Friday, July 26, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

King's Tropical Inn, 1937

I remember riding past this Moorish looking building on Washington Blvd. at La Cienega Blvd. as recently as the early 1990's.  It was painted a gold color and it was an auto tire repair and replacement shop.  I always wondered why a tire place had to have such a fancy cupola on top of the building, along with other distinctive architectural elements.  I asked around back then and found out that this was once King's Tropical Inn, famous for their fried chicken dinners and cocktails!  My Mother tells me that her family ate there all the time in the 1930's.  It appears that it was a restaurant through the mid-1960's.  I must quiz Mom as to why I was never taken there as a child.  I do remember, in the late 1950's to the 1970's, there was a Norm's Restaurant just to the west of this building.

After the Northridge earthquake there was a lot of damage to this building, so it was demolished.  The current group of buildings is also a tire shop, built in a 1990's version of the Byzantine style as a sort of homage to the original King's Tropical Inn.  The building I remember as Norm's is a fitness gym.  There is a plaque dedicating this site as a historic property.
Washington Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd., 2013

I read online that the "squab" dinners were really pigeon!  Well, Kings was open during the great depression and World War 2.  Food was scarce.  In it's hey-day, King's Tropical Inn must have been a grand place to wine and dine!
This is the last day of my stay-cation.  Los Angeles is a wonderful vacation destination!  Have a great weekend.  Snap some photos of historical buildings on your weekend adventures!

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At 4:35 PM PDT, Blogger Joan said...

Squab is baby pigeon.

At 9:40 AM PDT, Blogger Cochonette said...

Really, really good chicken and biscuits with honey up until the early 60s. My parents wrote their names inside the little lampshades over each table, like all couples did on dates. The booths were little bamboo and straw "tropical huts", roofless so the diners could see the projected clouds move across the dark sky to "Hawaiian" music including Bing Crosby singing "Happy Birthday to You" about every half hour. I went there with girlfriends from Bancroft Junior High for my birthday and we had Shirley Temples. My parents drove us there (no other way to get there except by long bus rides with transfers and it was an iffy neighborhood in the 60s) and they sat at a different table so we wouldn’t be watched and heard by them. The last few times we went they had a loud myna bird in the lobby. There was what seemed to be a large always empty banquet room with big windows on the left when you walked in and my parents once sat by the windows and saw chickens running around outside, awaiting their fate as "southern fried chicken". I still remember the wonderful chicken and LA-style well done french fries. Here in NYC, where I live now, all the fries are basically raw and the natives here love them that way.


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