The Atlantic

What Keeps Hollywood’s Oldest Restaurant Running

One hundred years after it first opened, the Musso & Frank Grill is mixing the old and the new with verve.
Source: Courtesy of Tina Whatcott Echeverria

LOS ANGELES—It is 8 p.m. on a soft spring Saturday and the oldest restaurant in Hollywood is packed to the gills. Tattooed hipsters in black jeans and miniskirts share the two bustling dining rooms with oldsters in cashmere V-necks, loafers, and Ferragamo pumps; jazzy standards pulse through the sound system at a volume neither too loud nor too soft; and the glow from the ancient wood-burning cast-iron grill suffuses the scene.

In this sprawling, polyglot culinary capital, where the cuisine ranges across the alphabet, from Armenian to Yemeni, the Musso & Frank Grill, which turns 100 years old in September, has not only endured but also prevailed, with a menu that still features such antique dishes as Welsh rarebit, chicken pot pie, grilled lamb kidneys, and calf’s liver with onions, not to mention its spine-tingling, stirred-not-shaken martinis—55,272 of them served last year alone.

Los Angeles’s restaurants here after a nine-year hiatus occasioned by the feeling that the city’s restaurants weren’t quite up to snuff? The has just relaunched a to explore the city’s burgeoning restaurant culture each Thursday? has dispatched its first-ever California food critic, , to sample the region’s bounty?

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