Since1919, serving Hollywood’s finest in a restaurant blissfully unchanged by time. Thank goodness!
Yes, if you were alive back in the 30s, you might have seen the sight of Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks racing (on horseback) down Hollywood Blvd., all so that the loser would have to pick up the check at Musso & Frank Grill.
Now, Musso & Frank Grill has been in continuous operation since 1919, making it the oldest eatery in Hollywood. Phillipe’s and Fugestu-Do both still has a few years on it for the overall Los Angeles record, but…man, stepping through those doors is literally like stepping back in time. The room looks as though Orson Welles, Valentino and Charlie Chaplin are going to be sitting there right now. The feel, the service, hell…even menu are all seriously, seriously old school. As in, no one does it like this anymore old school.
The restaurant is named for the original owners: Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet. I believe they had separate restaurant for a time before deciding to combine their operations in 1919.
The place is old…and old in a good way. Granted some of the appointments look worse for wear. Some of the booths feel like there were built for Hobbits and not for humans, but that’s not the point. You want old school, old world Hollywood…well, it haunts these premises. It’s like the heartbeat of Hollywood would just stop if this place ever closed it’s doors (and it’s never going to close it’s doors).
It’s a wonderful place. It is old world Hollywood, forever preserved in Amber. On top of everything else, it’s a place that serves up a really great meal.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, at it’s heart, Musso & Frank Grill is a classic Italian Steak and Chops place. They’ve got all kinds of steaks, all kinds of sauces to go with them. They’ve got Lamb Chops. They’ve even got Grilled Lamb Kidneys with Bacon, which according to the online menu was Charlie Chaplin’s favorite.
My thing, both visits to Musso & Frank has been the Boneless Garlic Chicken. It actually lands table side in a bowl, smothered in a au jus of chicken stock and garlic, and it is delicious. I’m a couple of days out from having that meal, and I’m STILL thinking about it.
I also had a Sidecar. I figured, if I’m dining in an old world Hollywood joint, I might as well have an old world Cocktail.
Now, a Sidecar is made from Cognac, Armagnac, or Bourbon (I believe Musso and Frank went with Bourbon. Cointreau or triple sec orange liqueur. Some lemon juice. A lemon twist for garnish, and some sugar for rimming. It’s a sweet drink, one where you’ll barely taste the alcohol if it’s done right, and…well…Musso and Frank does ‘em right.
I should also tell you about the Original Fettucini Alfredo.
Well I’m going to let the Musso & Frank website tell you about the Original Fettucini Alfredo.
Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were frequent guests at Musso’s. While on their honeymoon in Rome, they dined at Alfredo’s restaurant and after tasting the Fettucini Alfredo, they begged Alfredo for the recipe. He declined them. The next night the newlyweds again dined at Alfredo’s and presented a golden fork and spoon to Alfredo. This time they got the recipe and brought it back to Hollywood. They asked Musso’s chef, Jean Rue, to make the dish. He often prepared it specially for the famous couple, but the dish was never added to the menu. We now proudly serve the ORIGINAL Fettucini Alfredo as prepared for Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.
You read that right, America’s original sweetheart, Mary Pickford STOLE the recipe from a hapless Rome Chef. How could you NOT try this?
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just so you know, Musso & Frank Grill is like a restaurant preserved in amber, but…the neighborhood it sits in isn’t. I wouldn’t call it a dangerous part of Hollywood, but certainly it’s the most seedy part of Hollywood. Nothing classic about that stretch of town. Mostly T-Shirt shops, Tattoo parlors and Bars that…frankly…this reviewer probably isn’t going to visit anytime soon. Fortunately, thinks on the Parking Side are…
PARKING: Musso & Frank Grill has their own lot right in back of the Restaurant. You pull up, give the guy $10 bucks and head right into the back of the Restaurant, skirting just outside the kitchen before you head into the main dining room.
Now, there is a second lot just behind/next to the Musso’s lot. It too costs $10 bucks but there’s a fence separating you from the back door. You can still get in that way. This second lot as a LOT more spaces.
Oh, and if you’re short of cash, the Attendant has an ATM. Not a great ATM, not an ATM that won’t bleed you for an extra buck or two for the privilege of getting at your money, but…an ATM.
Musso and Frank’s Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 467-7788
Tuesday-Saturday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays.