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"Rangoon Racquet Club" Beverly Hills 1970's-1980's

DianeHeil Jan 7, 2014 06:43 PM

I saw a post from 2009 about the "Rangoon Racquet Club" which was
a fabulous, classic Beverly Hills Restaurant and Bar. It has been several years since any new post have been added to that chain, so I decided to just start a new one. Soon- I will add an image of a lunch menu that I have just purchased! Maybe that will bring some memories
back for you!

I remember it from the early 1980's which was a very fun and social time for Beverly Hills, CA. I would love for anyone to add anything about the menu, food, staff that comes to their mind. If you remember
or know anything of what happened to any of the staff, I would love to
know more! There was a waiter named Ernie who was our favorite!
Our favorite bar food was the "Scotch Eggs"! Anyone else remember ??

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  1. m
    maudies5 RE: DianeHeil Jan 7, 2014 06:50 PM

    I remember it as the first place I had the great chocolate mousse cake from La Mousse

    1 Reply
    1. re: maudies5
      DianeHeil RE: maudies5 Feb 16, 2014 12:30 PM

      So glad to see your post!!

    2. b
      budlit RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 06:36 AM

      I used to go with my grandmother, late 70's. I remember the curried chicken salad.

      2 Replies
      1. re: budlit
        kattoyou RE: budlit Jan 9, 2014 07:40 PM

        Yes, it was wonderful.

        1. re: budlit
          DianeHeil RE: budlit Feb 16, 2014 12:30 PM

          So glad to see your post!

        2. Servorg RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 07:31 AM

          It opened in 1975 and (as far as I recall) closed for good in the early 1990's. Here are a couple of LA Times articles about it.



          2 Replies
          1. re: Servorg
            kattoyou RE: Servorg Jan 9, 2014 07:42 PM


            1. re: Servorg
              DianeHeil RE: Servorg Feb 16, 2014 12:31 PM

              Yes! I love these articles! I found a few pictures as well!

            2. perk RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 08:48 AM

              I loved that place! Went there all the time when I first moved to L.A. We became friends with Manny Zwaaf (sp?) and had a lot of wonderful times there. Our regular items were scotch eggs, the chopped salad and the chili! I was just beginning a career, and would go sometimes to just have a drink. Couldn't afford much else. Manny would always send something over and say "we screwed up this order. please eat it so we don't have to throw it away." I would try to repay him by asking dates (who could afford it) to take me there. Met some very interesting people there; it was a festive, fun scene. I remember Maureen Reagan eating a chocolate mousse under a table, because her husband told her she shouldn't have it. Burt Young was there a lot. And Sam Peckinpaw and I made a bet on the Rose Bowl! Fun times..... I'd love to see that menu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: perk
                DianeHeil RE: perk Feb 16, 2014 12:34 PM

                Oh you're right! My girlfriends and I were invited to go to the formal dinner side few times and we felt like we had won to lottery!! LOL
                Manny was just the nicest gentleman!
                Does anyone know if he's still around!!??

              2. perk RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 09:23 AM

                By the way....Diane....where did you purchase the menu? I'd love to have one.....

                3 Replies
                1. re: perk
                  DianeHeil RE: perk Feb 16, 2014 12:38 PM

                  You know I'm a buyer and seller on Ebay and I found it from a antique dealer in Texas!! They wanted $100.00
                  for it! I watched it for a long time as no one bid on it.
                  I offered 35.00 and the lower they would go was $65.00
                  so what would any nut do who loves great memories??
                  I gave to myself as a Birthday present!! LOL
                  Sorry I haven't posted it yet! I will...promise!

                  1. re: DianeHeil
                    perk RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 01:44 PM

                    good for you giving it to yourself as a gift. i'm sure i would smile every time i looked at it!

                    1. re: DianeHeil
                      kattoyou RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 03:32 PM

                      Yes, please do post it. Thanks!

                  2. Bob Brooks RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 02:15 PM

                    I went there often in the '70's. It had a nice, sort of cluby-like ambience that was very inviting. Remember enjoying their live smothered in shallots.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bob Brooks
                      DianeHeil RE: Bob Brooks Feb 16, 2014 12:38 PM

                      mmmMMMM! YUMMY!!

                    2. t
                      Thor123 RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 02:47 PM

                      Did that become the Saloon?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Thor123
                        JeffW RE: Thor123 Jan 8, 2014 04:57 PM

                        The Saloon was a few blocks away from R.R.C. East of Beverly Drive, but it was also on little Santa Monica. Remember the barrel of little apples that you could partake in, when leaving The Saloon?

                      2. perk RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 03:25 PM

                        I seem to remember the Saloon being open at the same time, Thor, so I don't think so. But....I could be mistaken.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: perk
                          brandygirl RE: perk Jan 8, 2014 03:41 PM

                          Perk is correct. The two restaurants were open at the same time and were close to each other. I had been to The Saloon a few times, but never made it to Rangoon.

