After the suggestion of "Briggs" in response to a Dal Rae post, tried Colombo's (1833 Colorado Bl, a few blocks east of Eagle Rock Bl).
Crowded bar, empty restaurant (Wednesday between 630 and 830 pm). REAL RED LEATHER (well, at least vinyl)booths. Three tables occupied in a fairly large room; as one emptied, another filled - never got up to four tables.
Dark paneling, retro feminine art on the walls -many of the picture lights were burned out. Initially quiet to the point of discomfort. At 7pm a small, thin rather elderly lady with jet black hair and an absolutely flat affect appeared and sat down at the piano. Incredibly intelligent, affecting jazz renditions of popular songs and phrases filled the place from then on. A pleasant male crooner sang intermittently, but only distracted from the sublime piano.
Service was leisurely to say the least, but pleasant and informed.
Food was inexpensive, with large portions - Excellent Caesar (no, not tableside) ~$5; Panzenella with an overdose of cucumbers, but palatable, $7. The most expensive steak, a porterhouse, $22. Not Arnie Mortons, but probably nearly the equal of Taylor's. Pastas had a little imagination - goat cheese lasagna was interesting - individual lasagna noodles rolled around the cheese filling and presented vertically in four rolls - on top of an inappropriately piquant tomato sauce. Pleasant scampi with lots of butter sauce; servicible red snapper with an overly complicated herb sauce. Nothing special, but for $12 - 15, bargains. Tiramisu imported from a bakery -again, nothing special but fine.
Wines are bargain basement - mostly supermarket fare, but for about 2x retail ($5-10 per glass, $15-30 per bottle; $10 carafes for the big drinkers); drinks generous and only $4-6 for call brands.
This place reminded me of a suburban New Jersey slightly upscale neighborhood place; comfortable, dark, and with familiar food and disproportionately good music at good prices.
The whole thing, with lots of booze, came to $50 per, including tax and tip.
Lacks the retro outrageousness of Dal Rae - to which I would not compare either the fare or the scene - but if you're in the area, it could easily become a neighborhood favorite. Definitely worth a try if you're seeking real world retro.
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