Musso and Frank’s, an icon of Hollywood since 1919, turned 94 on September 27, 2013. It’s the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and a great option if you want an old-school dinner right in the middle of classic Hollywood.
The restaurant is one of those places where you walk in and say, “This is old LA!” It’s lined with leather booths on the walls and tables in the middle. Over the antique bar is a tapestry that looks like it dates to the 20s. In fact, the whole place looks like it probably hasn’t even changed anything since its opening in 1919 — not even the waiters.
We usually pass Musso and Franks while giving our Hollywood tours – it’s on a hot spot of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and near the Pig N Whistle and the Las Palmas Hotel, the location of the famous fire escape scene in Pretty Woman.
And what Hollywood tour would be complete without seeing the place where movie stars and writers alike populated its leather booths. It was a favorite of the Hollywood elite, especially in the 1930s. The even restaurant featured the first pay phone in Hollywood — and they say many deals were closed over its wires.
Charlie Chaplin loved to sit in the first booth on the left, and he often joined Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Rudolph Valentino over steaks and fine italian food. Later the restaurant had its famed back room, where you might find Humphrey Bogart having a martini with Lauren Bacall, and over the years the procession of Hollywood royalty included Marilyn Monroe with Joe Dimaggio, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, and even Groucho Marx.
In the 30s Musso and Franks was just around the corner from the Writers Guild, where many Hollywood writers were working on writing the next blockbuster. At that time Los Angeles city and Hollywood business leaders were luring famous writers to help sell tickets. This meant that many of these literary heavyweights of course dined at Musso and Franks with the other big stars. You could order your steak rare while sitting next to F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner.
Of course you don’t stay around in Hollywood for 94 years without being a fine restaurant. The martinis are legendary, which should come as no surprise in such an old-school Hollywood mainstay. They also specialized in superior steaks and rustic italian dishes.
So after taking one of our Hollywood tours, why not extend your experience with a stop at Musso and Franks. All of our Los Angeles tours are custom tours and you get to choose where you go and when — we’ll be happy to drop you there for a trip back to Hollywood’s Golden Age.
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