Mad Men Restaurants: Los Angeles Edition

Mad Men‘s seventh and final season kicks off on Sunday. Unlike previous seasons, much of the action will take place in sunny Los Angeles. We’ve talked about where Don Draper and friends have dined and should dine in New York. Now, we’ve rounded up sumptuous suggestions for where we’d like to see the Sterling, Cooper & Partners crew dine in the City of Angels, circa 1969, including The Galley, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, The Smokehouse, and more.

 

Restaurant: Dal Rae
Location: 9023 E. Washington Boulevard, Pico Rivera, California
Now and then: Your favorite mid-century classics reign supreme at the Dal Rae, which began serving diners at this location in 1958. Its truly retro and not-at-all ironic menu features the staples that defined upscale American cuisine for an entire generation, including Chateaubriand, Rack of Lamb, Pepper Steak, and Cherries Jubilee. Known for their world-class hospitality, the Dal Rae is operated by brothers and second-generation owners Kevin and Lorin Smith. Recognizable from afar thanks to its neon, atomic-age signage, the Dal Rae features live entertainment in the piano bar.
Tasty tidbit: The Smith brothers note, “The Dal Rae is where the drinks are strong enough for Roger, and the steaks are man enough for Don.”
Classic dish not to miss: Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor, Veal Oscar, and the tableside Caesar Salad, just to name a few.
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Restaurant: The Derby
Location: 233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, California
Now and then: The Derby opened in 1922, but became The Derby in 1938, when it was purchased by legendary jockey George Woolf (known for riding Seabiscuit to victory over War Admiral in 1938). Walking through the doors of The Derby is definitely a stroll back in time to the heyday of California’s 1930’s horse racing culture. Pristine yet unfussy, this meat mecca attracts a hip crowd of all ages who appreciate a great steak, a stiff drink, and live music. Woolf’s ghost is said to haunt the establishment, spinning his favorite bar stool at closing time. A nostaglic Pete Campbell would definitely appreciate a meal at The Derby.
Classic dish not to miss: The Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon that made The Derby famous and Noni’s Brashioli.
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Restaurant: The Galley
Location: 2442 Main Street, Santa Monica, California
Now and then: Santa Monica’s oldest bar and restaurant, dating back to 1934, The Galley boasts a colorful interior that is a delightful contrast to its traditional menu, yet both are equally inviting. Operated by the always-entertaining Captain Ron, the restaurant features memorabilia from the 1934 movie Mutiny on the Bounty, including the boat’s steering wheel, which hangs from the ceiling. The Galley serves a more extensive menu than it did decades ago, offering an array of steaks, seafood, and chicken dishes. A spot at The Galley’s lively South Seas Bar remains one of the most coveted for cocktail enthusiasts.
Tasty tidbit: Bartender Anna would most like to serve Joan Harris. And, John Slattery is a regular at The Galley.
Classic dish not to missSteamed East Coast Clams served with clam broth and drawn butter, along with Shrimp Cocktail and the Top Sirloin Steak.
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Restaurant: Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Location: 100 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California
Now and then: A pioneer of the single-entrée — including the ‘choose-your-own-cut’ — dining experience, Lawry’s is famous for several aspects of its service, from its storied carts and spinning bowl salads, to servers’ uniforms that are literally straight out of 1938, as well as its signature Prime Rib. Established in 1938, Lawry’s The Prime Rib was started by Lawrence L. Frank and Walter Van De Kamp and remains family run to this day. The restaurant is said to be the birthplace of both the doggie bag and the practice of starting a meal with salad. Based on the success of the original location, there are Lawry’s The Prime Rib restaurants across the country and around the world (in case you can’t make it to Los Angeles).
Tasty tidbit: President and CEO (and 3rd generation operator) Richard R. Frank says, “We would’ve loved to have served Peggy, a real go-getter and ahead of her time! She most definitely would’ve passed on daintier cuts of prime rib and gone for our 24 oz. Diamond Jim Brady.”
Classic dish not to miss: The Prime Rib, the signature Spinning Salad, and the savory Yorkshire Pudding.
Book it!

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Behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Selection; Mid-Century Restaurants in America; Calorie Counts Not Curbing Our Appetites + More News

Don-Draper-Dining
Mid-century dining institutions were as cool as Don Draper.

Dining news from around the world and the web…

* The rules are there are no rules. Grub Street examines the voting guidelines and standards for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants — and finds there aren’t any. [Grub Street]

* Sip and save. How to get the most value out of wine when dining out. [The Globe and Mail]

* Nobody makes it like mom. And not even she makes it like her mom, as evidenced by this collection of grandmothers and their signature dishes. [Slate]

* Seattle Weekly 86’s restaurant reviews. Does this mean crowd sourced reviews are more trustworthy — or just more affordable? [Eater Seattle]

* Classic American Dining. A new book takes a look at our nation’s mid-century dining institutions. [RetroToGo.com]

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