Remains of L.A.

Traces of L.A.'s past can still be found, in the kitsch of '50s diners and the decayed glamour of '40s hotspots… and sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people.


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(1956) Mazzarino’s, Sherman Oaks

mazzarinossignTonight Ari and I went and got pizza at Mazzarino’s. It was actually a lot more complicated than that; we did not plan ahead and  drove around for quite a while trying to look up places on the list while my phone kept dying, and at one point a man almost walked his dog directly into Ari’s car, but the important part is that no dogs died and we ended up at Mazzarino’s.

-High ceiling room with massive black chandeliers, terra-cotta tiles on the floor and halfway up the wall, large paintings showing scenes of Italy. The room was a little oddly shaped, sort of long and narrow, but I still liked it.

-Ari and I split a pizza with mushrooms, tomato, and Continue reading

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(1956) Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks

casavegasignDavid (my husband) has been seeing the lovely Casa Vega sign his whole life and always wondered about it, so tonight we headed over there along with our friend Corey.

There was a twenty minute wait for a table; they suggested we wait at the bar but it was packed so we went for a walk around the block, getting back just as the pager they’d given us buzzed.

-The bar was stunning, with colored christmas lights and a sort of canopy sign with drinks written in script. The rest of the restaurant was dark rooms with white christmas lights, brick walls, hanging lamps that looked like Continue reading


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(1956) Beeps, Van Nuys

beepsMy friends Corey and Suze had both expressed an interest in going to Beeps, so David (my husband) and I arranged to meet them there for dinner. Then we were really late because we hadn’t counted on traffic being as rough as it was. There are few things I hate more than being late.

Beeps had been described to me as a diner, but it’s really more of a sandwich/burger stand with a tiny indoor eating area and a slightly less tiny patio. The counter has an order window both on the inside and the outside, and if you’re eating there they’ll bring you your food.

-I got a patty melt and onion rings. I’ve never had a patty melt with tomato on it before, and if I have my way Continue reading


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(1956) Little Toni’s, North Hollywood

It was incredibly hard to get a picture of this sign to show up on my camera as anything other than a block of light. But I stuck with it.

It was incredibly hard to get a picture of this sign to show up on my camera as anything other than a block of light. But I stuck with it.

Wasn’t planning on going to another place Friday night, but we went to a party at a bar and when we got there the kitchen was closed and I was hungry and Little Toni’s was just down the street, so David (my husband) and our friend Corey and I walked over. I had always assumed, for some reason, that it was a pizza-by-the-slice type place, with a counter and rickety tables. Turned out to be a sit-down restaurant, much nicer than you usually see open till 2 a.m.

-Getting there was confusingly difficult; it sits on a wedge-shaped corner where three streets cross at odd angles and none of the crosswalks seemed to lead there. We were finally forced to nervously jaywalk.

-Light wood walls and exposed Continue reading