                          1. re: brandygirl
                            maudies5 RE: brandygirl Jan 8, 2014 04:44 PM

                            Saloon was further east (IIRC)

                          2. re: perk
                            DianeHeil RE: perk Feb 16, 2014 12:45 PM

                            Well does anyone remember when The Saloon closed because of a huge fire? Would have been mid to late 80's?
                            Did it open again after that?.

                            Hey! Here's another one! Anyone remember the Beverly Hills bar where Carol O'Connor played in a band on Sunday afternoons?? That was a blast too! I just can think of the name!!

                            1. re: DianeHeil
                              susiequeue RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 02:27 PM

                              The Ginger Man

                              1. re: susiequeue
                                DianeHeil RE: susiequeue Feb 16, 2014 10:07 PM

                                Yes!! LOL Just loved it!!

                          3. JeffW RE: DianeHeil Jan 8, 2014 04:55 PM

                            How well I remember the Scotch Eggs. Chicken curry too. This place had such a clubby feel....dark and intimate. I grew up at Pico and Roxbury, and so many of my memories revolved around the Beverly Hills restaurants...even before being old enough to drive, I would walk into the "golden triangle", and enjoy places like The Saloon, the TWO Hamburger Hamlets (one on South Beverly Drive, and one on Bedford), La Scala BOUTIQUE, when it was on Little Santa Monica, The Luau, Lius, Frascati's (sp?), The Mandarin, Bentley's (where the Grill is today), etc.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: JeffW
                              budlit RE: JeffW Jan 8, 2014 04:59 PM

                              Jeff's, do you remember Roxbury Drug store on the corner of Roxbury & Olympic?.........Horllicks malt tablets

                              1. re: budlit
                                JeffW RE: budlit Jan 8, 2014 05:16 PM

                                OHMYGAWD! Do you know me??? I could write a book about Super Drugs, which was it's original name....Those Horlicks Malt tablets would come in a glass bottle, and GOD did I love them. They would break apart in your mouth, but then they would invariably melt down into a stickyness that lodged between your teeth. I loved that actually, because the flavor of those tablets just went on and on and on.
                                Sarah and Herman worked at the front of Super Drugs, and were like family to me. Sarah had a lovely daughter who would come in to visit her mom, and she too was nice to me. Blance worked the Cosmetics case. Mr. Prell was the owner and Pharmacist. I LOVED the soda fountain. I remember being this 12 year old boy and having a crush on this tall fellow named Kyle who worked there....so many memories....and so many reasons for me to walk into Super Drugs :) I lived about 5 houses away, on the other side of Pico. And speaking of these memories, you might remember that the Museum of Tolerance used to be a nursery! If I'm spot on here, it was called "Westwood Nursery".

                                1. re: budlit
                                  JeffW RE: budlit Jan 8, 2014 05:19 PM

                                  Oh my...of course you were talking about Roxbury Drug on Olympic....I just went to another place mentally, as I lived South of Pico. Forgive me for this, but you certainly did stir up some fun memories.

                                2. re: JeffW
                                  DianeHeil RE: JeffW Feb 16, 2014 12:46 PM

                                  OMG! I love your memories!! Loved the Mandarin!

                                3. k
                                  kattoyou RE: DianeHeil Jan 9, 2014 07:36 PM

                                  Perk told me about this link. I'm so happy to see this! We worked in a film company in San Francisco and knew we needed to be in LA to be seriously where the action is. So, we moved and were roommates. I was invited to lunch at the Rangoon Racquet Club. I loved it and told Perk it was a great place and maybe we should go there. So, we went there for a bowl of chili one night. That is a story of it's own, and was the beginning of our friendship with the owner, Manny Zwaf, and so many memories we would write a book… or a screenplay… seriously. Does anyone remember George the chef? He didn't come out from the kitchen much.

                                  Manny was a guardian angel/friend and I will never forget his kindness. Manny's stories were great and included one story about a goat at his restaurant in New York. It was like everyone in the restaurant was on the same playing field no matter who you were. We had so much fun and met so many great people. I particularly remember having drinks with Frank Cappra Jr. and talking about the business. When I think back about the place I think of stories. Old stories and stories about the people who were there interacting with each other. It was a blast!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: kattoyou
                                    DianeHeil RE: kattoyou Feb 16, 2014 12:48 PM

                                    So cool!! I'm so happy you saw these posts!!
                                    Do you know if Manny is still around?

                                    1. re: DianeHeil
                                      perk RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 01:42 PM

                                      I'm pretty sure Manny passed away a while ago.

                                      1. re: DianeHeil
                                        kattoyou RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 11:37 PM

                                        I found this information about Manny on line. It appears he passed in 2001. I will always remember his smile and his warm personality. http://www.mundia.com/be/Person/71413...

                                        1. re: kattoyou
                                          MAVEN1 RE: kattoyou Feb 17, 2014 12:09 AM

                                          good work... he was a great guy and a good restauranter

                                      2. re: kattoyou
                                        dzwaaf100 RE: kattoyou May 18, 2014 06:52 PM

                                        George was our first Executive Chef - a wonderful man who loved his champagne. Sadly he didn't come to work one day and my Dad contacted the police. We went with them to George's apartment and found him lying on the floor. He had died of a heart attack. It was very sad.

