Memories of Lost L.A. Eateries, Part 2

Memories of Lost L.A. Eateries,  Part 2

Still more nostalgia for those long gone L.A. favorites……………..


  1. Sambo’s, 1322 Beverly Blvd., Montebello, California. Super good pancakes and they gave you these little wooden Sambo’s nickels that you could redeem for a cup of coffee. It’s now a Baker’s Square.                                                                                                                                                                        
  2. Las Carnitas, 4003 East Olympic Blvd. E.L.A., CA I loved this place. A welcoming interior with sticky red vinyl booths and low lighting. Everything on the menu was fresh & tasty and had a homemade quality. The staff was always warm & friendly and would chat you up before taking your order. I always ordered my usual; the Tampico Plate, it had a tender slice of beef steak, enchilada, flauta, rice & beans. Yum.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  3. Thrifty’s Ice Cream, various locations, I’m just another of the countless fans of the famous old-time Thrifty’s ice cream. You got flavor, creaminess, fruit chunks, whole pistachios, whatever you liked and more of it for just 5¢ a scoop!                                                           monke uddle                                                         
  4. The Monke-Uddle, Hamburger Stand, Fetterly Ave and Whittier Blvd., ELA, CA. For whatever reason, the magic of the burgers at an old legendary place like this defies description. I can say it had a beef patty, condiments and a bun and it would mean nothing to anyone today. But if you had only been there and experienced a true old-fashioned burger like this, you’d be talking about it 40 years later as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  5. Helms Bakery, Drive-by Bakery Delivery Trucks. We’d be lying on the living room floor watching Felix The Cat on our black & white TV, when suddenly we’d hear the familiar TWEET-TWEET! of the Helms Bakery truck coming by. The cool thing about it was that as a kid, you’d run out because you knew you could count on getting a freebie almost every time from the nice guy driving the truck. He’d park; jump out and flip open the back panel doors of his brown painted truck. And when he slid out those wide wooden drawers you’d hear the ooohs and aaahhs as pies, cakes, pastries, loaves of bread and all the glistening sweet donuts were displayed before us. I remember this brown bakery truck coming by up until about the 90’s in Montebello. By then, the lettering on the side had been changed to Holm’s Bakery and the goods weren’t so fresh anymore. A friend of mine said he once took a tour of the Helm’s bakery and got a free sample mini loaf of bread, a chocolate donut and a little cardboard Helm’s truck. Lucky bastard.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  6. Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, Rosemead Bl. Near Mission Rd., Rosemead, CA. I’m sure that it was places like this that helped bring down the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, the sheer indulgence and gluttony of this place was vastly ignored for the sake of the tremendous fun you and your friends would have spooning copious amounts of ice cream out of a huge trough adorned with lit sparklers. Afterwards, everyone was awarded a ribbon that read: “I made a Pig of Myself at Farrell’s.”                                                                                                                                                                                      
  7. Bob’s Freeze, 5144 E Beverly Blvd, E.L.A., CA. This delightful walk-up soft serve ice cream stand specialized in Sundaes, Parfaits, Banana Splits, and creamy Malts & Shakes. Situated next to an also now gone Garduno’s burger stand, you could find long lines of locals almost every day and night, partly due to the fact that the staff was painfully slow in filling orders. But it was the place to be seen, to check out the action, and to show off your Ranfla under the glow of the big neon ice cream cone. My favorite item was the Smog Sundae.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  8. Casa De Fritos, Frontierland, Disneyland. USA. This place was so bad it was good. A classic example of Mexican food for white people, but I kind of found fun in the Goofy attempt to recreate a Mexican eating experiences. You could enjoy a “Ta-cup” with “Frito the Kid”. The menu was based on ground beef, cheese & beans combinations and you also got a miniature bag of Fritos with your meal, because in Mexico, of course, everyone loves Fritos.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  9. Spikes Teriyaki Bowl, 1530 S. San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA. Yes, this place is still in operation, but it changed management some years ago and has not been as good since. Their Teriyaki bowls were divine, their Curry sublime, the Gyozas so fine, and the Burgers bovine. They also had a good fountain serve Cherry Coke, which I think is still there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  10. The Tikis, 1975 North Portero Grande Dr., Monterey Park, CA. Truly an unbelievable place. Picture a Tiki themed Disneyland with free flowing booze and scantily clad hula girls. The Tikis Dinner Show would feature an all you can eat Hawaiian buffet and an elaborate entertainment that featured giant apes that would swing down on vines and send the women screaming for their lives as a full scale volcano exploded into the sky. A maze of dark and mysterious underground tunnels catacomb the area and explorers could discover hidden bars, discos and Polynesian wonders. I still keep one of their original matchbooks. Here’s the printed description:


·      12 acres of tropical enchantment

·      50 feet of underground lava tubes

·      50 feet of underground lava tubes

·      80 ft erupting volcano

·      Waterfalls, lagoons, jungle trails

·      3 to 7 bands

·      POLYNESIAN EXTRAVAGANZA featuring the finest of Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga & New Zealand.

·      Accommodates up to 5000 persons, 18 acres of parking

·      We specialize in holiday parties

·      Sundays bring the kids

·      12 exciting rides, petting zoo.

