I'm posting this because I think people may be being mislead by reports that Trader Vic's is closing. I know I posted a reply to that thread and neglected to point out in my heading that reports of TV's imminent demise are greatly exagerrated. As my response to the earlier post notes, the property owner has submitted a massive plan that results in elimination of the Trader Vic's space. But that proposal is nothing more than that -- a proposal. It is far from being a done deal. It does not even come close to complying with the Beverly Hills zoning requirements and faces very significant opposition. If the Trader Vic's management wants to use this as an opportunity to quietly close their doors, then so be it -- business has seemed very slow on some nights -- but I would hate to see business drop off because people think the place has closed. (On the other hand, there might be a slight surge as people flock to an old favorite that is suddenly about to close -- witness Matterhorn Chef.)
I say again -- the best way to guarantee that old favorites don't close is to make sure and patronize them, and I am as guilty as everyone else in this regard. We all like a change of pace, and of course that's how new favorites earn their place -- the Jars AOCs and Luques. And old favorites shouldn't skate on reputation -- the key to a great place is consistent quality.
Trader Vic's has skated a bit, not on drinks or pupu platters, but a bit on entrees other than fare from the Chinese ovens. $20+ for some of their pedestrian chinese dishes is over the top. But the place does a lot well, and like no place else. The LA dining scene would be poorer without this unique spot. Go for drinks, for appetizers, or for excellent roasted meats, and for fun, though expect to pay what you would at other high-priced venues, but go. It's one thing if a developer kills a place, but entirely another if lack of patronage does a place in. And while your at it, think of other favorites you might suddenly find gone. I remember when Skandia quietly faded away -- still very good and unique, but swept away by the Spagos, St. Estephes and Ma Maisons of the time. Which of your favorites have you not been to in awhile? Musso & Franks was on fumes through much of the 80's and early 90's, but hung on enough to come back as a new generation has re-discovered its unique charms (which I must admit escape me as far as food is concerned, though the cocktails and atmosphere rate among the best of the City.)
So, stop by Trader Vics for drinks and maybe a Cosmo Tidbits platter, or even an excellent steak or rack of lamb. Or maybe just drinks and on to an old favorite for dinner. But take time to remember, and patronize the places you like -- they won't be here long if you don't.
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