Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's Eat!

Ok, so here is a bucket list of sorts for very vintage and nostalgic restaurants right here in Los Angeles that I have yet to try.  Each one is steeped with history, famous clientele, fabulous menus, and in some cases infamous happenings.  I am going to try my darndest to get to each one, hopefully in this new year (and I will post Yelp reviews, so they will appear on the blog's sidebar once I do).

Musso and Frank Grill (opened in 1919)
6667 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
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Touted as the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, Musso and Frank Grill has been catering to celebrities and celebrity spotters for over ninety years.  Some of the famous faces that ate at the restaurant include Rudolph Valentino, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Charlie Chaplin, to name a few.  Classic (and I do mean classic) menu items include prime rib, pork chops, pommes lyonnaise, and corned beef and cabbage.  The eatery was named after original owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet.

aka: Cole's
118 E. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA
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Another eatery that has a claim to fame, and in this case it is "originator of the french dip" (don't tell Phillipe's) and the oldest restaurant and bar in the city of Los Angeles.  Now, I have actually stepped foot in Cole's, but only because I was on my way to The Varnish (the not-so-secret secret bar inside Cole's), but I have heard that they also have some mean drinks and of course some great sandwiches.  I'll have to be the judge of that one of these days.  The restaurant was founded by Henry Cole and it is located on the ground floor level of the Pacific Electric Building (hence the name).

Clifton's Cafeteria (this location opened in 1935)
648 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA
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This cafeteria was the second location opened by Clifford Clinton in 1935.  Like many of his other restaurants and cafeterias, the location on Broadway had a theme, which was a lodge, complete with waterfalls, faux redwood trees, and a mural depicting a life-size forest.  Every day Clifton's offers up hundreds of choices in food, beverage and dessert, including navy bean soup, Texas toast, brisket, baked halibut, lemon rice, macaroni and cheese, their famous apple pie and a special "Treasure Tray" for kids which is a cafeteria version of a happy meal.  I honestly can't wait to try Clifton's, if only to see the kitschy decor and stand in the cafeteria line.

Formosa Café (opened in 1934)
7156 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA
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The Formosa Café used to be a trolley car, and that alone is enough to entice me.  However, it is also the place where Frank Sinatra allegedly spent many a night pining over Ava Gardner.  Other famous folks that dined at the Formosa include James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Judy Garland.  Besides cocktails (they do have a bar), you can also venture to try some of their menu items (although many Yelp reviewers warn against it).  Some of these include lobster mac and cheese, calamari, kung pao chicken, and pad thai (it seems their menu is a bit of Asian and a bit of American food).

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