Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've Eaten At Most Of These Places

Musso & Frank's makes some great mac and cheese, lots of crust with long noodles. Miceli's is a lot of fun and they weren't afraid of garlic. Yum, yum. The OP stays open no matter what, something like 76 years nonstop. No holidays, no riots. A taste of old L.A.: "Give Musso & Frank (old and classy) a steakhouse-continental menu, red vinyl booths and a 'Starlight Lounge' with live entertainment, and you'd pretty much have Burbank's Smoke House. Like Musso's, the Smoke House (ok) is a movie biz hangout, but more upscale — it's as close to Lakeside Golf Club as to Warner Bros. Studio. And not all of the patrons are industry types. There aren't enough of them to account for all the loaves of cheese-soaked 'garlic bread' this place moves.

Miceli's (I prefer the Cahuenga location) claims to be the oldest pizza place in Hollywood, but its real attraction is its air of a cozy den safe from the uncertainty of the outside world — or at least of Hollywood Boulevard. 'Den' is the word, by the way, not 'lounge,' despite the guy singing Sinatra hits over there at the piano — no lounge has thousands of empty Chianti flasks bearing down on you from its ceiling.

The Original Pantry (ate there many times after a night of bartending) may be just a big plain room full of people ordering while they wait for seats, eating fast and moving on, but it has a special place in our town, because it shows we can be urban if we want. The proverbial 'all walks of life' can be found here 24 hours a day, starting their meat and potato meals with the famous French bread and coleslaw. Indeed, I once sat at the counter between a guy who was telling his companion, 'And if they default, we'll slap a lien on them,' and another who was saying, 'I'm not going back to work. I'm going to the track.'"
They mention Canters but I prefer Jerry's Deli on Ventura Blvd near Coldwater (especially at 4 am when all the "strange" people come in). I've also eaten breakfast at the Pacific Dining Car (it was ok) and Du-Pars at Laurel and Ventura makes some great pancakes.

My absolute favorite place to eat is a vegetarian (I'm a major meat eater) mexican restaurant, the flaxseed tea is awesome and the soy chicken tostada is the best I have ever had, meat or no meat. If I'm within 50 miles of LA, I detour and have a plate.

As usual, the stuff in parentheses belongs to me.

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