Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Eating Los Angeles: Drinking at Musso & Frank, Hollywood

Musso & Frank's Sidecars

Eating Los Angeles or perhaps drinking Los Angeles at Musso & Frank’s in the heart of Hollywood

While in L.A. my syn twister (twin sister separated at birth) Deni had the bright idea to go to Hollywood Blvd and try on wigs. OK. I’m game. I’m on vacation after all.

It was Friday afternoon and we couldn’t find parking. Or rather we found parking but the meters were $2.00/hour and we had no change.

Deni had the brilliant idea of going to park in Musso & Frank’s parking lot. The parking attendant said we needed a validation and to be back in 2 hours which would cost us $2.25 (a deal!) but if we came back in 2 hours and 1 minute or longer, we would pay $12.

We moseyed into Musso & Frank’s to have a drink at the bar. Musso & Frank’s is one of these oldies but goodies restaurant, in this case it’s been in the same location since 1919. According to the fan site, Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Edward G. Robinson, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Cesar Romero and many more have dined here. Johnny Depp dined here in 2009.

The massive bar is lined with mostly men of various ages. It just didn’t seem like a chardonnay kind of place. I order a Pimm’s Cup. Deni tries to order an oddly named drink on the menu but our bartender, Manny, says, “No! You won’t like it.” So she opts for a gin and tonic.Ā  We ask Manny how long he’s worked there and he says, “20 years.”Ā  Manny is 80 years old. Thank god there’s a profession that doesn’t discriminate against people for ageism.

Deni thinks she sees a movie star at the end of the bar. He doesn’t look familiar to me but then again, I’ve never watched 2 1/2 Men, whatever that is. At LAX, I saw Marilu Henner from one of my favorite old shows, Taxi.

We sip our drinks and make polite conversation. Deni whips out her camera and tries to take a photo of us sitting at the bar. Some nice guy comes over and offers to take our photo with Manny. Click.

Manny the bartender and friends

Deni wants to have another drink so we opt to share a Sidecar which many at the bar seem to be drinking. A Sidecar is brandy, triple sec, and lime juice served in a sugar rimmed glass. Damn, it was delicious.

Unfortunately, the official website is under construction so there’s no menu but let’s just say it’s not Macaroni Grill which is a good thing. A porterhouse steak served a la carte will cost you $38, mashed potatoes $6.50, a goblet of jello $4. The menu is old school, expensive comfort food served in an Old Hollywood setting.

I have a nice little buzz going as we walk into the throng of people on Hollywood Boulevard. We start looking for wig shops. Amidst ma and pa tourists, there are still plenty of hookers around. The clock is ticking and I don’t want to pay $12.

In the first wig store, I take a photo and get yelled at. I honestly didn’t see the sign. In the second wig store, I saw the sign. Here, some the mannequins reminded me of the Children of the Damned science fiction movie where the children all look alike and their eyes followed me all over the store. We never did try on wigs but snapped a few photos outside. The skunk “do” stands out in a crowded room.

radical wigs in Hollywood

We made it back to the parking lot with five minutes to spare. Next, dinner at the Alibi Room.

  1. When I lived in L.A. 20 years ago briefly, I remember going to Musso & Frank’s for lunch. It was a hangout for the radio industry at the time and it reminded me of Sardi’s in New York.

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