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5 Eateries Where Hollywood Legends Were Made

BY Kelsi Maree Borland | August 15, 2016 | Feature Features

While you can't catch a glimpse of Old Hollywood icons like Mae West or Cary Grant strolling down Rodeo Drive, their legacy lives on at these beloved restaurants, where Tinseltown's brightest stars have been dining for decades. Here, five L.A. spots to dine like royalty from Hollywood's Golden Age.
Settle in for some old school glamour at La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills.

1. 208 Rodeo
With a perch atop the Spanish Steps on Rodeo Drive, 208 Rodeo doesn’t need much to snag a title as an L.A. iconic restaurant—but its 25-year history as a favorite among luminaries like Sydney Poitier and Rob Stewart seals the deal. The stunning and romantic restaurant was immortalized in films like Pretty Woman and Clueless, while the California cuisine—which includes a truffle-cheese-topped wagyu burger ($25) and filet mignon with roasted bone marrow ($54)—keeps people coming back. 208 Via Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.275.2428

2. Casa Vega

This family-owned gem is the cornerstone of great L.A. Mexican food. For 60 years, the restaurant has never stopped attracting an A-list crowd, from Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Carey Grant to the Kardashian family, who dines here regularly. With super authentic dishes made with organic, local ingredients and plenty of vegetarian options, what could be better? Make sure to try “The Boss” margarita ($13.50) named in honor of founder Ray Vega, alongside dishes like the pollo asado ($22.50). 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818.788.4868

3. Clifton’s

Step inside this whimsical eatery and you’ll quickly understand how it was one of the places that inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. The forest-like, original dining room is complete with crystal caverns—a fantasy world that was favored by visionaries like Disney, Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac. Today, the 81-year-old historic haunt serves modern twists on cafeteria fare with small plates alongside updated classics—like the recently introduced Bloody Mary bar. Opt for the Bloody Perfect (market price), a plate of grilled Maine lobster tail, seasoned crawfish, smoked ham and roast beef. 648 S. Broadway, L.A., 213.627.1673

4. La Dolce Vita

This classic Italian restaurant is as coveted today as it was when it opened in 1966. Frank Sinatra and George Raft were among the early guests to dine here, and more recent celebrity patrons include Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks. To celebrate its 50-year legacy, the restaurant is serving a $50 three-course prix-fixe menu featuring its most esteemed dishes like Caesar salad, spaghetti bolognese, tiramisu and a glass of Chianti. If you can, book Sinatra’s booth for the best view in the house. 9785 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.278.1845

5. Pacific Dining Car

Still the only 24-hour fine dining restaurant in the city, this classic steak house has been serving prime cuts of dry-aged beef (from $24) to Hollywood’s elite for 95 years. Emerald green velvet chairs and antique luggage boxes (an ode to the dining car theme) recall the restaurant’s 1920s opening, a look that former regulars Mae West, Mickey Cohen and Louella Parsons likely relished. 1310 W. 6th St., L.A., 213.483.6000

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