·      Polynesian cultural center of the islands Train ride through ½ mile of Polynesian settings and monster caves. During October, The TIKIS would also host nightly Halloween Horror Nights with the some of the most elaborate and horrific Haunted Mazes. They did not skimp on the gore. Truly an unforgettable experience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

11. Assorted TreatsFizzies Soda Tablets, Candy juice inside wax shapes, Scooter pies, candy cigarettes, candy lipstick, half of a lemon with a saladito stuck in it, soda vending machines where first a paper cup was dispensed then the soda poured out into it, Nesbitts soda, Royal Crown Cola, Maypo, Space Sticks, Bosco and so many others……………………

This entry was posted in Eastside, Food, Personal, Reviews, Uncategorized by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697

116 thoughts on “Memories of Lost L.A. Eateries, Part 2

  1. Al- Yes I remember the two sisters who looked almost like twins, big raven black hair, big dark eyes!! It was a mom and dad, the two sisters you mentioned, and a little brother! They had their stove and refigerator there in the bakery so they could make dinner there!! I always ate a meal every shift I worked!! Not to mention all the Carnation “Orange Drink”, and Chocolate Milk I could drink!! i usually ate a couple of bolillos a day as I was there when they came out of the oven!!In those days you just walked out with a brown papaer bag full of goodies, there were no plastic bags in those days!!!Or atleast they never used them. In the front section I would stock a few canned goods, and they had some mexican magazines also!!

  2. Al- Back in the late 70’s when I was dating a girl in Pico Rivera, I used to eat at a place called “Kojack’s Burgers”, it was across the street from the El Atacor on Whittier Blvd. in Pico Rivera.
    The Kojack Burger featured a double patty, cheese, top of the line pastrami, (not the stringy stuff Cronis serves) and some avocado!! A killer burger, real quality!!These people were real Greeks, as you could see by their quality pastrami.
    Another footnote on Arry’s in Montebello… Back in 78 when I used to cruise Hollywood in my Midnight Blue 1974 Chevy Camaro with Original Tru Spokes, I had just eaten at Arry’s before I took a drive out to Sunset Blvd, on the Eastside of that street I stopped at a Greek looking burger joint to get something and one of the original owners of Arry’s was there, I asked him what he was doing there and he said it was just another one of his burger stands!!, he was heavy set and had real thick fingers, the kids would call him Fred Flinstone(he did resemble Fred Flinstone)and he would tell them to get lost, or throw them the bird with that “thick” finger. I’ll never forget that guy, I heard he passed away a while back. He was the one who made Arry’s a success!!

  3. Hello Gabriel..glad to hear you have fond memories and liked the burgers at the Monke-Uddle where you took your girlfriend almost every day after school. I worked there for 6 years from the time I was 16-21 yrs old (1973 – 1979 when it finally had to close due to the property being sold to an Asian man who wanted to more than triple the lease we held.) The little hamurger stand was leveled after that and a strip mall was built on the property where it used to stand on Kern Avenue N/E of Whittier Blvd. The property is a mess now…so sad.

    Hi AlDesmadre…the place was named after the original property owner’s pets(Gordon and Marjorie – husband and wife who lived in Chatsworth and were somehow involved in the Motion Picture business…they owned alot of real estate throughout the L.A. area). They had a pet monkey and a pet poodle and decided to name the place the “Monke-Uddle”.

    My Dad, Jesse Luna, worked there part-time in the mornings for a number of years (one of his 2-3 jobs – main one being Continental Can Company where he worked swing shift for 35 years on Olympic Blvd. in ELA)and so did my sister. It was a family affair and the person who ran it was Al Guerra who knew everyone. Al’s sister Terry used to also work there part-time as did his Mom, Connie.

    Everything from the beans, green chile and red chile (for burritos and chile dogs) was homemade. The lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. for the burgers, steak sandwiches, four finger dogs and everything else we sold was freshly cut daily on the premises. The meat, bread, etc. was also delivered daily by our respective vendors (Odono’s Meats in East L.A. for the burger patties,steaks, pastrami,etc., Interstate Bakeries for the bread, to name a few)IT JUST DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT.

    Thanks for keeping our wonderful little place in your memories…we miss it too……….

  4. Ms. Ana Luna, Wow! Thank You!!! you have filled in some missing information that many like me have been waiting decades for to fulfill our memories! I now know the wonderful history behind the Monke-Uddle and I can die happy and all of these people and places can live a little longer in our hearts and memories!:)

  5. Anna Luna- Thank You so much for giving us all some very rare and interesting information!! The Monke-Uddle was a legendary food stand in East Los Angeles!! Do you have any memories of Tookies?
    Also, could you share some of the items that were on the original menu? Perhaps prices? Thank You so much, getting info from someone who worked there is priceless!! I hope Al Desmadre will eventually do a book or a documentary about all these priceless memories!! I would also think that you have more memories about the general area around the boulevard as well!! I have something in common with you, my Dad worked at Continental Can in the 60’s, also, his name is Ernie Lima, he worked there with his compadre Bob Rodriguez!!

  6. WOW all the memories are coming back, I grew up with Vince and everything he says its true, some stuff I don’t even remember there was a deli down the block from Andreas burgers, old man ran it ,we used to play baseball at Eastmont Intermediate then go to get a sandwich, the place looked kind of funky but had great sandwiches.does anyone remember Crawfords market Montebello blvd and Whittier great sandwhiches

  7. I remember the “Crawford’s” Market, it had a classic looking sign/logo, “The Boy’s” Market in Montebello is another long gone market. “Market Basket” in the Prado section across from the old Atlantic Square. “Fazio’s” in the old Atlantic Square (now Ralph’s) The old “Safeway Market” on Atlantic & Beverly. And can’t forget Eastway Market and their Homeade Beef Chorizo, talk about quality, they used beef brisket, the same cut they use for corned beef, how many places do it like that nowadays??

