Thursday, December 27, 2012

Classic Dining

Larry and I have been obsessed with the what is known as the "red leather booth" classic dining establishments.  Recently, our ModCom friend, Pete Moruzzi published a book called "Classic Dining:  Discovering America's Finest Mid-Century Restaurants." 

Ellen, inside Taylor's...check out the fine artwork!
We wanted to experience a bit of classic dining after all the hub-bub of Christmas.  Last night we drove to Taylor's Steakhouse in the West Adams area of Los Angeles for dinner.  We had mushroom soup, Caesar salad, steak, ribs, spinach and baked potato.  Everything, including the martinis were perfectly delicious and reasonable compared to today's restaurant prices.  The portions were so huge that we have dinner for tonight too!
Steak dinner @ Taylor's

Today, on a field trip to Hobby Lobby in Rancho Cucamonga, I remembered that there was this fantastic looking restaurant on Foothill Blvd. in Upland.  We cruised out to the Pomona Valley and came across the Magic Lamp Inn.   Opened in 1959, the storybook style brick building is magnificent inside and out!  

We'd already eaten lunch, so we just toured the interior.  The bar is huge, with a dance floor.  Those beautiful red leather booths are in perfect condition.  
Magic Lamp Inn

See the magic lamp in the center of the window?
There is some fine woodwork and glorious stained glass windows.  The standout feature was the copper hood over the circular fire pit!  Restaurants are not custom-designed like they were in the old days.  It's so wonderful to sit in a beautiful restaurant with wood paneling, carpets and muted SOUND while dining on a delightfully prepared and served dinner.
Fire Pit @ Magic Lamp

Wow!  I'd like to sip a martini gazing into that fire.  I looked at the menu and the lunch choices were excellent.  We must return.
An added plus and insurance that the new owners of the Magic Lamp Inn know they have a gem of a classic restaurant was that we saw Pete Moruzzi's book in the display case near the entrance!  Yes!  Fine dining does still exist in Southern California!
Have you been to any red leather booth, white table cloth restaurants lately?

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At 6:17 PM PST, Blogger JeffB said...

Can't believe you (of all people) hadn't been to Taylor's before. Or had you. We should plan a field trip to the Magic Lamp for somebody's birthday!

At 10:39 AM PST, Blogger Peter Moruzzi said...

Hooray that the Magic Lamp Inn has my book in their display case! It's moments like this that make all of the hard work that went into the book worthwhile. Thanks, Ellen, for writing about your experiences. Here's to classic dining!!


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