USC Friday Notes Column Supplement

Here’s some of the restaurants I mentioned in today’s notes column that provided chartered bus service to Rams games in 1958.

The Old Virginia Steakhouse in South Pasadena.

The Blarney Stone in Burbank.

The Saratoga on Sunset Blvd. Filet mignon for $2.85!

The Dal Rae is still open in Pico Rivera.

Tom Bergin’s in West L.A.

The Covina Bowl.

The Pasta House in East L.A.

103 thoughts on “USC Friday Notes Column Supplement

  1. NY strip steak, or bacon-wrapped filet, salad or soup, baked potato, onion rings, and dessert for $2.95. Live Maine lobster with all the fixins for $2.85. One could indeed live like a king in LA back in the day.

    Today, LA is spending $837,000 per unit to build a studio apt for the homeless.

    #HowTimesHaveChanged

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But …they’re really not.
      All these “units for the homeless” are a scam. Developers get huge loans from the city if they say they’re building housing for the homeless. The loans never get repaid and the units don’t go to the homeless.
      And it’s all done with your property tax money.
      #Sweet

      Liked by 3 people

      1. P. S.
        On a happier note — Scott is topping himself. This Friday column will be fondly remembered by readers long after today’s angry politics and social upheaval fades away.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. $1.3B in total was earmarked to build homes for the homeless.
      Assuming:
      • current per unit costs hold,
      • gifting homes, not earning homes somehow proves to cure the myriad of underlying ills that led to homelessness
      • selected residents will be long term/perm residents
      Understanding:
      • That as long as the land & bldgs operate according to plan, there will be little/no increase in value, and no “beyond scope” upside
      • That breaking whatever cycle of bad breaks, bad decisions, or bad drugs is highly dependent on the people, not the furnishings, you’re surrounded by. (Buildings full of like minded individuals can be empowering if those bldgs form a USC, or they can be enslaving if they form a Maravilla Projects).
      At its rose-colored glasses best you’re looking at helping 1400 individuals for some TBD amount of time. $1.3B is being spent to feed fish for the foreseeable future of 1400, but nobody is learning to fish.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. boxisbento —
        The gulf between the promise and the reality:
        The money is given out with strings attached — (1) the developer has to pay prevailing wage and (2) the units have to be reserved for persons who qualify as homeless and (3) the developer has to repay the loan in pre-agreed amounts as soon as the certificate of occupancy is awarded. Except…that’s not what happens. It’s never clear who the “developer” is. Workers are not paid prevailing wage. And no one seriously monitors whether the occupants are homeless or the loan is paid back.
        btw, What do you want to bet some of the money comes back to the politicians backing the projects in the form of campaign contributions?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Put slightly differently, the easiest way to be able to afford to live in LA today is claim drug dependence and homelessness, and then be given one of these nearly $1,000,000 residences. No fishing skill needed.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. There is one thing that might make the whole million dollar homes for homeless deal a tad more palatable: if taxpayers were able to enter the bldg whenever the urge struck and pee on someone’s front door*.

        *not on the front doors of the truly needy who are genuinely in need of a break, just the doors of those who’ve beleived that their condition is justification for breaking the social contract the rest of society lives by

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Guys –If all the money that has been earmarked for low income housing in Los Angeles over the last 3 decades (trillions of dollars) REALLY went into low income housing, there would be no homeless problem.
        #WhereHasThatMoneyGone?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Scooter,

    Tom Bergin’s was a great place. They are closed unfortunately. I have been to the Del Rae, it is okay. Been by Blarney and Ol Vrigina. Great places. Now you have these fusion joints that charge you $50.00 for a shrimp. Pantry and Le Roy’s in Monrovia are still the best for breakfast.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When I was a baby prosecutor my buddies and I would rush to Langer’s at lunchtime to grab life-giving Corned Beef sandwiches and chocolate malts (with eggs in them) for $8.95.
        [I got to pay Langer’s back a little for all their great food when I prosecuted the Revolutionary Communist Party —the forerunner of Antifa—for smashing all the glass doors and glass windows at Langer’s on May Day]….