  8. I remember way back when I was 7-8 years old, I went to the Tikis during Halloween time. They had an amazing haunted house set up their. It scared the shit out of me!! It was way ahead of it’s time, there was so much blood and guts!!! It was what Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farms haunted houses are now aday’s, but scarier!!!

  9. I worked at times-mirror press from 1960 to 1998 printing telephone books, do you know anybody that also worked there??? if so please let me know , i would love to hear from some of my old friends, also do you know of the old timers club?? Thank you,
    Gary Swanson

  10. Places I remember(now gone)in Lincoln Heights:There use to be a Tepeyac near Shop-Wise on Hancock and North Broadway. This is where Hollywood video, Radioshack,Subway are now. Western Auto and Wolfe and Sons use to be on Broadway near avenue20, there was a bowling alley further down as well as an unemployment office there,now its a carwash.Chevron had a gas station where Mcdonald’s stands on Hancock. 4 milpas is where King Taco is on Griffin. The Thrifty’s had a cafe with great hot apple turnover on Avenue 26. Safeway became Vons became Smart and Final on Daly. My parents use to go to the Starlight(land) movie theater on Broadway between Workman and Daly(you can still see the movielike architecture if you look close enough and the floor/sidewalk retains its movie days veneer. There use to be a Flamingo Club down on Main and Griffin according to my mom. I remember the Helms bakery donutman still made rounds until the early 80’s. How about Joe and Al, the friendly neighborhod Italian-American Ice Cream TruckMen? Joe use to extend me credit at eight years old! There use to be a little carniceria where Carl’s Jr. now stands in Lincoln Heights…how about Salon Broadway? Manuel’s Store across Lincoln had a great selection of snacks and comics when they were just a quarter!Bi-Rite and Big Savers were around when I was growing up and are still there over 30 years later! La lecheria on eastlake still opens now and again(currently closed.)Connie Destito Real Estate was next door. A man named Reagan had a tax service place on Gates and Broadway or how about Hugo’s ties? McKay Monkman had a pharmacy on Daly and Broadway. Jeffries had a cool selection of toys on Avenue 26 and Daly. wow!memories of wacky packages,freakies cereal,man on the moon trading cards come flooding back. .

  11. other Lincoln Heights memories; the car dealership where the Young-Nak church now stands on Broadway before the Buena Vista Bridge. The Downey Park pool use to be my favorite swimming place besides Lincoln Park. Ela park use to have a jungle gym,swings and a little woodenfort but the gangbangers use to hide and do their bobasadas there so now the park has nothing.Pioneer Chicken on Daly, Troys on Broadway(now Pete’s Patio). There use to be more houses/apartments on Broadway but they’ve been knocked down to build Eastlake plaza,Autozone and the businesses on Gates and Broadway(Dominoes was there for a spell)How about Castillo’s Den?Discoteca Mexico? both on broadway between Johnston and Griffin.

  12. The bowling alley was the Golden Gate Lanes. It was next to the Record Rack where I worked from 1958 to 1965. On the other side of the bowling alley was an auto repair shop, maybe Midas Muffler. We were all in the same block with the Golden Gate Theater but east of it betwen Atlantic Boulevard and Woods. In the next block was the United Artists Theater which became the Alameda Theater when it switched to Spanish language movies. I’m surprised no one mentioned Toy Villa, directly across the street from the UA. It was a beautiful, inspiring toy store, long before Toys R Us came along.

    Also surprised that no one mentioned Bea’s El Burrito on 3rd Street. The Holquin family ran it for many years. At that location now is Angie’s Burritos. Except for the bigger menu, everything’s nearly the same. The cash register is the same one used when it was Bea’s.

  13. Tony- Toy Villa has been mentioned on this web site, it was one of my favorite toy stores when I was a kid, the other being Kiddy Korner which was in the old Atlantic Square. There is mention of it on this site, do you remember when Huggy Boy was still working the register at Hollywood Discount Records before it became Sounds of Music?, at Whittier and La Verne Ave.

  14. Atlantic Square was an amazing place, the first “shopping center” to open anywhere near East L.A. In the small parking area behind what was then the Thrifty Drug Store and Von’s Market, Al Jarvis hosted a one-time-only Saturday afternoon “hop” shortly after AS opened in the mid-1950s. Jarvis had an “American Bandstand” kind of live show on KABC, Channel 7 every afternoon after school. There was also a night time show on Friday or Saturday night. Jarvis’ theme on the afternoon TV show was “Saxony Boogie” by Elmore James and His Broomdusters. Jarvis frequently used another East L.A. anthem, Chuck Higgins’ “Pachuco Hop.”

    I don’t remember the Kiddy Korner but other places like the small sporting goods store between Von’s and Thrifty’s are vivid, along with the See’s Candy Store and the Atlantic Square Bakery.

    I first met Dick Hugg when he was managing the Golden Gate Theater and I worked at the Record Rack. He did the radio program at Dolphin’s of Hollywood after closing the theater. I never saw Huggy Boy at the record shop at Whittier and La Verne. Mike Carcano’s Record Inn was on the north side of Whittier Boulevard near La Verne when I left for the Army in 1965. The locaton where Sounds of Music eventually opened was a clothing store when I went away. Everything was very different when I got back.

