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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(1934) Magee’s Kitchen, Hollywood

farmersmarketsignHad a dentist appointment, so to cheer myself up after I went to one of my favorite places on earth, the Original Farmer’s Market in Hollywood. This isn’t the regular sort of farmer’s market where people set up tables one day a week, but a permanent structure (actually several structures sort of hunkered together with open areas in between them, but inside it feels like you’re in one structure with an odd roof that doesn’t cover everything, and also sort of like you’re still outside) that has been here since 1935. Inside is a jumble of food stands and stalls and little stores selling tourist tchotchkes, hats, hot pepper sauce, toys, stickers, scented candles, candy, ice cream, and of course fresh fruits and vegetables. There are dozens of places to eat and every where are round tables with different-colored tops and folding chairs and it’s always packed full of people and it’s just marvelous. It’s mentioned in the book Weetzie Bat by L.A. siren Francesca Lia Block, which I read before I moved here (and was one of the reasons I did), and I was thrilled to find it right across the street from my first Hollywood apartment. It is, to me, the very best thing in Los Angeles.

There are several places in the Farmer’s Market on The List so I chose the oldest; Magee’s Kitchen. I’d never eaten there before (my usual is jambalaya at The Gumbo Pot) but have heard 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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(1949) Miceli’s Pizzeria, Hollywood

micelis signI met my friend Jenelle at Miceli’s Pizzeria  for dinner. I’d never noticed before that “pizzeria” is part of the name. It seems like such an old-fashioned Italian restaurant, I never thought of it as being a pizza place in particular.
-Brick walls, ornately carved wooden pillars and booths,  red, white, and green Christmas lights, hanging tiffany lamps (they seem to be in almost  every place I go), lamps that look like old-timey street lamps with red, white, and green glass panels. Covering the ceiling are those straw baskets they put around the bottoms of wine bottles, signed by customers. It feels very cozy and warm. There’s a short staircase up to another level where a piano is playing.
-Jenelle and I split the mixed green salad which, she says correctly, comes with the best bleu cheese dressing in the world. It’s amazing. We also split a Continue reading