Memories of Lost L.A. Eateries

Johnny\'s Shrimp Boat

Call me L.A. selfish, but I am greatly opposed to creating a “Best of L.A.” list, especially for our foods & restaurants. I cringe when local magazines print their “Best Of” issues, and here’s why. Growing up in L.A., I’ve accumulated over 40 years of my own best and worst food knowledge based on countless miles of adventure, explorations, accidental discoveries, bouts of food poisoning, word-of-mouth, patience, and just plain old trial and error.I measure those countless miles traveled as highly treasured experiences that have forged my strong bond with this city while nurturing many friendships and relationships with many good people who live and work here.  I don’t mind giving an occasional tip to someone who seems like they’d really enjoy and appreciate a place as much as I have, But when I picture some trendy-trippers or jet-set hobos dropping in on my town with a sense of entitlement to instant gratification, skimming the city’s cream of the crop while posing like regulars without paying their dues, or when I read about new to L.A.  transplants asking “Where do I find  Boston Style This”,.. or  “Chicago style that” it all makes me quite buggy. But that’s just my trip. Most “Best Of” lists include well known gastronomic treasures that have been discovered and rediscovered by new generations of fans, but in my humble opinion, cherry picking the town denies you the opportunity to actually LIVE it, and denies our town any chance of at least trying to form a sense of community. So, don’t look for any shortcuts from me, I will rarely reveal my favorite L.A. eats. I say, walk the streets, get out there on your own and find what makes you happy. Besides, most recommendations can be very over-rated.

I am glad however, to provide my own little nostalgic list of “Long Gone” local favorite L.A. eateries that made my life a happy one throughout the years.

These places have now faded away into the graveyard of L.A. memories, But if you happen to recognize any of these, hey- you’ve got (had) great taste! For some reason, most of my favorite joints were non-fancy dives, “Comida del Pueblo” as my Dad would say.

1. The Original Johnny’s Shrimp Boat2nd & Main St., Downtown L.A.

You’ve heard of the red carpet? This place had a “Wino Carpet”. You literally had to step over them to get into this tiny shed where a bunch of Asian guys furiously flung battered shrimp around clouds of grease. You’d order fried shrimp to go and the paper bags would be transparent by the time you got home. I remember eating my short ribs, gravy & rice with a slice of buttered bread sitting in the family car while watching the boxers across the street go upstairs to the Main Street Gym. The original owner’s kin opened another Johnny’s Shrimp Boat stand that still operates today. It’s OK, but not like the original.

Photo Above is of the Original Johnny’s Shrimp Boat on Main St., Downtown, circa 1970’s.

2. Thrifty’s Coffee ShopWhittier Blvd. & Ferris Ave., E.L.A.

Good God. The Logjammer Breakfast. The Apple Cobbler with Vanilla Sauce, A La Mode. The Strawberry Shortcake with whipped cream, all indescribably delicious! When I’d finally get up from their food counter, I’d go into the store itself and whatever was left of my allowance I’d spend it on Comic Books and Hot Wheels®.

 3. Chicken BoyBroadway & 4th, Downtown L.A.

When my parents would take me downtown, or “EL Centro” as everyone called it (funny- I remember downtown always being called “The Center”, so the Eastside really is…., sorry! I digress..) We would often eat at Chicken Boy’s. Huge pieces of hot, spicy, crunchy juicy fried chicken with a mound of tangy cole slaw and fluffy rolls with honey. Back in those days, everybody could just walk into the movie theaters on Broadway with outside food, so you’d be watching the movie with the whole place smelling of everybody’s Chicken Boy Fried Chicken dinners.

4. Sid & Hy’s8th  & Olive Street, Downtown

Hot dogs made in heaven. A little 8 foot shack where these two crazy old white guys worked side by side plucking hot franks and buns straight from a steaming hot box, slathered hot chili, onions & mustard on, hand squeezed fresh orange juice or made you a chocolate egg cream, and handed it all to you in about a minute after you’d ordered, for about three bucks.