    Thinking about Helmick’s and Jonson’s Market as I close this out.

  15. Hey is this the same Tony Valdez posting that has the great TV spot that has showcased and provided info on the Chicano experience and the LA Eastside? If it is then I want to congratulate you on an excellent job, I really dug the recent interview with Art Laboe, another Eastside and Chicano icon who has been a part of my life and memories for as long as I can remember, (as a youngster catching his show live from Scribners Drive In on local TV), Thank You Tony.

    Orale XicanoSerg! You are sparking my old memory banks on this Sunday AM. Maybe I can add to your memory banks and also fill in some more.
    You mention the short lived El Tepeyac on N Broadway which was part of the family owned El Tepeyac Restraunt business run by the famous Lincoln Hts native “Manuel”.
    The “ShopWise Mkt on Johnson and N Broadway was were I sold newspapers on the corner to people coming home at night in cars and on the streetcar. Imagine, I was 9 and ten years old, a little Chicano yelling out to the traffic Extra Extra! read all about it Mexican kills LAPD cop, Mexicans suspected in murder of white bank Manager! Mexican gang members attack white youths in Glendale Park! Get you Herald Examiner here!
    And at that time kids were allowed in Bars so after the traffic died down I would take my newspapers and hawk them in all the joints on N Broadway, “Reds, DeBarrys, LeBlancs, The Airliner, The Sportsman, Cozy Corner, et al, I guess I was what is now called a “feral kid”
    But before the Shop Wise Mkt (which I recall being built in the 50’s), another old time Mkt (sorry I can’t recall the name), run by the wonderful and kind Mr. Ben-David was at that location. Mr. Ben David and his son (who was also a LAPD cop), was a Russian Jew who told stories about the Jewish Ghetto he was born into in Czarist Russia and how as a child he witnessed his father’s head being cut off by Cossack horsemen.

    It was a kind of open air, no doors, mkt with the butcher counter near the front that had a huge wooden barrel of Kosher Dill Pickles and on the top of the butcher counter had a huge glass jar with of all things “Pigs Feet” for sale, (not very Kosher!)
    One time I was there at the checkout counter and a dark tall Mexicano pulled out a knife and robbed the teller. He took the money and ran off down Johnson St, Mr. Ben-David’s son jumped over the butcher counter yelling “thief! Thief!” and about a dozen other men in the store joined him in the chase. About ten or fifteen minutes later this posse came back up to the store with the robber in handcuffs and head bowed down. That’s the way it was in those days.

    Across the street from Western Auto on the corner of Ave 20 and North Broadway (where a young crime partner of mine, and future Eme associate “Freddy Jasso”, 15 yrs old at the time, got busted for burglary and sent to County Road Camp), there was the famous round open to the air Pastrami Stand, “Pax’s”. Best Pastramis ever! Had those little jukebox chingadera’s on the counter along with containers of those little hot yellow chile’s, you could listen to music while you waited for your pastrami to be made.
    I think Wolfe and Sons Furniture became the location of the famous and very popular “Phoenix Chinese Bakery” where that delicious and much imitated “Strawberry Cream Pie” was sold by the millions.
    The bowling alley was my Grandmother often bowled. She had a bunch of trophies and it had a bar in it too I believe where she hung out since the thirties. That bowling alley didn’t have automatic pinsetters so some of the kids in the neighborhood had jobs as pinsetters for a penny or a nickel a frame as I recall. It got wiped out when the Golden State Freeway was built along with a lot of historic locations there like the “Boston Meat Mkt” and the “USA Army Navy Surplus Store” run by the Bruno family. Shit, all us poor Chicano kids in the 50’s wore army fatigue pants, or khakis, and navy pea coats and slept in bunk beds with US NAVY stamped on them. Cheap and sturdy, the surplus store (along with the one at five points) was a neighborhood treasure).
    The car dealership you speak of on N Broadway, across from Downey Playground was called “City Ford” and it was a very successful dealership for commercial trucks and vehicles throughout the city.
    Where King Taco is used to be a great coffee shop and restraunt called “Louise’s”. My grandmother worked there for a while and they served up the best secret ingredient pancakes ever. After that it became the location of “La Morena” panaderia where the “tortilla-making machine” was invented. It was run by a family that still controls Solano Ave and last time I heard was headed by the great family matriarch, Mrs. Moreno.
    I saw the old rusty tortilla machine in her garage about 15 years ago; her husband invented it in the 1940’s I believe.
    As kids we would stare into the glass window where the tortilla machine was on view, mesmerized by the little balls of masa being flattened, dropped on a conveyor, run through the flames, and presto! A finished hot tortilla dropped in a pile ready to be wrapped and sold.
    Also, La Morena was the only place other than “Jalisco” on No Main and Hancock where you could get fresh pan and tortillas, (but Jalisco always had the chingon chorizo, que no? In the lot behind La Morena was where my friend Jimmy Mullaly’s father lived in the old junk cars with the other wino’s who would compete with us little vago’s for the day old tortillas that were thrown in the dumpster. Those stale tortilla’s, and the old produce thrown into the Bi-Rite Mkt dumpsters were often the sites of violent fights with the other Chicanito’s looking to glean some food for hungry familia’s.
    They had some tough kids in Lincoln Hts in those days, also some famous ones. When I went to Lincoln High Rudy Salas (Tierra), and his bro could often be witnessed playing the lira and singing for all the vato’s at lunchtime.
    The hall of fame NFL referee “Jim Tunney” was the boys vice principle and tried to keep all the gang violence at bay by cruising around the school in his black and white 57 Thunderbird. He was a tough guy and alumni of Lincoln High. At lunchtime all the gangsters had there designated areas. A huge presence by Clover St was on the grassy little hill at the entrance. The Avenues had the area in front of the Auditorium. Happy Valley and Rose Hills outside the cafeteria. Frogtown, Loma, and Dogtown were across the space staring at Happy Valley and Rose Hills.
    Big Hazard was at the rear picnic tables at the back of the malt shop across the street.
    At the time I went to Lincoln High many of the future shot callers and leaders of the EME, “Mexican Mafia” went there. Robert “Robot” Salas from Big Hazard, (now deceased), and later the instigator of the famous San Quentin “Shoe Wars” that split Southern Chicano’s for Northern Chicano’s in prisons and on the streets.
    Alfie “Lil Man” Sosa, from Happy Valley, who was maybe the most notorious killer of all for the Emeros and is credited with dozens of murders, still calling shots for the Carnales at Pelican Bay State Prison.
    Phillip “Black Phil” Segura from Clover who is reputed to be the main man, along with another Lincoln High loco “Champ Reynoso” from BH, for the EME in the Federal Prison System. They are both doing life in prison at the Alcatraz of the Rocky’s “Florence Super Max”
    But there were also many famously good people from Lincoln Hts too. The legendary film director and actor John Huston was a graduate of Lincoln High along with Robert Young of Life With Father and Marcus Welby MD fame. Actor Preston Foster, and Robert Preston (Messervi). Many famous athletes also grew up in Lincoln Hts (see my LA Eastside post “Some LA Eastside Legends, Who’s the Greatest?”

