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Help with 'Old' Hollywood Dining itinerary + questions re. Cicada


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Help with 'Old' Hollywood Dining itinerary + questions re. Cicada

OliverB | | Sep 6, 2012 06:36 PM

Hey everyone!

I'll be in town for 6 nights end of Sept. and 1st week Oct. for the Cinerama film fest at the Arclight Dome - flying in from SFO!

I haven't been to LA in years, but I want to avoid anything and everything contempo and modern - strictly 1920-1960s diners, delis, steakhouses, cocktail lounges, supper clubs, and classic movies for this trip!

The catch is that my girlfriend is only in town for 3 nights (Fri-Sun) and then I'm flying solo the remaining 3 nights, so I want to get all the glamorous dining venues knocked out while she's in town. The other catch is that we're having dinner with her family on the Saturday night, which further complicates things. I'll get to that in a moment!

In the meanwhile, please have a look at my proposed itinerary, as well as my short list of classic Los Angeles Area restaurants and cocktail lounges (will post follow-up):

FRI 09/28

• 09:30 AM - Arrival at LAX Int'l Airport

• 10:45 AM - Breakfast at Nick's Coffee Shop

• 12:00 PM - Check-In at Best Western Hollywood Hills

• ???

• 03:30 PM - Late Lunch and Classic Cocktails at Cole's French Dip Sandwiches

• 07:00 PM - How The West Was Won at the Arclight Dome

• 10:00 PM - Dinner at Musso and Frank Grill

• 11:30 PM - La Descarga w/ Gary and Becki

SAT 09/29

• 12:00 PM - Lunch at Pann's w/ Renée, Dennis and Bryce

• 02:00 PM - Afternoon Sunbath on the B.W. Pool Deck

• 06:00 PM - Evening Viewing of Koenig's Case Study House 22 (Stahl House)

• 08:00 PM - Dinner at Cicada Restaurant w/ Janie and Carly

• 11:00 PM - Holiday In Spain at the Arclight Dome

• 01:00 AM - Last Call at Tiki Ti Cocktail Lounge

SUN 09/30

• 10:30 AM - Sunday Jazz Brunch at The Polo Lounge of The Beverly Hills Hotel

• 12:30 PM - Poolside Cocktails at The Cabana Café and Orange Freeze at the Coffee Shop

• ???

• 02:00 PM - The Hollywood Museum

• 04:00 PM - Philip Mershon's Felix In Hollywood Tour (?)

• 06:45 PM - Dinner at Taylor's Steakhouse

• 08:15 PM - This Is Cinerama at the Arclight Dome

• 10:30 PM - Cocktails at the HMS Bounty (and-or) Formosa Cafe

• 12:30 AM - Latenight Soda Fountain and Home-Made Dessert at The 101 Coffee Shop

MON 10/01

• 06:00 AM - Drive JM to LAX Int'l Airport for 07:10 AM Flight to SFO

• 08:00 AM - Poolside Lounging at B.W. Motel

• 12:30 PM - Lunch at Langer's Delicatessen

• 01:30 PM - Walk Along Hollywood Boulevard: Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Roosevelt Hotel, El Capitan Theater, etc.

• 03:20 PM - South Seas Adventure at the Arclight Dome

• 06:00 PM - Hickory Cheeseburger at The Apple Pan

• 07:00 PM - The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm at the Arclight Dome

• 10:15 PM - Cinerama Holiday at the Arclight Dome

• 12:30 AM - Spicy Polish Dog w/ Mustard, Jalapenos, Onions, Chili, and Sauerkraut at Pink's Famous Chili Dogs - Midnight Snack Fix!

TUE 10/02

• 11:45 PM - Lunch at Nate 'n Al Delicatessen

• 12:30 PM - Walk Down Rodeo Drive and Sunset Strip

• ??? - {J. Paul Getty Museum - Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens - Forest Lawn Memorial - Hollywood Bowl}

• 07:00 PM - Dinner at The Dresden Restaurant (or) Pacific Dining Car (or) Dal Rae Restaurant

• 08:15 PM - 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Arclight Dome

• ???

WED 10/03

• 10:45 AM - Breakfast at Canter's Delicatessen

• 11:30 AM - Stroll Down Miracle Mile

• 12:30 PM - Griffith Observatory + Samuel Oschin Planetarium

• 04:45 PM - Walk Through Chinatown

• 05:30 PM - Dinner at Philippe The Original

• 07:00 PM - It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at the Arclight Dome

• ???

THU 10/04

• 09:00 AM - Breakfast at The 101 Coffee Shop (or) Pepy's Galley

• 12:30 PM - Search For Paradise at the Arclight Dome

• 03:30 PM - Afternoon at Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier (?)

