Thursday, September 16, 2010

Los Angeles is a city rich in history and culture, and as such there are many historic Los Angeles restaurants still standing today. The interiors, exteriors, signs, and furniture of these establishments are all representative of the eras in which they were built, and are truly living museums of the past.

One of these is Barneys Beanery, located on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood on what was once a part of Route 66. This restaurant has the distinction of having been patronized by many of the stars of the silver screen, and of being the third oldest restaurant in Los Angeles. The founder and original owner, John Barney Anthony, first opened the restaurant in 1920, and designed the menu to reflect his love for traditional American cuisine, and many of the same items chosen by Anthony are still featured on the menu to this day. The bar in Barneys Beanery is featured in the movie The Doors and is rumored to have been a particular favorite of Doors singer Jim Morrison and another singer of the day, Janis Joplin.


Hollywoods oldest restaurant, however is Musso and Frank, which first opened its doors in 1919 and has been catering to Hollywood legends ever since. Table number one in the west room was silent film star Charlie Chaplins regular table, and the great American writers William Faulkner and Ernest Hemmingway patronized the establishment frequently. Orson Wells, as well, was rumored to frequent it. Frank and Mussos oak beamed ceilings red leather booths, and hearty American Continental faire will make you feel as though you have stepped into a time warp.

Another favorite among the many historic Los Angeles restaurants is the Tam O Shanter which was established in 1922 by Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp at a time when it was still possible to drive there through dusty country roads. Over time, the Tam became the favorite dining establishment of John Wayne, Mary Pickford, Walt Disney, and the members of the Disney studio. In 1968, the Tam was remodeled and renamed the Great Scot, but the hospitality and cuisine remained the same. In 1982, in honor of the restaurants sixtieth anniversary, the name was changed back to the Tam O Shanter Inn, and patrons today can still sample some of the restaurants signature dishes, like Scots Rarebit and Toad in The Hole. 

There are so many historic Los Angeles restaurants to explore, each one with its own unique history and story. Why not explore on your own today and search for your own hidden gems still located amongst the industrial parks and generic chain restaurants in the LA area.


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