    Many memories, good and bad, of Lincoln Hts are still with me. On No. Broadway who remembers “Biamonte’s Mens Clothing” where Frank Biamonte would sell all the vato’s there Sir Guy shirts and London Fog trench coats, and Stacy Adams or Florshiem French Toe shoes. The still functioning Lanza Bros Market on Ave 17 and No Main where one of the greatest Italian Sandwiches can be had.
    The DeMarzo flower shop on No Broadway where you could buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers and also place a bet on the favorite in the eighth race at Santa Anita.
    And how about the old wooden building poultry market and liquor store run by the historic Mandela family? (read my memory’s of them at Chimatli’s post called “Whose Streets”).
    Thanks for the jolt XicanoSerg

  16. Thanks as always DQ for the memories, I wish you’d write a book about LH history!

    XicanoSerg wrote:
    “The Thrifty’s had a cafe with great hot apple turnover on Avenue 26.”

    Just the other day my family was telling me all kinds of stories about the cafe in Thrifty’s (now Rite Aid). I guess they all used to go a lot, I guess I did too but I don’t remember. My great aunt was telling me how my great uncle took her their on a date and she thought him really cheap for it, LOL!

    As for that Tepeyac, I knew one of the waitresses and she told me the owner wasted all the profits on dumb stuff and drove the business into the ground. I really liked that place though. On your birthday they’d throw a sombrero on your head and take a polaroid. Does anyone know what’s up with that Roberto’s Restaurant nearby? It’s been closed forever!

    For awhile, until the mid-90s Pete’s Patio was a really good place for breakfast. They’d actually serve you at the table, it was really clean and cheap but I wouldn’t step foot into the place now. The windows are all greasy, bleecch!

    I wish someone would restore the McKay Monkman Building. It’s such a vital corner of LH and the building with its unfortunate stucco remodel is an eyesore. I’m positive the beautiful original facade is still under there somewhere.

  17. XicanoSerg and Chimatli mention the Thrifty’s and it’s restraunt (I think they used to call them lunch counters at Thriftys and Woolworth’s even though they served breakfast and dinner), at Ave 26 or Five Points (and thanks for the compliment Chimatli!), and I got a kick out of Chimatli retelling the story of her Great Aunt being taking out on a date there by her husband. Very frugal guy to say the least, but they did have good food there!
    My little brother and I would go to the Times Boys Club every day almost, and it’s just up the street. After a few hours swimming and playing at the Boys Club (now the Boys and Girls Club), and working up an apetite, we would be dying for something to eat and wishing for a tall skinny bag of that hot popcorn they used to sell at Thrifty’s Drug Store. But, being little, hungry, not to mention being poor as church mice, we had to be imaginative and so we had our scams all figured out.
    After school we would head for the Boys Club, but on the way make a stop at Thrifty’s. We would scope out the lunch counter, we knew that most women never finished a meal, it must be vanity but they always left half the food on thier plates. We would bide our time scoping out the scene until one would pay and leave, then we would sit down quick before they took the plate away, when the waitress would come over we would ask for a glass of water like little angels and when she turned her back we immediately started eating the leftover food on the plate. This is how I got my first taste of grilled cheese sandwiches, open faced turkey plate with gravy, meat loaf, and if lucky a club sandwich, cut on the diagonal with pickle on the side of course. If there was change under the plate we would snatch it up quickly, but if it was a rare dollar bill we wouldn’t touch it, the waitress’s who knew what we were doing would have raised hell and we would never be allowed to use our scam again. God Bless Em, they must have been mothers too.
    But while eating we would take some paper napkins for our popcorn money later for the walk home.
    Thrify’s had about 8 or ten of those old fashioned wooden phone booths and we would stuff the paper napkins up the coin return slot (before they put guards on them), and when we returned after a few hours we would on the sly pull out the stuffed paper and any change that was stuck up the slot.
    That hot popcorn in the tall skinny bags from Thrifty’s, bought with our hard earned money, was the best tasting popcorn I have ever had to this day.

