Friday, September 04, 2009
musso's - a landmark

So.....here was Musso & Frank's Grill back when they first opened in 1919.....It is a "family" owned business---in fact, they own the building itself which gives one a real sense of comfort....It is still a family run and owned and business, and it is still the same original family..... The way it looks in this picture above....is pretty much how it still looks. AS I have written before, it is on the north side of Hollywood Blvd and the nearest cross street is Cherokee. It is just a few blocks east of Hollywood & Highland. There are two different entry doors which take you into a little vestibule, which protects the diners from the wind and or rain or cold....and then there are another two doors leading directly into the dining room...At least that is my memory that there are two more doors----it has been about five years since I was there and most of the time I always entered from the Parking Lot in the back, having driven there from home or somewhere else..... This is the sign above the Restaurant in front, on Hollywood Blvd. And when you enter, what you see in the picture below is pretty much the view that you see as you walk in from the street........ Over on the left wall are the half-circle booths that can seat four people for sure and five, if push comes to shove (There is one much larger booth right at the front door, with the street window behind it---I'll show you that later---that particular booth is big enough to hold six or seven, if need be.....) In the center are the small booths for two or for just one....Lots of people come to Musso's alone. For whatever the reason the management and waiters don't make you feel like you don't belong, which is really a lovely sweet thing.....Then over on the right there are some more semi-circle booths, but they are smaller and only seat three, at the most...Beyond that towards the back wall there are maybe two more small booths that seat only two.....and on the far right beyond that wooden partition is 'the counter'...... The chairs are really comfy with padded seats and they have arms, too, plus they move so it is easy to get in and out of them....I've sat in just about every place in that room that you can, at one time or another over all these many years---starting in 1961...I've sat in ALL the booths and at the counter, too......It's fun to sit at the counter because you can watch the very skilled Counter Chefs do their magic, and it is like a beautiful dance, depending on what they are making....... The counter kind of curves around at the front part---the street side near the front doors.....And if you were standing right there at that part and turned to your right, you would enter their second room---another very good sized dining room which also holds the Bar. This room is set up quite a bit differently..... This picture above was no doubt taken at Lunch Time...no tablecloths....And as you can see, the Bar is right there with that wooden partition behind it, separating the dining tables from the bar itself....Now, in the picture below, we are looking at this whole room from the other end of the room, sort of Cati-corner---back towards the front entry where we were in the previous picture....... As you can see, there are booths along that partition---small ones mostly, and on the back walls and side wall there are more booths, plus the tables that are in the center. The difference in these two rooms is, the first one has no tables, only booths....It is Dinner Time and so all the tables are set with tablecloths (This room was where we had Betty's Lunch after she got her Star...)....The Bar, from this vantage point is over there against the right wall that separates the two Dining Rooms from each other..... This is kind of a fabulous looking Bar...a very old fashioned looking bar like the whole restaurant, actually. Musso's is really like stepping back in time in every way, including the food! And look at this drink below...... It looks like a Martini from the 1950's-1960's with an olive and that dear little extra Martini right next to it in one of those old fashioned miniature carafes.....As I said, this wonderful place really looks like it is from another time entirely, and that's really why we all love it so. I have spent many happy hours there, sharing meals with friends and at 'meetings', as well as the alone times at the counter for a lovely late breakfast or an early lunch.......It has such a feeling of old Hollywood and so much history is embodied in these walls......And I cannot tell you how often I would run into people I know having a meal there.....It is definitely a popular place for Show People...... Don't you love this Cash Register--It is the Bar Cash Register. And it looks like a really old wonderful Register (which is what it really is...) and it sounds like one, too.....You know that kind of little ding-ding-ring sound and that other sound when the drawer comes out? It is like everything else at Musso's.....from another simpler more naive time, including the Waiters......And wait till you see some of the food.....






More To Come........












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26 Comments:
had this to say:

What a wonderful place! I love all the booths and the counter.It sounds fabulous. If I ever go to LA I will be sure to seek it out.

On another note, I am glad you are ok and not threatened by the fires. Hugs.

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 3:11:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

makes me think of Dean Martin for some reason
and picturing long limos pulling up in front and very glamorous people eating pastrami lol

I love the old photos!!! the B&W and the sepia hues are wonderful

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 5:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Good stuff. It reminds me of a similar establishment we had here for many years which, alas, succumbed to the fast food competition. Too bad. I wish my kids could have the experience. I'm glad, however, your favorite lives on in Hollywood.

Cheers.

