Monday, April 24, 2006

Contrasts in L.A.

Trader Vic's Restaurant @ The Beverly Hilton Hotel
Larry and I had a busy weekend. I'm preparing for the Los Angeles Conservancy HPOZ Tour next Sunday (4/30/06). I'll be displaying and hopefully selling my original Historic Neighborhood paintings at the Whitley Heights docent stop. We were given a tour of the house on Saturday morning. Wow! It's fantastic! It's just above the picnic area and Hollywood Heritage Museum, across from the Hollywood Bowl. There are 15 different levels to this Spanish Revival home. More about the tour later in the week.
After the HPOZ orientation we stopped by the Norm's Coffeeshop on La Cienega near Melrose for brunch. Last year Norm's management restored all of the original Norm's neon signage and revitalized most of the L.A. restaurants. All of the Norm's were designed by the architectural firm of Armet and Davis, the premiere architects of the "Googie" stylerestaurant in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The food is good and cheap and I always love dining in 50's atomic places.
We really experienced the extremes in L.A. on Saturday. Later, we met our friends Chuck and Wes for very expensive cocktails and appetizers at the historic Trader Vic's at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Trader Vic's is the opposite of Norm's in price, food and atmosphere. However, both buildings were built in the 1950's and exhibit tasteful and futuristic architectural lines. The architectural firm of Welton Beckett built this showcase hotel and restaurant for Conrad Hilton in 1955. Welton Beckett's firm also designed The Capital Records buildiing and the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, the Music Center, many of the original office buildings in Century City and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, to name just a few. The Beverly Hilton was and still is an extremely elegant place. Trader Vic's Restaurant, attached to the Hilton, is tiki-rific. We ordered various exotic cocktails, a pupu platter, coconut shrimp and tasty duck tidbits. We could have fed a family of 12 at Norm's for the price of drinks, etc. at Trader Vic's. It's not about the money though, it's about the history and experiencing vintage L.A. at it's best. We had a grand time.



At 4:32 PM PDT, Blogger DarcyArtsy said...

Mmmmmm Coconut shrimp, I love it! Looking forward next Saturday.

At 11:02 PM PDT, Blogger Nic said...

When I was kid Trader Vic's was my favorite because they served Shirley Temples with dry ice like stuff. And once a week we ate at Norm's on Lincoln and I hated it, because right across the street was Sambo's, which is awful, but then was a kid oriented restaurant.


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