  18. I have had such a great time reading up on all these memories! Especially the clubs, I used to frequent them all! as a matter of fact, I met my husband at the Monterey House on Garfield, My friends and I had been at the Monterey West, and decided to go to the Monterey House, and that’s where we met, then we got married at The Pasta House when Tierra was the “house” band, in fact, we were the first booking in the newly added room that Rudy had built onto the club back in 79, in fact Art Noriega booked us in the banquet room in the main club, and unknowingly Rudy had booked it as well so, needless to say we had a “situation” on our hands, so we got the new room! lol and earlier in the mid 70’s I belonged to a club within the Pasta House, we were called The Classic Ladies, we hosted tardeadas, and fundraisers for Rudy back then. Someone mentioned Lash, and Mr. J’s lol funny, I went to school with Lash and his sisters at good old Belmont High School, yes he came from just over the bridge!! but so many of the clubs in the early 70’s operated in around ELA, does anyone remember the old Latin Lover on Whitter Blvd? in the 70’s it was owned by a serious USC fan, Mr. Ray Rodriguez. Oh and the little man who took pictures with his polaroid as of about 5 years ago, was still taking pictures at the Montebello Inn! I remember him taking pictures at all the clubs back in the early 70’s and late 60’s! I could go on and on, one last mention, was the After Hours clubs that my husband and I hung at until 6am in the morning! Nutty Nero’s on Telegraph, and Sen’s on Washington, anyone remembering those, let me know!! thanks again!

  19. Al- I remember the Night Club Wars of the early 1980’s, we, the employees of Rudy’s Pasta House would drive over to Steven’s and post our flyers on the cars in their parking lot!! We would also hit the Pantera Rosa on Garfield. “AD”- Also, can’t wait for your write up of Toy Villa!!! What about Skippy’s Golden Golpher that was on Garfield Ave? The Masquerade Room? What about the little bar that was across the street from the Pasta House?
    Tony- Do you remember Tookies on Kern, or The Monkey-Uddle?? How about when Bill’s Paradise was on Third St?
    Or was it first St? I remember club 47 on Whittier Blvd, I partied there once, the crowd was a little too young for me!!, but it was there and it was jumping!!

  20. Chris- since your wedding was the first that was held in the new addition at Rudy’s Pasta House, I would have to say that I was probabbly the bartender at your wedding!!I was in my second year there at that time, and it was great, good times, good memories!!

  21. Vince,
    Maybe you were! lol I remember the room wasn\’t even finished yet, but Rudy had no choice, he knew we had signed a contract, he and some of his crew were running trying to find plants and vases and fans!, and the air conditioning wasn’t even installed yet, and it was July of 1979! I assume he really got on Art’s case for not checking the calendar carefully! I was so stressed and irritated that they had double booked on us, it was so hot in that room! that most of my wedding party ended up in the nightclub later in the evening! since you bartended, do you remember our club The Classic Ladies? we practically lived there! lol, your\’e right, Good times, good memories!

  22. helms trucks — us little kids used to call those trucks “the whoop whoop man” because of the sound of the horns they’d honk as they went by. those loooooong drawers full of donuts were something to behold, indeed.

    golden ox — pastrami sandwiches stuffed with so much meat you could make three sandwiches out of one.

    kojack’s — the kojack burger was the first one i ever had with pastrami on it. haven’t been the same since.

    arry’s tacos — one part meat, one part tomatoes, one part lettuce and six pounds of cheese. always a guilty pleasure.

    cronis — towards the end of his life, my by-then bedridden father used to ask me to go get him a cronis chili dog at least once a week. totally against his diet, of course, but he loved those danged dogs. always impressed me how the dude behind the counter would add up everything, including tax, in his head.

    the tikis — always wanted to go there ’cause it looked like an amusement park, but my parents used to say it was for “grownups only.” one of the last bands i was in, black jax, used to play a song called “the tikis” about breaking in there and stealing black lights, among other things. ah, youth.

    penny’s — used to have kick ass bean and cheese burritos back when i was going to the alternative school in HLP in the 80s. todd razorcake says they aren’t so hot now, so i’m kinda nervous about going back there. pepe’s on valley is the spot for good-bad B&C burritos these days.

    newberry’s lunch counter — lotta good memories of eating there with my dad, as well as the diner at beverly bowl and felix’s pantry, which was on whittier blvd. just down the block from the youth center where pops was the executive director……

  23. How could you all forget the most famous and oldest..The pioneer of them all of Mexican bakeries in E.L.A. On first st.and Hicks “La Espiga De Oro” My familia owned the establishment in the early 40s-70s and then sold.Its still there with the same name but its not owned by the RUIZ FAMILIA anymore.My ancestory was from Jalisco.. Viva La Raza! DMR.

  24. With all due respect to David Ruiz and his family, La Fama on Ford Boulevard apparently opened for business in the 1920s. Still there, same family, according to what I’ve been told.

    I have vivid memories of a tortilla making machine at La Luz del Dia when it was across the street in what is now the parking lot for Olvera Street. Like the people who lined-up ten deep in front of the department stores on Broadway to see the earliest television sets in the display windows, there were similar crowds in front of La Luz del Dia watching with amazement as corn tortillas came off the conveyor belt of that new-fangled machine.

