The "Pan Am Experience:" luxury dinner, circa 1970, served in a recreated 747

At $300 a person, the Pan Am Experience in Los Angeles costs more than many round trip plane flights. But the food is better and they won't knock your teeth out or kill your rabbit.

Your Pan Am Experience begins at our exclusive First & Clipper class check-in desk. where our Pan Am customer service agent provides each passenger with a 70’s style boarding pass, ticket jacket and first class carry-on tags.

You’ll be invited into the Clipper Club where you’ll have an opportunity to peruse the vintage Pan Am memorabilia including authentic uniforms, airline seats, handbags, artwork, and more. You can mingle with other enthusiasts at the Clipper Club lounge, share stories, and make new friends.

Soon thereafter, you’ll board “Clipper Juan T. Trippe”, our dedication to Pan Am’s first Boeing 747, where you’ll be sprung back in time to the 1970s. As soon you set foot inside the aircraft, your Stewardesses adorned in original Pan Am uniforms will welcome you onboard with a fine cocktail of your choice as Frank Sinatra’s soothing voice will transport you back in time.

With libation in hand, we encourage you to explore the aircraft – from First Class on the main deck, to Clipper Class aft of the galley, and the Upper Deck dining room. The interiors of each cabin have all been uniquely restored to Pan Am’s original cabin décor and branding elements.

Before we “take off”, the crew will perform an in-flight safety demonstration followed by a brief welcoming message from the flight deck.

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Forget sushi boats, check out the sushi bullet train

At the new Magic Touch Bullet Train Sushi restaurant in Cerritos, California, you order off an iPad menu and the rolls arrive via model bullet trains. I can't wait for them to upgrade to maglev trains. (via Laughing Squid)

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Diner "overwhelmed with customers" after Michelin star awarded by mistake

Le Bouche à Oreille is a perfectly decent working class diner in Bourges that'll feed you a slap-up meal for €10. La Bouche à Oreille, though, is a brilliant €48-course restaurant in Paris. Only one of them should have been awarded a Michelin star, but don't tell that to the posh sorts descending en masse upon an overwhelmed greasy spoon.

The Michelin Guide apologised, saying it had confused the café with a more refined establishment of the same name near Paris. The listing was changed on its website, but not until two days later.

Véronique Jacquet, who runs the café, said it had a regular clientèle of local tradesmen. “Suddenly, we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing.”

Three cheers for the diner's chef, Penelope Salmon: “I put my heart into my cooking.” Read the rest

Moby Dick's Restaurant lease blocked due in part to its "offensive name"

A building council in Vancouver, BC commercial building are reportedly refusing to allow one of the building owners to lease to Moby Dick's Restaurant, a fish-and-chips franchise, in part because of its name. According to a lawsuit, the building council claims that “that the word ‘Dick’ in Moby Dick was an offensive term" and "also claimed a Moby Dick sign would hurt the value of neighboring properties, and that the restaurant would bring increased litter and violate city laws on odor." From Courthouse News Service:

“It was clear by the end of August 2016 that the Strata intended to refuse any signage proposals belonging to Moby Dick which resembled its traditional trademark and brand,” the complaint states. “Instead, the Strata demanded that Moby Dick adopt a signage that was ‘minimalist’ both in color and design. As such, the Strata wrongfully denied Moby Dick’s use of its logo, brand name, and goodwill recognition at the commercial property.”

Mengfa seeks declaratory judgment and damages for interference with business relations.

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Eating at all of LA's grand old restaurants and dives, one at a time

The Remains of LA blog has a mission: to "visit all the cool old places in LA (not all at once)." I met its proprietress today, working at my local Burbank library, and I share her passion for LA's old restaurants, though I lack her devotion! As she notes, "sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people." Read the rest

Railway Paradise: How a Fine-Dining Empire Made the Southwest Palatable to Outsiders

Who were the Harvey Girls, and what were the Harvey Houses in which they worked? It's actually more innocent than it sounds, as Hunter Oatman-Stanford explains in his latest piece at Collectors Weekly. The Harvey Houses were a series of eateries and hotels run by a British ex-pat named Fred Harvey alongside the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad tracks that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Girls were women from the East Coast and Midwest, imported to replace the local, often uncouth male waiters in towns like Raton and Belen, New Mexico. Together, the Girls and the dining establishments they worked in lent an air of respectability to the still-wild American Southwest at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as Hunter learned when he spoke to Richard Melzer, author of Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest.

Here's a snip from the article:

In 1883, Harvey had decided to fire the rowdy male waiters at his restaurant in Raton, New Mexico, and hire respectable young women in their place. Customers responded so positively to the female staff that Harvey began replacing all of his company’s male servers, advertising for women employees in newspapers throughout the Midwestern and Eastern states.

Unlike much of the Eastern United States, in small Western outposts, it was acceptable for single young women to work and live away from their parents — though they were often stigmatized as being prostitutes or sexually promiscuous. “The Harvey Company called its servers ‘Harvey Girls’ — not waitresses — because the term waitress had a bad connotation: It was linked to the saloon girls,” who were viewed as bawdy and indecent, Melzer says.