        Liked by 3 people

    1. You just nailed it, P.T. [Both were favorites of the Administrative Vice cops I used to work with —we’d find ways of pissing away 2-3 hours there on non-trial days]….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. L.A had a great Hungarian resturant on Ventura Blvd, but it was turned over to an Indian (Asia) resturant. I miss that as well. Being Hungarian, I am an orphan since there aren’t anymore Hungarian resturants that I know of here locally.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Micheal,

        True story, I am around 19 yearsa old and I am out wiht my best friend and another friend from high school. We are gonna hang out that night. So we get into my best friend’s VW 69 bug and head for Tommy Burger’s on Beverly. On the way we stop and each of us buy a tall six pack of Bud which were 16 ozs. I chug all of mine down. By that time, we are at Tommy’s and I order a double chill chees burger with extra onions and extra chili. Then my friend had this idea to go to El Tepyeac’s in East L.A. I had been there once or twice before. He orders for himself, the other guy orders, and then my best friend ordered for me. He orders Mauel Special, the largest burrito that they have for me. I asked him what the hell are you doing. He says you are gonna eat all of it or I will call you a Nigger Dtich Digger for the rest of your life. I said you pay for it. I sat there and for 2 1/2 hours, I ate the entire thing. Torture and pleasure at the same time. All of this done within 4 hours. Afterwards we get back to his parent’s house and I am walking around for an hour to have it settle. I will never forget that.

        Like

      2. PT
        Newfound respect.
        My feeble claim was starting off the weekend by the 3 of us splitting a 6pk of Country Club talls. Two each, supercharged ice cold(20 minutes in the freezer). Great buzz. Then two Giant Burgers after rugby practice. Right next door to Sunshine’s Inn run by Pete Richter. Les Richter’s son.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There’s nothing like grandma’s cooking, P. T. [And we’ll never taste those nuanced sauces again]….

        Like

      1. Boxisbento,

        I have no problems with anyone. I don’t hold grduges from the old country.. That is there business. No mine. Thank you for the advice. I gotta go get some European food. Thank you. I gotta try it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. PT, no problems implied… figure everyone who traces their bloodline back to and/or thru the Austro-Hungarian Empire is united by goulash to begin with. If/when you make it to Polka lmk whatcha think. Hunters Stew is dynamite, kielbasa made in house… oh yeah, fyi, to the best of my knowledge, at least last time I went, etc, see if you can lure the owner/chef out from the kitchen for vodka shots… sometimes it leads to some on-the-house treat(s) sent to the table.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ..open invitation to Scott to join us when we do …or we leave a chair open for Scott….
        #OneWayOrTheOtherScott’s”There”

        Like

      2. Guess I could kick around that idea. Truth is, I’m not your typical USC graduate. Give me a nice dive bar such as The Shortstop over a foo foo place any time. First round’s on me!!

        I tried to fit in to the USC mold for a brief time, but that just wasn’t me. ZZ Top’s “Rough Boy”? That’s me. Thank God the old lady was good with that.

        Like

  4. Nice walk memory lane!!

    Good job!!

    Along with Dow up big, this has turned out to be a good day. Now if we can get Vlad to fail in Ukraine that would be great. F’ing communist dictators are the worst. Hopefully, the progressives are watching and seeing how bad this a$$hole really is.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Michael,

    Anothter true story about El Teypeac’s, I take my nephew and four of his friends to a spring practice at SC. After the practice, I ask fif they are hungry and they said yes. I said okay. We pile in the car and I am driving. My nephew kind of knows where he is, so I get off and I go the back way to El Tepyeac’s. I got everyone lost. We get there and we sit down. all the kids want to order something different. I told them to put away the menu and I will order. They asked what were they getting. I told them not to owrry about it and I asked if they like pork or beef. i told them that the pork is better in the dish. They all agree. I order Manuel’s Special. They ask what is that. i said a burrito that will feed all of you. They sais no way. Well none of the boys had been there before and so when it was served, their jobs dropped. They took photos of it and they were blown away. So at the end of the meal there is some left and I asked if they could finish it off and they said they were full. I said to them, No wonder you went to La Salle, nothing but lightweights. And then I said, guys from Loyola would have had two of them. I then told them my story about my firend and i. They were blown away

    Like

      1. Moved on to WT Longbranch now. I’d generally frown upon something that puts money into the pocket of a UT graduate, but damn it’s better than their Rare Breed and $20 cheaper!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the one you’re talking about…[man, was that guy’s mom a piece of work]….
      ..but there are, like, 3 dozen other Twilight Zone episodes that are absolute love letters to the past……
      #RodSerlingWentBack&Forth

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Man, you guys have me thinking about my favorite LA spots.

    Pacific Dining Car. COVID came close to killing it, but they’re not gone yet!