  25. I remember La FAMA Bakery, and it seems like one of the oldest I can remember, on a different note, and later, like the 60’s, I believe, the “Community Bakery” on Whittier Blvd near Bradshawe was also another long forgotten bakery…. along with the “Cha Cha Cha” Bakery that was just west of Porky’s on Whittier Blvd. as well. Now I’m thinking of the Atlantic Square BAkery as well, that old box tying machine always got my attention when I was a kid.

  26. Tony- Do you remember going to Chroni’s when it was on Eastern Ave.? Wasn’t Bill’s Paradise on 3rd or 1st St. Before you left to the service did you ever eat at Tookie’s or The Monkee Uddle?

  27. How about Johnny’s Shrimp Boat on 5th and Main Downtown at about 3:00 AM any night! Used to drop in after gigs and grab the “shrimp rice beans potato on two and “bottled” soda from the cooler. No chairs or tables but good grub.
    And , of course, the Green Burrito on Whittier and Rosemead. Great special quesadilla.


  29. Oh yes! Good ole original Johhny Shrimp Boat! believe it or not that was my craving when I was pregnant, my husband worked for security Pacific Natl. Bank downtown at the time and he worked the swing shift so of course I would have him stop by Johnny’s before he came home early in the morning and bring me a bag of their greasy fried shrimp! that was the best!!

  30. I lived on Kern & Whittier from 1962-1966. Looking out the front window of our house facing east was a wide open parking lot that went from Kern to Ferris. The property next door to our north side was Dr. Hamburg Dental Office and next door to him was Tookies, great red burritos. The property next door to our south was a barber shop, next was the Light Co., La Fonda Cafe(50’s style counter & stools), alley, bakery & then Whittier Blvd. Across the street from La Fonda was the Monke-Uddle. Our house was demolished to build a taxi cab business. The bowling alley next to the Golden Gate Theater had a green lettered sign which I think was lighted said Atlantic Bowling Alley. There was a bowling alley on Pomona Blvd. & Atlantic called the Triangle Bowl. I used to bowl there once a week on the Griffith Jr. H.S. bowling league. My Dad started working at U.S. Rubber in the 40’s, it later became Uniroyal. It moved out of state in the 60’s & now it’s The Citadal Outlet Stores off the 5 fwy. There’s a lot of great memories on this site, hope to hear more & see more. I’d like to add a couple of photos,is there a way to do this?

  31. Hey anybody out there who used to go to the PASTA HOUSE, did you ever have dinner there? it was pretty good food! they should do a PASTA HOUSE reunion! people would come out of the woodwork!! I myself got married there! that would be a cool thing for all of us who are now “mature” that used to hang out there!

  32. The Pasta House – anyone remember when Virgil Durham owned
    the Pasta House that was before Rudy bought it.

    I remember many good times at the pasta also expecially
    when Bill (the coz) Cosby would show up.

    Was sorry to hear that Bob Gutierezz (sp)> has passed.
    He was a good guy.

    Also the food was terrific when Virgil owned it. I
    especially remember the beef tips in that wonderful gravy.

  33. Sandy- I went to the Pasta House for the first time in 79′ I was underage but still got in. I worked as a bartender starting in 1980, the managers at that time, twin sisters, Lee (manager) & Jo (waitress), were there since the early days of burlesque at the Pasta House, I never met Virgil but many times heard Lee and her sister Jo talking about how money was still owed to Virgil. I heard that the Pasta House has a rich history of being a burlesque place in the early days, a fancy top of the line restaurant in the 60’s, and a venue for many musical artists (Tierra was the house band)”Los Lobos” got their start at the PASTA HOUSE ALSO!! in Rudy’s Pasta House heydey, the 70’s and beyond, until “Betty” bought the Pasta House.

  34. Richard- Please contact Al Desmadre on this web site to see about downloading your pictures here, I would love to see them, as they are very hard to come by. If you cant contact anyone, please contact me, I would love to see those pictures!!

  35. Hi, Im not sure if any of you still visit Rudy. but he now own Rudys Baja Grill in East LA,(used to be tquileas) im usre he’d like to see any of his old customers.. im a bartender at Rudy’s. Ive only heard story of the pasta house,(i wasnt even born then) lol Rudy wants to get pictures together to put up on the newly remodeled Rudy’s. Does anyone have Pics to share, please email me at or stories too.. thanks

  36. jaz- yes we are aware Rudy is at Rudy’s on Pomona Blvd. I haven’t spoken to him in about 3 years.

  37. Hey Chris, I met my husband at the Monterey House too! I met him in the Summer of 1975. He was the lead singer of the band called “Chain.” His name is Jerry Padilla. I fell so deeply, madly in love with him the very moment I looked into his eyes; yes, “love at first sight”; it really does happen! Does anyone remember that band? They were awesome. The dance floor was always packed and they even had a line out the door to get in. The other guys in the band were Gerry Santana, Fred Ramirez, Bob Hernandez, Pinky, and I don’t remember the drummer’s name, but I think his nickname was “Goofy.” Anyway, although I met Jerry that beautiful summer, our lives took different paths and then luckily they crossed again 24 years later. We married on the 31st anniversary of our very 1st date of July 31, 1975. He sings just as good as he did then, and he’s still just as gorgeous! The band moved on to The Ivanhoe in Arcadia in late 1975 and early 1976. Anyone remember that club? Lines out the door and down the block. “Chain” was simply the best in those days. They had also played at The Monterey West, The Press (International) Club, & The Grand Hotel in Anaheim. Memories anyone?