                                      3. a
                                        AUTHORITY RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 11:08 AM

                                        I was a regular at the bar from the late 70s 'till the closing. Manny was great running around the place and Ralph behind the bar was tops.. The scocth eggs were just out of this world as well as the drinks.. and the women were yummy too. Nice swank place visited by Walter Cronkite and lots of interesting people. It was the swankiest place in town for those who knew.
                                        RRC is missed by those who knew it !!!!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: AUTHORITY
                                          DianeHeil RE: AUTHORITY Feb 16, 2014 12:49 PM

                                          Oh god I wish we could time travel back just for an evening! Do you remember the waiter "Ernie"?

                                          1. re: DianeHeil
                                            dzwaaf100 RE: DianeHeil May 18, 2014 06:49 PM

                                            Ernie was one of our best waiters. It's been a long time but if I remember correctly he was with us all the way from beginning to end. He was a real character.

                                        2. d
                                          DianeHeil RE: MAVEN1 Feb 16, 2014 12:50 PM

                                          Love your memories!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: DianeHeil
                                            MAVEN1 RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 08:42 PM

                                            I think I recall reading a while back that manny passed away. I can picture him now.. the slight little gent with the dirty blond hair and the black rimmed glasses.I was there as a reg and the other spots. saloon, gingerman etc and of course the tony romas on brighton.. perhaps i even now you... how do i contact u?

                                          2. m
                                            MAVEN1 RE: DianeHeil Feb 16, 2014 09:05 PM


                                            1. d
                                              dzwaaf100 RE: DianeHeil May 18, 2014 04:20 PM

                                              Sitting here on a lazy Sunday afternoon and was thinking about La Mousse ( no idea why) when I came across this thread about the Rangoon Racquet Club. I'm David Zwaaf and Emanuel "Manny" Zwaaf was my father. Dad moved to California from New York around 1972-1973 lured there by Dick Carroll of Carroll & Company (a clothing store on the corner of Little Santa Monica & Rodeo Drive) who was one of the investor/partners at The Saloon. Dad got a new group of investors and opened The Rangoon Racquet Club in late 1974 and we were there until 1991. After selling the RRC he and my mom retired to Palm Desert. Sadly in July 2001 he passed away from leukemia. I moved my mother to Texas where I had relocated a few years later. Reading all of these posts is heartwarming as Manny was loved by many around the world and it's great to know that his memory has not diminished.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: dzwaaf100
                                                perk RE: dzwaaf100 May 18, 2014 06:04 PM

                                                wow. thank you so much for posting. i was one of the regulars and your father was so kind to me and my friend who had just moved to los angeles. we were kids just starting out. we never forgot his kindness, and went to the restaurant as long as it was there. i miss him....one of a kind. thanks again.

                                                1. re: perk
                                                  dzwaaf100 RE: perk May 18, 2014 06:39 PM

                                                  I followed my parents to California after college, worked briefly at The Saloon with my dad then helped open Mr. Chow's. I left there when we opened the RRC and worked with my dad until we closed. I handled the "back of the house" operations - purchasing, accounting, payroll, etc. it was only in the last few years of operation that I worked the dining room with him.

                                                2. re: dzwaaf100
                                                  kattoyou RE: dzwaaf100 May 18, 2014 07:15 PM

                                                  Lovely to read your post David and to know what happened after the RRC closed. We moved to LA in July of 1975 and I'd say from then to 1977 RRC was kind of a home away from home. Manny was a total gentleman and really looked out for us like a father. I don't think I could imagine a better place to be at that time. I will never forget when my back went out and I was not able to move for a couple of weeks. Manny came over with a box of chocolate covered strawberries. I was so surprised and felt honored to be considered his friend. Then I began to travel a lot and would meet up with friends at RRC when possible. We always felt that he wanted nothing but the best for us. I am sure everyone felt that way. Nobody was as good as Manny at the front of the house. Nobody. He was the best!!

                                                  1. re: kattoyou
                                                    dzwaaf100 RE: kattoyou May 18, 2014 07:26 PM

                                                    Thank you for your kind words. He really was loved by all and excelled at what he did. Somewhere I still have a bunch of old menus including those from our Christmas / New Year's events. If I can ever find them, I'll try to scan them and post images.

                                                    Not sure if any of the "regulars" remember but we had RRC satin jackets that were available for special order for patrons. I still have three (two black and one beige - the beige and one black have my name embroidered on the front) but age has put too many pounds on me and if the offer was right, I'd consider selling one or two.

                                                    1. re: dzwaaf100
                                                      MAVEN1 RE: dzwaaf100 May 18, 2014 09:20 PM

                                                      Manny is one of the Legends of the Beverly Hills restaurant scene. It was the swankiest place in town with the likes of Walter Cronkite as diners.... Great memories will never be forgotten.

                                                3. v
                                                  vhfoodie RE: DianeHeil Jun 18, 2014 10:06 AM

                                                  My brother was a waiter there for awhile. His name was Attila.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: vhfoodie
                                                    perk RE: vhfoodie Jun 18, 2014 03:43 PM

                                                    I think I remember him!

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