9 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That You Have To Eat At!

Visit these mid-century restaurants in LA for the most retro food vibes

Going to a restaurant is a social experience. It’s more about the social experience than the food itself. Imagine going to a mid-century restaurant and experience a vintage vibes and retro meals. How amazing would that be? There are quite a lot of interesting restaurants in the USA. Check out these 9 mid-century restaurants in LA that preserver their heritage!


SEE ALSO: London Restaurants For The Design Savvy


1 – Dal Rae

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At
Credit: Sven A. Kirsten

Opened 1951 and moved to Pico Rivera in 1958, this restaurant is now long known as an LA institution. It has built a reputation of excellence and a loyal customer base that has been dining there for generations. Adding to the beauty of Dal Rae’s theatrical tableside preparation, the restaurant also continues to serve a timeless menu of essential classics, like Caesar Salad, Steak Diane and Bananas Foster, as well as new, popular additions, such as Ahi Sashimi.

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

2 – Lawry’s The Prime Rib

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!
Lawry’s carving cart, 1950; Credit: Peter Moruzzi Collection

Inaugurated in 1938 this is another iconic institution of the LA food scene. Just like Del Rae, here theatricality is very important as well. This time, with the iconic silver carts. No expense was spared to make the carts magnificent and they are designed so that the beef can be carved at tableside. They carry on the tradition with the outfits — the waitresses wear the same outfits they’ve worn since the 30’s. the menu is pretty much the same thing – salad, bread, baked potato, and then the things that are in the cart.

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3 – The Dresden

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At
Credit: Blaise Nutter

Since it opened in its current iteration in 1954, the Dresden has been ready for its close-up, lending its dark, retro interior to a number of films. In many ways, the Dresden is that perfect old Hollywood lounge. Walk in the front door off noisy Vermont Avenue, and you’re taken back to the Los Angeles of yore. Little has changed there since it was remodeled in the ‘60s by then-owner Carl Ferraro. The dapper, tuxedoed bartenders mix drinks quickly and expertly, and when it’s time to pay your bill, the old-fashioned cash registers will be put to use.

4 – Taylor’s Steak House

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

Taylor’s is just a great traditional steakhouse in the middle of LA. Unlike Lawry’s, it doesn’t have a carving cart, so it’s more traditional, but it does have the dark wood walls, black booths, a great big bar, great cocktails and waiters that have been doing it for a long time.

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5 – Taix

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

The current location is from the early ’60s, but the décor was brought from other Taix locations that go much further back. It’s old French – the chairs, the building, the exterior, the provincial French architecture style where you have stucco and exposed wood called half timbering – the building has a rural French look to it on the exterior. It’s more traditional on the interior – dark wood, subdued lighting, white table cloths, and of course the menu is French.

6 – Clearman’s North Woods Inn

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!
Credit: Richard George Photography

Clearman’s has fake snow on the roof, and it looks like an enormous log cabin. It’s like an old hunting lodge theme. There’s sawdust on the floor, and you can throw your peanut shells on the floor too. The waitresses wear these skimpy outfits, Bavarian style, short skirts, a lot of cleavage.

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7 – The Smoke House

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

The Smoke House was built at the end of WWII and is one of the few L.A. restaurants of that era to survive to today. It has the decor and aura of a different age and has grown steadily with the growth of the movie industry. Built beside the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, The Smoke House is a favorite hang out for actors, producers, and anyone else in the industry. In the 60’s it was common to come in for lunch and find the place filled with costumed cowboy and Indian extras having lunch.

8 – Tam O’Shanter

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

An incredibly well themed restaurant from the ’20s. It is the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles operated by a single family. It’s got a great English/Scottish-looking building, the interior has a big fireplace, and all the flags from the different Scottish clans. Walt Disney was a regular and had a favorite table there.

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9 – Musso & Frank Grill

10 Mid-Century Restaurants In LA That Have To Eat At!

This restaurant existed before the Hollywood sign itself was built! The Musso & Frank Grill’s history is as rich and colorful as Hollywood itself. Opened in 1919 the restaurant quickly became known for outstanding service and culinary excellence. They have the rear entrance, because in Los Angeles, when the car really started to dominate, the main entrances of a lot of these places went from the street to the rear, because that’s where the parking lot was.


READ MORE: 5 (Very) Unusual Restaurants In The World That You Have To Know!


Now that you’ve read and loved our article on mid-century restaurants, feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board or share them on social media. Don’t forget that you can visit our Pinterest Boards and find out the most outstanding bar stools and furniture ideas!

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