I made a map of Metro Los Angeles’s oldest extant eateries based on a piece written by Nikki Kreuzer for The Los Angeles Beat titled “Offbeat L.A.: The Oldest Surviving Los Angeles Restaurants… a Master List of the Vintage, Historic and Old School.” The Los Angeles Beat piece seems to have received a fair amount of feedback and also includes restaurants in Orange County and the Inland Empire. Many are not in their original locations and operating under a slightly different name but it’s still really interesting.
This map and article, however, are not endorsed or affiliated by the staff of The Los Angeles Beat. I am indebted to Kreuzer for her work, however, and for the additions provided by readers of The Los Angeles Beat.
Some of the restaurants I like a lot — especially the old checkered tablecloth Italian places that send Gordon Ramsay into conniptions. Many, though, are relics of an era when vegetarians like myself were regarded as morally louche and thus subjected to the cucking stool, pillory, or worse. Their meat-eating peers, meanwhile, feasted on exotic grotesqueries like tuna Jell-o, ham and bananas hollandaise, and beef suet and in some cases the menus still cater to these inscrutable, antiquated palates. Inclusion on the map, in other words, is based only upon age is neither an endorsement of quality nor renouncement. Besides, even the restaurants at which I may never eat are still important for their architecture, decor, neon or incandescent signage, mascots, history, and general documentary truths, so bon appetit!