Friday, July 08, 2011

Decline of the Derby

Vintage Photo FridayOriginal Brown Derby Restaurant, Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
...across the street from the Ambassador Hotel

On Tuesday night Larry and I went to dinner at the Boiling Crab Restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. in the Mid-Wilshire section of Los Angeles. The Boiling Crab was a fun place with delicious crab, lobster and shrimp, served Louisiana style, but the restaurant review is for another post.
The Boiling Crab is located in the Brown Derby Plaza Center. This is about a block west of the original Brown Derby Restaurant. The developers of this mini-mall tore down the original restaurant, took the shell of the Derby "hat" and moved it up to the third level of the mall. You can barely tell that it was once the main structure of an L.A. landmark restaurant. Sigh.

The Derby in the 1930's
Photo by Chalmers Butterfield, late 1960'sRemains of The Brown Derby in a Mini-Mall
I never ate at The Brown Derby's original Wilshire Blvd. location. I did, however dine at the Hollywood Brown Derby on Vine Street and at the Beverly Hills Derby on Wilshire Blvd. I didn't realize that Michael's of Los Feliz had been a Brown Derby Restaurant until the Derby Dance Club materialized in the 1990's, but I ate at Michael's too! Naturally, I had the world famous Cobb Salad at the Hollywood and Beverly Hills locations!
Enjoy your beautiful summer weekend and if you have a Cobb Salad, remember The Derby, where this famous dish was invented!

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At 11:53 AM PDT, Anonymous Danny said...

It's a travesty what they did with that landmark. I'm happy to say that I got to eat in the hat once when I was visiting L.A. as a kid. I was pretty young so I think my memories of that meal are now combined with the "I Love Lucy" episode that takes place at the Brown Derby! Oh well, at least Musso & Frank's is still there--but don't get me started on C. C. Brown's.

At 9:26 AM PDT, Anonymous Jo said...

When was the shell moved? I had lunch at the Brown Derby while on a business trip to LA in 1982. It's awful but I don't remember what the building looked like.

Your blog is so much fun. for many years, my hubby chaired the Landmark Commission in Denver and your comments on LA landmarks are much enjoyed.

thanks, Jo

At 1:24 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hi Jo,
Thanks for the blog compliments. According to the link in my post, the original Brown Derby on Wilshire Blvd., near Alexandria St. was torn down in 1980. You may have eaten at the Derby in HOllywood or Beverly Hills if you visited in 1982.

At 8:29 PM PDT, Anonymous Eve said...

Agree - TRAVESTY is just the right word to describe this.

Interesting blog-article Ellen!


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