    Versailles on La Cienega & Pico! Garlic chicken…MMMMMMM!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So Cal,

      Langer’s sucks compared to Cantor’s on Fairfax. I was there a few weeks ago. Pastrami stacked high with all the pickles you can eat and cole slaw for around $18. It tastes better than Langer’s. My opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. P T.
        If you’re ever in Alameda you might try Speisekammer Restaurant on 2424 Lincoln Avenue —I think you might find it brings back memories of your Grandma’s cooking…. totally authentic eastern European fare…

        Like

    2. Downtown Pacific Dining Car! Even back in the ’90’s you could easily run up a $350 tab for dinner for two. There was one in Santa Monic a too —but it didn’t compare in atmosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Woody Hayes, the growly Ohio St. coach, of all people, said “Our tongues kill us all,’ and he got that right. I once tried eating a favorite chocolate bar, chewing it for a while, and then spitting it out. It did not give me the same satisfaction as swallowing it.

    I have a love/hate for good tasting food. I love the comfort it gives me, but hate the stomach it also gives me.

    And why is it I can eat one pound of pasta and yet gain 2-pounds. We have any Italians in the crowd who can explain this phenomena to me?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Another great Italian joint in the area is Salvatore’s in Montebello. Brothers Joe (a Trojan) & Anthony have done a phenomenal job of keeping it going after their pop was murdered in 2003.

      I sure do miss going to Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro. John made each & every guest feel as if they were dining in his home.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Montebello! I was hatched at Beverly Hosp, first home was on Maple literally right next to the Sportsmans Lodge, older bro went to St. Benedict’s, and had 11 aunts and uncles from my Mom’s side living all over Montefeo. Ever hit Frumento’s Deli on Beverly, right across from Beverly Hosp? Old school legit. Even got pics of the Italian Trinity hanging on the wall: The Pope, Sinatra, and Tommy Lasorda

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Used to be a little Italian joint on Beverly & Bradshawe that would have customers come in with their own deep lasagna pans (styro or metal) and they would cook whatever you wanted in it, so you could pull it out of your oven and try to pass it off as your own! I kid you not. I forget the name of the place. It’s not there anymore.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Scott Wolf– how about some pictures of The Original Tommy’s on Beverly, and Little Joe’s in Chinatown especially some shots of the interior with sawdust on the floor.

    My personal favorite was the Sea Lion in Malibu… One of a kind place for seasfood. Today, it is called Duke’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I waitered at the Malibu Sea Lion for summer break in the 80s. Some crazy stories coming out of the Screaming Clam night club (Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, etc., and a powdery substance that would keep you up all night)
      I must’ve eaten the equivalent of about $80 worth the shrimp cocktail every shift while my bartender buddy (a Bruin) made us Stoli kamikazes throughout the night.
      Also best clam chowder, Ever!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. So Cal,

    My favorite Italian resturants,
    Michelle’s, in North Hollywood and Hollywood, good food and they have singing waiters. Before the Covid, in North Hollywod, you would see movie stars. I saw Steve Perry there from journey. Yes he has a very large nose.

    Scaratino’s, Glendale. Good. they had a sister resturant in Pasadena called Dinos.

    Domenicos, Long time Pasadena isntitution. Love their pizza and good food.

    Scoma’s, San Francisco, great seafood and since they service spaghetti with the dish, it can almost be called an Italian place,

    Tarintino’s, Temple City

    The best Italian deli is none other than Claro’s. Six stores, ONe in Arcadia, San Gaberial, La Habra etc.

    Puglia’s, New York, good

    Two Guys from Italy, in Glendale. Good

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Proud of you, P. T. —that’s a lot of Italian food! [There used to be a place close to the Westwood Bruin Theater called Mario’s that was outstanding—all the noodles were homemade. Their Thursday Special was Chicken Manicotti. I’d go there with my bruin girlfriend after I picked her up from her shithole university]……

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Bear Pit. Off the 118fwy. Super Bear on Garlic Toast. God forbid that I ever had to choose a last meal before the hangman came a callin’, but if that came to pass, my last would be the Super Bear on Garlic Toast. Twice a year, every year, without fail, since I was five.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Any particular dates for those two trips to Super Bear, boxisbento? I ask cuz I’ve been going to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger every Christmas Eve since I was 9 years old. It’s dumb …but I’ve kind of established it as one of the running “themes” in my life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. First time ever was for my bday so first trip is first avail day first week of May prior to bday. Second isn’t any particular day/date, but always in the summer, usually on a scorcher of a day. Makes me appreciate the bowl of pickles on ice, and my standard chocolate malt that much more I suppose. God bless your Xmas eve McD’s!