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A Jew and his sandwich

What did you think about on New Year’s day? I sat in my home in Washington, DC, and dreamed the dream of a middle-aged Jew.

Not of wealth.

Not of fame.

Not of my wife and daughter or other assorted family members and friends.

Not of travel to a foreign land.

And not even of my grandmother’s chicken soup. As a person she was a monster, but boy she made good chicken soup.

NO! I was dreaming of a pastrami sandwich.

I was craving a pastrami sandwich.

Every store was closed here, of course, being New Year’s Day, but it wouldn’t matter—there’s no pastrami worth a damn in this town.

At that moment my body needed to be magically transported to New York City or Los Angeles, the only two places I’ve ever had a really a fabulous pastrami sandwich. (Maybe there’s one in Chicago, who knows?)

In New York, I go to the 2nd Ave. Deli; in LA, I go to Art’s on Ventura Blvd. The 2nd Ave Deli has a long history, and plenty of tragedy (the original owner was robbed and shot to death bringing the day’s cash to the bank in 1996). Then the landlord got greedy and forced them out. His nephews reopened the restaurant on 33rd Street just west of Third Ave. They did a good job: tiled floor, pressed tin ceiling, “A” rating from the Health Department. And the aroma is what I want to smell in heaven when I die. Your tush hasn’t been in the chair for five seconds before Health Salad and sour pickles are on the table. Read the rest

Adorable little Star Wars desserts offered at L.A. restaurant

The Star Wars merchandise machine is in full death-march, and we're already sick of the Force-sploitation. But this offbeat little gimmick has us smiling--and jonesing for some sweets.

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Chuck E. Cheese targets moms with lattes, salad, and more wine and beer

Chuck E. Cheese is hoping to market itself to "millennial moms" by expanding its beer and wine offerings, selling lattes, and amping up the salad bar. They should put in a boxing ring to ensure better viewing of the infamous Chuck E. Cheese parental brawls that break out at kids birthday parties!

“Her kids know it’s a fun place to go, but millennial moms want to provide that great experience without sacrificing for themselves,” Greg Casale, head chef of Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company CEC Entertainment, told Bloomberg. “Before she was a mom, she was going to places like Panera and those concepts. She wants something that fits into her millennial lifestyle.” Read the rest

City commissioners approve shooting range/restaurant that serves booze

Daytona Beach, Florida commissioners approved a combination 12-lane indoor gun range and restaurant, that serves alcohol, to open in the city. Read the rest

Man sues "Throwed Rolls" restaurant after being injured by thrown roll

Pastor Troy Tucker is suing Ozark, Missouri's Lambert’s Cafe, billed as the "Home of Throwed Rolls," after a flying roll allegedly hit her in the eye and lacerated her cornea. Read the rest

Watch how some restaurants sneakily craft “steaks” from lesser parts using “meat glue”

Some lower-quality eateries are actually passing off 'formed steaks' melded from lower-quality scraps as the real deal. Here's how they do it.

Crowdfunding Toronto restaurant expansion for Fonda Lola

Our own sysadmin Ken Snider writes, "Toronto Mexican Restaurant Fonda Lola, in an attempt to both raise capital for bulk purchases (to lower costs) as well as create a War Chest to open a second location, has decided to issue 1000 public shares at $75 each, via Indiegogo." Read the rest

A terrible restaurant for Canadian bankers called America

It's in Toronto's Trump hotel, main courses are $45, and it sounds fucking awful. Read the rest

Arby's new Meat Mountain

Arby's, inspired by customers who inquired about a poster in the restaurant depicting a heap of myriad meats, now sells an off-menu "Meat Mountain" piled with various kinds of animal flesh for $10. Here's what's between the buns: Read the rest

PETA unable to make cannibal Dahmer's home a vegan restaurant

Unfortunately, PETA is not able to turn noted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio into a vegan restaurant. The plan was to call the restaurant "Eat for Life: Home Cooking" but zoning laws stood in their way.

"It was also suggested that we consider converting it into a vegan bed and breakfast, but we're not optimistic that many people would want to make the trip to spend a night in the house.," PETA Media Director Moira Colley said.

Of course, the whole idea could easily have just been a PETA publicity stunt. In any case, the home is still up for sale. (WKYC, thanks Gil Kaufman!) Read the rest

Proud Bird restaurant humbled by huge rent hike

Back in the aerospace heyday of the 1960s-1980s, the Proud Bird restaurant was the steakhouse of choice for Los Angeles industry workers, who gathered to drink strong martinis and talk shop.

But the Proud Bird (founded in 1958 by a B-17 WWII pilot) will fly no more, thanks to a one-two punch of a gigantic lease hike and declining patronage.

Mid-Century culture fanatic Todd Lappin has a beautiful Flickr set of the storied dining establishment (which is where I swiped the photo above), and the LA Times has an article about the Proud Bird's impending closure, save an 11th hour miracle.

Proud Bird, aerospace watering hole, about to run dry Read the rest

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