• 07:00 PM - Rental Car Return and Arrival at LAX Int'l Airport for 8:35 PM Flight to SFO

• 07:30 PM - Jet Set Cocktails at The Encounter Sky Bar Lounge


Cicada is booked for a private party on Saturday night! We (my girlfriend and I) absolutely want to make reservations there at some point between Friday and Sunday and are determined to do so, but we don't want to cut anything else out of our limited eating schedule. I'm more into the old steakhouses than she is, although she certainly appreciates the mid-century atmosphere and ambiance. She actually doesn't eat red meat (not a veg though!), but still likes all the old two-fisted meat-and-martini joints out of the fifties and sixties rat pack era. She'll always find something good and isn't too picky, as long as the food is at least up to par. We definitely must do Musso & Frank together, but I'd be glad to eat at Taylor's or elsewhere on my own after she flies back to SF. I'm planning on doing all of the delis and pastrami joints solo because it's not her thing and is more comfortable to eat single than much of the other sit-down restos. We have several problems though.

1) Family - we need to meet her family for dinner on the Saturday night. They are particular eaters. Not necessarily discerning foodies, though they like to eat well and expect to do so when spending money. I don't really understand why, but we're expected to go somewhere "nice" ie. at least moderately expensive. They don't care so much about the ambiance of a place so long as the food is very good. None of the places on my list could really be considered 'creative' or 'interesting' and I'm worried about bringing them anywhere where they'll be served a plating of precut frozen vegtables, surf'n'turf, and a baked potato sprinkled with parsley - they will NOT go for that! I wanted to do Taylor's with them but my girlfriend keeps insisting that they will not like it. I'm baffled and aggravated but such is family!

2) Screening schedule - we have purchased tickets to all of the Cinerama screenings at the Arclight and the posted times are very strict. It's all reserved seating and they will refuse anyone entry after the feature begins, so we cannot be late or miss anything, which not only complicates our eating schedule but leaves us with very small windows to enjoy meals. There are quite a few latenight and early bird dinners.

Here's what I'd like help with... I need to do Cicada another night with my girlfriend and find a replacement for the family dinner on Saturday night. I've urged my girlfriend to just invite her family to meet us at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge for the Sunday jazz brunch, but I think they have other plans that day... I'll keep trying/insisting regardless!

What to do with her family Saturday night (assuming they won't join us for Sunday brunch) that's still keeping in theme with everything else planned in our itinerary? Both my girlfriend and myself recently got back from a month-long trip overseas that consisted almost entirely of eating at fancy fine didning michelin restaurants and we don't want to step foot into any place remotely like that... I want only dimly lit supper clubs and authentic diners, delis, lunch counters, coffee shops, canteens, beaneries, hash houses, taprooms, cocktail lounges, etc. for this trip to Hollywood!

If I were to reschedule Cicada for the Sunday night (which I'd actually prefer because of the live music and dancing!) would it be feasible to do at 6:30pm or would the place be absolutely dead and boring? Is that way too early? We have a two-hour film screening to catch at the Arclight at 8:15pm (we have a rental car!) so we'd either need to dine before or after the movie! Cicada doesn't seems like a place to rush though and I wish we could plan for an evening-long event without sacrificing other plans on our itinerary. Can we do Cicada between 6:30-8pm and would that even be enjoyable or would we be the only ones seated? I don't want to bother if it's going to be sunny out and we'll miss the live entertainment. Can we do Cicada afterwords at 10:30pm... or is that way too late for a full dinner seating and would we miss the live entertainment if so? How long does dinner service last at the Cicada Club??

I'm so bummed that it's rented out on the Saturday night for a private party because I think our initial plans were so perfectly suited!

Here's my full list of old Hollywood food and drink joints btw, in case I'm missing anything substantial... I would love to get feedback on all of the above and hopefully some advice and suggestions on what to do for Saturday night (where should I make reservations for 6??) and how to readjust our plans to fit everything in with our tight schedule!


PS - If it helps, we're staying at the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Motel.

Thanks again for any insight and suggestions with our planning!


- Pann's
- Langer's
- Canter's Delicatessen and Restaurant
- Nate 'n Al Delicatessen
- Cole's French Dip Sandwiches
- Philippe The Original
- Johnnie's French Dip Pastrami
- Johnny's Pastrami
- Clifton's Cafeteria
- Park Pantry
- Nick's Cafe
- The Apple Pan
- Original Pantry
- Pepy's Galley
- Nat's Early Bite Coffee Shop
- Nick's Coffee Shop
- The 101 Coffee Shop
- Snug Harbor
- Du-Par's Restaurant
- Roscoe’s House of Chicken ’n Waffles
- Pink's Famous Chili Dogs
- Bob's Big Boy
- Bob's Big Boy (Johnny's) Broiler
- Cassell's Hamburgers
- Chili John's
- Randy's Donuts
- Paul's Kitchen
- Dear John's
- Taylor's Steakhouse
- Dal Rae Restaurant
- Musso & Frank Grill
- Original Miceli's
- HMS Bounty
- Tom Bergin
- The Dresden Restaurant
- Pacific Dining Car
- Cicada Restaurant
- Dan Tana's Restaurant
- Matteo's Italian Restaurant
- The Derby Restaurant
- Buggy Whip
- Damon's Steak House
- Clearman's Steak 'n Stein
- Clearman's North Woods Inn
- Tam O'Shanter
- Smoke House
- El Cholo Spanish Cafe
- Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe
- The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel
- La Descarga
- The Edison
- El Cid
- Formosa Cafe
- Tiki-Ti Cocktail Lounge
- Tonga Hut
- Bahooka
- Trader Vic's Los Angeles