  38. OK you younguns..I haven’t shared in a long time but remembering the teenage happenings of the 60’s, any of you remember the Big Union, the Little Union, Pontrales (spelling), the ELA American Legions, and VFWs, and best of all Cathedral HS sock hops???? Were you born yet? hee hee
    What was cool about my day was you could live anywhere in LA county and party anywhere you could get to.; “crashing” a wedding dance was completely acceptable. Best of all, there was often tasty food. You didn’t have to belong to a “crew” or be known at the club you visited. Gangs intermingled for a party. Life was always an adventure into a new place or experience!

  39. Dolly,
    Funny how things happen, I know exactly who your’e talking about, as a matter of fact my husband and I moved in together in Alhambra in January of 76 and Ivanhoe was our place to party (before the kids! lol) so were were there a couple of nights a week, in fact if you are on Facebook I have some pictures of Chain posted on my page, let me know if you do and i’ll guide you to view them, yeah Ivanhoe was our place to party, not only Chain played there we also went there to see ACE, lol what a trip!

  40. Dolly,
    Funny how things happen, I know exactly who your\’e talking about, as a matter of fact my husband and I moved in together in Alhambra in January of 76 and Ivanhoe was our place to party (before the kids! lol) so were were there a couple of nights a week, in fact if you are on Facebook I have some pictures of Chain posted on my page, let me know if you do and i\’ll guide you to view them, yeah Ivanhoe was our place to party, not only Chain played there we also went there to see ACE, lol what a trip!

  41. Oh Chris, what a small world! Yes, yes, I would absolutely LOVE to see the pictures you have of “Chain.” I’ve only got one, which was their “band” picture that my girlfriend “borrowed” for me from the Ivanhoe marquee in front of the club! 🙂

    Yes, I’m on Facebook. My name is Dolly Padilla. Look forward to hearing from you. THANKS SO MUCH!

  42. Chris. re: your mention of Nutty Nero’s ( yes I’m a little late. over a year ago ), I used to play in one of the house bands there, right after Pat & Lolly Vegas left ( later they became Redbone of “come and get your love” fame). We would play the regular schedule 9-1:30 then come back at about 2:30 to 6 am- damn that was a tough gig. We would play our regular set and then reheasrse w. what ever oldie group that was booked and then back them up. I will never forget some of the oldie groups that would pass through and play there i.e. the Drifters, the Rippingtons, my fav. Roger Collins (remember “She’s lookin Good?). But there most memorable “artist” was none other than Wolfman Jack! He was the most foul mouth entertainer I’ve ever worked with ( I’ve worked strip clubs, juke joints and once w. Richard Pryor) but never had I seen someone make women cry out of sheer embarrassment or humiliation. Later, he became famous in the movie ” American Graffitti”. I had just gotten back from Vietnam and wondered what the hell happened to the world of entertainment. Of course compare to today’s music, we were like choir boys!

  43. hey Psycho,
    I know what you mean! I did’nt start going to Nutty Nero’s til about ’74-75 and 1 of my good friends was playing in the band at the time from like 2:00am til 6:00am, called Buster Brown, today Steve has been the bass player for Tierra for over 30 years. I don’t know if you are familiar with, or if you grew up in L.A. but you mentioned Pat and Lolly Vegas, Redbone, I first saw them as Pat and Lolly Vegas in the mid 60’s at an event called the Teenage Fair, it was a spring break event held at the Hollywood Paladium for teenagers, what a week that was, too bad kids today can’t enjoy those kind of things, we were the lucky ones, but that’s the first time I saw Pat and Lolly perform, well before “Come and get your love”. And Lol you speak of Wolfman Jack, being the most fowl mouthed entertainer, did you ever attend a Redd Foxx comedy show?? I have to challenge you there! Redd Foxx showed no mercy, and never apologized for anything that came out of his foul mouth!! funny! how those guys were so ahead of their times! So what was the name of your band Psyc?

  44. Hey Chris, I want to post the band picture I have of “Chain,” but I’m having difficulty. Do you know how to do it?

  45. Mom used to take us to “Roberts” dept. store for Levi’s!! I remember getting 5 pairs of levi cords all in different colors. Favorite color Purple. Also, the cool fish pond in Crawfords market. Wasn’t there an A & W Rootbeer on whittier blvd? As I recall I remember seeing one. Kallenkemp shoes! Got some cool shoes in there. Jayvee, clothing shop. (Always the latest fashions.) Eating inside Kmart, at the counter. (Yep, they had a food area.) My mom would drop us off at Montebello Park, while she shopped on wednesdays. She would sometimes leave us for about 5 hours. (I guess that would be considered child endangering now.) :0 Freeway Ford, my parents bought a tourquoise Gallaxy 500, my dad rolled the windows down and played the music real loud, on the drive home from the lot. It seems magical when I think back on those days, maybe it was. I look at things now no magic. Does time deguise the ugly? Oh one more thing. My mom used to always say to us when we would act up, that she was going to leave us at the “Tic Toc Motel” (remember had a lit up clock?) she said we would have to live there if we didn’t act right. (more child abuse rofl) My eyes are full of tears now. take care.

  46. Does anyone have any pictures from Nutty Nero’s? or any stories to help me visualize it?

    My dad owned it.. but I know little about the place.. The building is no longer there, either.. :\ This was the only thing that came up when I googled it.

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