while movies played. :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                If you remember $1.00 drinks in Westwood, you missed it's previous lifetime as being "NO ALCOHOL SERVED" anywhere in the Village due to an agreement between UCLA and the Village.

                                                                                                                                                                It made for a very dull time which made UCLA happy.

                                                                                                                                                                And another thing: Why can't SOMEONE ... ANYONE bring back Orange Julius and still make a modest profit? How many ingredients are we talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                It's a crime!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                                                                  I know that at one time there was a prohibition against "stand alone bars" in the Village. But no sales of alcohol, including at full service restaurants? Is there something online about that? Monty's was up there in the penthouse since 1969 serving booze and Mario's before that after it took over the space where Tom Crumplar’s Malt Shop had formerly existed for a loooong time.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                    It was way, way before 1969 ... way before. By 1969 I had already graduated from nearby Marymount Girls School and A LOT HAD CHANGED!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    It was many years since my GFs and I sat in the bushes on Sunset Blvd getting stoned as the cars sped by at lunch time. That would have been 1964-5.

                                                                                                                                                                    The time I was going, Westwood was not even well lighted ... my big brother used to take me to Truman's Drive-in where we would get the well known curly fries. I'm guessing 1960 ... or so.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                                                                      I remember a place I think was called Mom's in around the late 60's that served beer.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                      I think Truman's on Westwood Blvd, just south of Wilshire served alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                        You might be right. At least on the inside ... not the drive in. Anyone remember when Monty's went in?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                                                                          The first high rise with a restaurant was the Kirkeby Building on the N.W. corner of Wilshire and Westwood. It was one of the first "view" restaurants. The building on Glendon where Monty's was located, I think, was the 2nd high rise in the village and seriously ugly. I don't believe Monty's was an original tenant, but I sure could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                            But that Glendon building got a remake within the past 10 or so years, and may now be the best looking building in Westwood. But of course no steaks or any other food on the roof, instead Napa Valley Grille at street level.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                              That remodel made all the difference. Building went from hideous to attractive. Kudos to the architects.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                                                                      I love Orange Julius. I haven't tried it, but here's a recipe that is supposed to be just like it!


                                                                                                                                                                  2. Welsh Rarebit at Cock'nBull on Sunset Strip. My parents loved that place.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                      My parents also loved that place. They wouldn't go anywhere else for Sunday brunch.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Charmer's Market in Venice?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CastironJim

                                                                                                                                                                          My mom used to take me there when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chuck

                                                                                                                                                                            Ollie Hammond's Steakhouse was a classic. Open 24 hours
                                                                                                                                                                            with a wonderful menu, (and cocktails) dark red leather booths and wood paneling - in three locations!

                                                                                                                                                                            On a par with Musso's or the PDC, but with better prices (for the time).

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Harry's Deli was competition for Zucky's next to Ocean Park Pier, Before Zucky's moved to S M.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Remember Charmers Mkt. in Venice?

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                                                              They were one of the first restaurants in LA to make their own sausages. First it was a bank, Then Charmers Market, Then a Blockbuster and now it's a bank again.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                                                                Loved Charmers. Farmshop is similar - a restaurant/market.

                                                                                                                                                                                Make that very good restaurant and very good market.