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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(1937) Damon’s Steak House

DTH Damons sign 01I’d wanted to go to the old Tiki-themed steakhouse Damon’s in Glendale for a while, but the dinner menu is a bit pricey (I really, really can’t afford to have a blog like this). The lunch menu, however, was surprisingly affordable, so I headed over one day around noon.

DTH interiorDamons07-Palm fronds on the ceiling and bamboo everywhere, lots of unreal palm trees and intensely busy, colorful murals of Polynesian scenes on all the walls, and lots of masks and pictures of things like mermaids hanging on the walls that didn’t have murals, it is wonderful, like being inside an incredibly fake Tiki hut. Here and there there were stuffed monkeys, the kind with long arms and velcro hands, hanging off of pillars. So many details, more to see everywhere you look. I want to live there. All the hanging lamps are different, odd shapes. There is a big Continue reading

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(1947) The Great White Hut, Glendale

gwhneonWent with David (my husband) to The Great White Hut. There’s something I love about burger stands, they’re so compact and self-contained.

greatwhitehut-A tiny little building in the corner of a parking lot, white walls with bright blue trim, surrounded on three sides with a black-and-white checker-board tile counter. Stools with blue posts and red seats, shaded by a blue-and-white awning. We order through a Continue reading


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(1964) Foxy’s Restaurant, Glendale


“Crystal chandeliers,” is not, it turns out, a selling point of restaurant. There’s a chandelier shop that shares the parking lot.

Sunday brunch with my friend JT. We chose Foxy’s because it’s near her house and was very obviously a place that would have great breakfast food.

I was a bit surprised, maybe confused, by Foxy’s. That might have been partly because it was crowded to the point of chaotic so I had a hard time getting a handle on it. But I expected it to be a straight-forward diner, and it seemed very determined to show that it was not that. Lots of “we’re mature now” vases of chic flowers and red cloth draped over the entrances to the kitchens and many, many tasteful art prints of wine bottles on the walls. Also a wine-bottle shaped wine rack. This is a place that wants you to know it’s old enough to drink.

-long A-frame structure with a sharply peaked Continue reading


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(1967) Dinah’s Chicken, Glendale

dinahssignI walked to Dinah’s Fried Chicken for lunch; I figured I’d need the exercise to make up for the eating I was about to do. I grew up on the edge of the South, and sometimes right in it, and Dinah’s made me feel wonderfully comfortable and happy. Everything that is charming about southern decorating is crammed into this one room.

-Red walls and wooden tables, pretty wooden chairs, ceramic chickens and pictures of chickens everywhere. Painted along the top of the wall are pictures of open windows with flowerpots, which should be corny but somehow isn’t at all.

-I got two pieces of fried chicken, dark meat, and corn on the cob. It took a good deal of effort to not get mashed potatoes, but I did it. Everything is exactly perfect, down to the Continue reading