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 5:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love that it's still there after all of these years and hasn't been torn down to build a Starbucks!

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 6:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That's my kind of place. I imagined a lot of things had been filmed there but IMDB lists only one episode of "Mad Men" and the movie Ed Wood. If I ever go back to LA, I'm going to go eat there.

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I can feel the atmosphere and history. I just love when places last. I wonder how many movies it has been in?

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 2:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

We will definitely visit that place once we decided to travel to LA soon. Ooh I can't wait!

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 2:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I don't remember seeing it when I was in LA, but I saw so much that I had heard about that it was impossible to notice everything. If I ever get back there, I'll be sure to go there and eat.

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 4:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

can't wait to hear what you suggest i order when i go there. =)

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 5:41:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

I loved everything those days and feelings seem to be gone today there was a pace that was peaceful and serene no cell phone computers or rush rush. I loved seeing and sensing what was which seems so long ago.

Dorothy from grammology
grammolgoy.com

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 9:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Loved those comfy chairs at the counter. Thoughtful for the individual diner.
This place looks right out of a movie. How neat that the same family runs it and that it hasn't been gobbled up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 3:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I want that martini! OMG, the place is beautiful and quaint, full of history and life, and best of all, they make you feel like family when you walk in alone. I love that!

I just went to a little Cuban fish place down the street yesterday (first time), what some would call a dive, but the food was TO DIE FOR...hearty portions and lots of vino in the glass (more than the usual 4 ounces).

The best part was the cook who came to greet us and the old man behind the bar who stopped by to chat for a bit. He told me about his old neighborhood in Oriente, Cuba (where my father's from), so I knew what he was talking about.

It's family owned and the whole family seemed to be there with warm smiles and friendly hellos. I promised to bring my father back with me next time. Who knows, maybe he and the bartender were buddies back in the day. Wouldn't that be something??

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Musso & Frank's...especially the food/drinks! :)

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, Naomi!

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 5:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I think the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce should be paying you for this series ... it is making us all want to get out there and see all these fabulous places for ourselves!

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I’d love to visit this place and your pictures make it look so inviting. I’ll try to go there next time we visit our daughter in Long Beach. I am sending her a link to your blog because our youngest daughter his going to visit her in Long Beach soon for their birthdays and they are trying to decide what to do while she is there for the week – that would be a great place for their birthday dinner.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 9:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I will reveal a secret:
Simply love old fashioned restaurants this classic style.
When younger, Anna and I allways went to what we in Oslo used to name:
"Brown" restaurants. Traditional food and affordable prices. And charming and interesting guests of all kinds. Easy to talk with other guests and easy to stay alone.
It's seems this traditional, family driven establishment have understood peoples needs, whether alone, as a couple or as a whole "bunch" of friends going out together.

Have a great weekend.
hugs
from Norway

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 10:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful landmark restaurant. I love the inside. The outside, I liked the original 1919 front to the building with the arches and poles. It had more style and substance. I'm a sucker for really old architecture.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 12:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think everyone wants to step back in time. I myself adore the 50's, and the diners etc. There is nothing like a place that's genuine and has such a great history. So many modern fast food joints just have no soul.

I love the old photos too.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 3:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is a very nice looking place and to think it has survived all these years. The inside look very pretty, thanks for sharing these pictures. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 5:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That looks like a fantastic place to eat and people watch. I would so rather go to a nice "independent" restaurant than a chain any day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 6:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Well, they don't make em like they used to. The car in photo says it all. Best car I ever rode in--a Desoto.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 6:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I absolutely LOVED this! Anything old Hollywood is very interesting and it is wonderful that you have the memories and talent to write about them.

Great post!

Anne

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 4:23:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

I was just going to ask what kind of cuisine but I shall have to be patient. What strikes me is the space and the way it is laid out there couldn't fail to be a great buzz. The space thing is what struck about Parisian restaurants also.
How marvellous to have a place like that with such atmosphere close at hand. You certainly chose the right place to settle down.
That misted glass containing the martini makes me feel misty;)
And comfy chairs are a bonus.

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 4:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I need to swing by there with Jimmy VP sometime for lunch, looks like a fun place Naomi. I can't believe I've never been.

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 5:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Just over from Pat's for a visit!

I have always wondered about musso's--thank you so much for all these pictures--it's a magical place.

Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 5:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the wonderful white tablecloths! There is something more elegant about dining at a place like that.

If I ever make it to LA I'd love to eat there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:41:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Tradition.....!

Monday, September 14, 2009 at 6:58:00 AM PDT 

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