Go Back To The Good Ol’ Days At These 12 Classic L.A. Eateries

While you know we heart the nonstop parade of chic eatery openings and the fresh coats of paint our town gets on the daily, sometimes "shiny and new" is just not what we're after. Even though the long history of L.A. is oftentimes forgotten, it's still solid and super interesting.
That's why we've rounded up a deliciously dishy list of spots where the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Steve McQueen used to dig in and party down. From the steakhouses of yesteryear to the best French Dip you'll ever taste, this grub still leaves a lasting impression today. So, travel back in time with this sumptuous slideshow, and sink your teeth into menus that have real heritage.
Photos Via (clockwise from top left): Miceli's, Musso & Frank Grill, The Polo Lounge, and Yamashiro


This old-Hollywood haunt was Los Angeles' very first pizza house, and since its opening in 1949, everyone from JFK to the Beatles to Julia Roberts have gotten their Italian on here. Family-owned and super yummy, there's not many places left in town where you're serenaded with Italian arias and show tunes, tableside.
Miceli’s Italian Restaurant, 1646 Las Palmas Avenue (Near Hollywood Boulevard); 323-644-3438.

Musso & Frank's
If the walls of this resto could talk, we'd ask 'em to spill the secrets of a very long list of celebs, some of whom include Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe (with Joe DiMaggio in tow, of course), Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Groucho Marx, and John Barrymore. Many of the biggest cinematic deals of yore were made and celebrated in its famous Back Room, and much of the original menu from 1919 remains available today. We recommend you sit back in a weathered leather booth and enjoy what GQ dubbed the most perfect martini in America (after one sip you'll know this isn't their first rodeo).
Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Boulevard (Between North Highland Avenue and North Cahuenga Boulevard); 323-467-7788.

The Polo Lounge
You've most likely seen oodles of glamorous Beverly Hills Hotel poolside photos of this spot, by Slim Aarons, but nestled inside the famed place at the Polo Lounge, discretion is what generations of A-listers have adored most. Always crawling with the chic elite, this enclave is perfect for spending a quiet romantic evening, power lunch, or Sunday brunch filled with jazz. And on May 12, the resort will celebrate 100 years in business, so you can expect a boatload of upcoming festivities at this toast of the town!
The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard (Near Glen Way); 310-887-2777.


Far and away the best view in the resto biz, this Japanese haven has peered over the mountains of L.A. for over 88 years. Sure, it was originally a home that's had plenty of facelifts, but the architects thankfully have chosen to keep Yamashiro's historic bones beautifully intact. Its CalAsian cuisine never disappoints, and the soon to be reopened farmer's market on Thursday nights is such an unexpected night out (we'd so swoon for a guy who took us for the outdoor fare on a first date).
Yamashiro, 1999 North Sycamore Avenue (At Franklin Avenue); 323-466-5125.

Other Notables:
Formosa Cafe, 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard (At North La Brea Avenue); 323-850-9050.
Taix, 1911 West Sunset Boulevard (At Glendale Boulevard); 213-484-1265.
Dan Tana's, 9071 Santa Monica Boulevard (Near North Doheny Drive); 310-275-9444.

Photos Via (clockwise from top left): The Palm, Pacific Dining Car, Smoke House, and Philippe

The Palm
This legendary NYC hotspot didn't open its WeHo digs until '75, but it has served up prime-aged steaks, chicken parmigian, and lobsters to so many A-listers that every tour bus in town makes regular stops at the classic resto.

The Palm, 9001 Santa Monica Boulevard (At Rampage Street); 310-550-8811.

Pacific Dining Car
The PDC is hands down our favorite on this list for sheer uniqueness alone. Although, the martinis and meat are unbeatable, too. The 1921 building was originally a real railway train, and lines used to wrap around the block because reservations were impossible to come by, due to a famous lack of telephone. It's open 24 hours a day, and is still owned by the same family, now four generations deep.
Pacific Dining Car, 1310 West 6th Street (Near Witmer Street); 213-483-6000.


Philippe’s The Original
There's nothing fancy about Philippe's, but if you're into French Dipped sandwiches, you most definitely will want to chow down on L.A.'s original rendition. Standing strong since 1908, only cash is accepted here, the plates are paper, the service is fast, and the mustard is hot.
Philippe’s The Original, 1001 N. Alameda Street (At Ord Street); 213-628-3781.

The Smoke House
This Burbank eatery next to the Warner Brothers lot is one of the few restaurants of the WWII era whose doors are still open. Anyone filming nearby has flocked to SH for mouthwatering prime rib and other calorically charged (and oh-so-worth it) bites. In the '60s, the lunchtime crowd would even be crawling with costumed cowboy and Indian extras!
The Smoke House, 4420 West Lakeside Drive (Near West Olive Avenue); 818-845-3731.

Other Notables:
The Galley, 2442 Main Street (Near Ocean Park Boulevard); 310-452-1934.
The Dresden, 1760 North Vermont Avenue (At Franklin Avenue); 323-665-4294.