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Not that you’d wanna sit at it anyway –but the booth that Blake and Bonny Lee sat at was sold so that the restaurant could get rid of “the bad vibes” it was giving off…

        Like

  11. I have not posted here in decades but the old LA restaurants just made me put in my teo bits, To establish my bona fides, was born in Hollywood Pres and am now pushing 75. Joyola High School and USC for a couple of degrees and second generation Trojan. One can’t forget Pinks, the old El Chole when they would bring warm tortillas in a basket with butter to your table, the Brown Derby on Wilshire, Hodys on La Brea where the kids menu doubled as a clown mask complete with rubber bands for your ears, the House of Ed (maybe on Vermont or Hoover) where you could have a steak and every table had a toaster and bread with apple butter, the old () across the street from the dental school for a skip and go and a burger on Thurs night to start the weekend,Ollie Hammonds on La Brea where a guy could get srved even without a phony ID and last but not least Pete’s Grand Burger on 8th and Irolo perhaps the best burger shack ever

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome back, Die Hard! I recognize every one of those great places (forgot about the remarkable Brown Derby and it’s Cobb Salads until you mentioned it) …except the House of Ed doesn’t ring a bell…… wish I’d discovered that one back in the day!
      #Steaks&AppleButter,Ah!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You just reminded me of a place I enjoyed as much as El Cholo, though I don’t live near it or would go there once in a while…El Coyote on Beverly.

      Like

  12. Great topic. Growing up in Pasadena in the 70s/80s and then off to USC we had it good. I have had every pastrami across L.A. and none compare to Top’s World Famous. Burger Continental on South Lake was the spot especially on Friday afternoon when they had a belly dancer. They also catered the Caltech dining halls. Ranchero was the best Mexican spot. Around campus it was Chano’s special quesadilla with pastrami or Mr. Jims. St. Paddy’s day at Tom Bergen’s, who was a stockbroker at my mom’s firm in downtown . I second the endorsement of Domenico’s – had a few bros working there intrinsic to the local party scene. Does Tiny Naylor’s still exist?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No more Tiny Naylor’s ..with their big, fat bloody hamburgers —topped with a slice of butter—- and, really, no Burger Continental (not like it used to be)–with 712 menu items and a salad bar with fresh salmon and pasta salad.
      #AndNoBellyDancing…UnlessI’veHadOneTooMany

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I am shocked and ashamed that Americans and Europe are sitting idly by while Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine signed a deal with us and Russia that they would give up their 5,000 nukes in exchange for sovereignty. So we reneged on our agreement. And many of you fellow Americans are just fine with Russia invading the Ukraine, you dont give a damn. Because you are fat and happy.

    This isnt another war against indigenous people that will drag on for decades. All we needed to do was show Russia that we would shoot down their jets and bomb the shit out of their advancing armies and we could have stopped this cold. Sent Putin whimpering back to his Kremlin. And then we need to start producing oil and gas at record volumes and drown the world in oil to drive Russia’s economy into the ground.

    The example we could have set would prevent World War 3. But instead with our feeble response, we have set up the world for a true world war 3. Next country to fall is Taiwan.

    The democrats are retarded – stopping oil production in the US is what gave Putin the money and power to move into Ukraine. The republicans have turned out to be no better, I hear Fox News justifying sitting on the sidelines.

    Why the hell do we spend 1 trillion a year in order to sit on our hands while Ukraine is invaded? Our military complex is a paper tiger, it is just a way for special interests to engage in war profiteering during peacetime.

    This is where I am finally ashamed by my fellow Americans. F all of you for being gutless wonders.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What we are seeing play out in real time …is a second Alamo. A small group of incredibly brave men and women, promised re-enforcements which were NEVER really in the works, decided to make a stand anyway.
      Time to see this for what it is –the dems aren’t “retarded” —they are a wrecking crew. Everything they touch —from oil production to our southern border — goes to shit.
      I don’t blame the American people, though. They didn’t vote for this. And the dems will have hell to pay in November. And more hell to pay in January 2023 when impeachment proceedings are launched against dem leadership.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I disagree. Dems ARE retarded and this is exactly what they voted for, a weak frail old man who only talks tough.

        As for the idiot saying F you all and us being gutless wonders, F him! Nothing I can do about what is going on over there. What a dumbass.

        Like

  14. Two of my favorites that are still around: The Dresden and the Tam. Gotta love Musso and Frank too.

    My parents had a go-to for special occasions back in the 60s, Michael’s Los Feliz. That’s been gone for 40 or more years I’d bet.

    Like

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