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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(1953) Larry’s Chili Dog, Burbank

larryschilidogneonsign Went for a late lunch with my friend Corey at Larry’s Chili Dog. I’d often admired the chili dog sign and had always assumed it was a regular restaurant, but when I got past the row of hedges that hide it from the street I found a walk-up order window and some tables and chairs outside under an awning. It was a very hot day, but their clever placement of bushes and umbrellas made enough shade that we were quite comfortable.

-Six square green tables with tan folding chairs, a large awning and umbrellas over the tables that don’t fit under the awning, tall bushes surrounding the eating area and making it feel closed off from the world, a bright yellow Continue reading


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(1975) Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, Hollywood

roscoessignAfter watching the commercial from Tapeheads in preparation, I headed out to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles for dinner with David (my husband) and our dear friend Terry.

There is a rope across the door, and a guy with a clipboard. We told him how many of us there were and waited a little while. There was a party of Continue reading


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(1969) House of Pies, Los Feliz

houseofpiessignI had some time between appointments, so I headed over to the House of Pies in Los Feliz. I’d meant to go there with someone who could eat pie, but I was in a hurry and it was close and it’s not like that’s the only thing they serve.

-It seems like the place should be decorated with an exciting and colorful pie motif, and so is disappointing in its drabness. The booths and chairs are gray, brown, and cream, with light gray wood panelling not the walls that aren’t plain white. A few Continue reading


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(1958) Astro Family Restaurant, Los Angeles

astrosignI had some time in between things, so I stopped by the Astro Family Restaurant for dinner.

-Bright orange booths and orange seats at the counter, light wood tables and counter with matching panelling on the walls, the area behind the counter has a reddish-orange smooth brick wall, and through the window to the kitchen the back wall is tiled in lovely oranges, reds, and yellows. Not many decorations on the walls except for in the Continue reading


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(1948) Factor’s Famous Deli, Los Angeles

wpid-imag0917_1.jpgI had a babysitting job in Beverly Hills, so I went to the (fairly) nearby Factor’s Famous Deli for lunch beforehand.

-When you walk through the doors there’s a large takeaway counter and store, you walk through to get to the restaurant. Two large, airy rooms with green leather booths and light wood, a long-stemmed rose on each table (yellow with orange/red tips, my favorite), sports memorabilia and old movie posters cover the walls, a counter with stools in the very back. The two rooms are divided by a wall with large windows cut out of it, and inside each window a plant holder is suspended by wires so it looks like it’s floating in air.

-I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu and considered getting something other than a pastrami sandwich but I love pastrami sandwiches so much I almost always Continue reading


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(1928) La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, downtown L.A.

 

lagon sign3David (my husband) and I were in the mood for Mexican, so we decided on La Golondrina Mexican Cafe on Olvera street downtown. The restaurant has been there since 1928, but it’s in the oldest brick building in L.A., built in 1855.

We were going to sit on the lovely outdoor patio, where the tables had vibrant colored tablecloths and the air smelled like the best air possible, but I wanted to see the inside of the place, and it turned out to be even lovelier than outside.

-brick walls, mostly but not entirely painted white, bright paintings everywhere, a large stone Continue reading