Historic Hollywood's Fantastic Four
Their culinary roots and Hollywood notoriety may be rooted in the past, but their appeal and ambiance never go out of style.
By Elyse Glickman
1. Musso and Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Boulevard
Marquis value: Old World Hollywood Continental. In the golden years of Hollywood, almost everyone in the entertainment business broke bread at Musso and Frank. While Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, and Edward G. Robinson brought their star wattage to the table, the locale was also a second home to numerous famous writers including Nathaniel West, William Falkner, Thomas Wolfe, and Ernest Hemingway.
What makes a legend most: Mark Echeverria, 31, the family's fourth generation to manage Musso and Frank Grill, has brought new life and culinary vitality to a spot long-billed as "the oldest restaurant in Hollywood," outlasting the likes of Sardi's, the Brown Derby, and Chasen's.
1999 North Sycamore Avenue
Marquis value: The Bernheimer brothers set out in 1911 to build a hilltop mansion 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard to house their priceless collection of Asian treasures. During the 1920s, Yamashiro housed the ultra-exclusive "400 Club," one of Hollywood's first celebrity hangouts. Though anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II stripped the location of its luster, it enjoyed a renaissance in the '50s and '60s, and renovations continue into the present day.
What makes a legend most: Executive Chef Brock Kleweno brings a modern, diverse touch to the menu with items such as Truffle Hamachi, Kurobuta Pork Carnitas, Forbidden Rice Roll, and Wagyu Steak on a Himalayan Salt Plate. Sommelier Steve Wastell, meanwhile, keeps Yamashiro's bar up to date with fresh fruit-based muddled cocktails and a prolific list of top shelf spirits, sake, wine, and draft beer.
1646 North Las Palmas Avenue
Marquis Value: Miceli's was established in 1949, when Carmen and Sylvia Miceli gathered together their meager funds and, joined by sisters Angie and Millie and brothers Tony and Sammie, opened what is considered to be "Hollywood's first pizza house," anchored by family recipes from Sicily via Old Chicago.
What becomes a legend most: The appeal of Miceli's is unwavering—rich Sicilian fare, the home-y ambiance and, most importantly, unquestionably talented waiters that burst into song when you least expect it. Fans have run the gamut from presidents John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, to the Beatles, to current celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, and Julia Roberts.
4. Sportsmen's Lodge
12825 Ventura Boulevard
Marquis value: Operating under various names (including "Hollywood Trout Farms") since the 1880s, the Sportsmen's Lodge is a San Fernando Valley landmark and remains a popular spot for celebrations, dinners, and public events. It was popular gathering spot for cast and crew in old Hollywood, including Clark Gable, Bette Davis, John Wayne, and Humphrey Bogart.
What becomes a legend most: Since its old Hollywood heyday, it has remained a go-to location for the entertainment industry, from Columbo and The Rockford Files to The Office and Parks and Recreation. Better still, it is a centrally located spot for business luncheons and small conferences.