5. Orange JuliusVarious locations

Whatever happened to this Orange Juice and Egg batter concoction? Damn- It was good! They even had a cool little Devil head Logo,

6. KmartWhittier Blvd. City of Commerce.

I don’t know about other Kmarts, but ours had a Deli/Snack bar with the greatest giant Submarine Sandwiches as well as Jell-O, pudding cups, Slurpies and all sorts of neat crap. I’d often be shopping with my Mom when the voice on the P.A. would announce, “Attention Kmart shoppers, Come to the Flashing Blue Light at our Deli right now and get two delicious Submarine Sandwiches for $1.00!” We’d all make a bee-line!


7. Bill’s ParadiseBeverly Blvd. & Hendricks Ave., Montebello.

Unbelievably good late night comfort food. Menu favorites were the “Four Finger Dog”, and the “Bill’s Special Burger”. The running gag was that the waitress was giving you “The Eye”. When actually, she really only had one eye. Not funny. Some people are going to hell for that. There’s a sort of new incarnation of it today in the original location, but again, not the same.


8. Yee Low DeliAtlantic Square, Monterey Park.

The best freaking deli style Chinese food I’ve ever had. I have drool dreams to this day of their Black Bean Chicken, Egg Rolls, big thick Chow-Fun Noodles and Chinese Chicken Salad. If I had a Time Machine, I’d use a trip just to visit this place again.


9. Cha Cha Cha PanaderiaWhittier Bl. near McBride Ave., E.L.A.

Everyone has their favorite Pan Dulce joint, but this one was legendary in our neighborhood. Every one of their breads was a delicious, fluffy treat. For about $2.00 you’d carry home two big, hot steaming bags of finger lickin’ good sweet bread and bolillos along with a box of “La Abuelita” chocolate for Mom to make. And that night, we’d eat like Aztec Kings.


10. Sears Candy CounterOlympic & Soto, Boyle Heights.

Who could make up their minds while choosing from that sweet selection of candy deep within the bowels of the Sears Roebuck store. While my Mom was upstairs buying my clothes in the “Husky Boys” section, I’d be downstairs blowing my pinchi allowance on chocolate covered raisins, coconut bars, popcorn and video games.


This entry was posted in Food, Pendejadas, Rant, Reviews 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

114 thoughts on “Memories of Lost L.A. Eateries

  1. Hey Kate, Kelbo’s was that Hawaiian style joint with the weird junk art glued to the walls, right? That was a groovy place. Never went to the Dragon Regency. Who remembers Paul’s Kitchen in Monterey Park?

  2. I couldn’t resist reminding you of these former tasty eateries in Eastern LA County. How about “Beans and Greens” in the City of Industry/La Puente? They sold hanging plants and delicious chile beans, salad and corn bread!! That’s it!

    My Old Comadres, yeah we’re getting old, reminded me of the old BAHOOKAS on Franscisquito. It was so much fun to take you’re permanent marker and were encouraged to grafitti the booths and walls. If you weren’t already buzzed when you got there, you sure were when you left!!

  3. Bahookas is still in Rosemead isn’t it? I was there not too long ago. Who remembers a nightclub on Valley (I think) that was called “The Other Ball” ?

  4. Al, the BAHOOKAS on Rosemead is the second one and of course not 1/2 as delicious(Food and Drinks)as the original one on Francisquito nor as much fun. In the day, one could be as rowdy as you wanted to at BAHOOKAS, as long as you didn’t mess with others..though you could always join others’ parties if you wanted to!

  5. Hey Al, I would never be seen at The Other Ball, even though a friend was a bouncer there, it was a well known Cop Bar where all the chicks were weird cop groupy types.

  6. Al- I clearly remember Paul’s Kitchen in Monterey Park!, I wonder if they were affiliated with the one in Los Angeles’ Produce District? You were absolutely right about the Chinese Laundry and the Lawnmower shop owner with his overalls and painful looking limp!! Those memories go way back, almost as far as my being in Farmer Jones Nursery School in the very early 60’s and going to Cronis on Eastern and Whittier Blvds!!
    I also remember a deli on Beverly Blvd by Eastmont Elementary an old man called “Sarkis” used to sell some submarine sandwiches from his store.

  7. Al-Please don’t miss my latest post on pt2, anyway I just wanted to mention a time, before King Taco even had his first truck I believe, when you could drive down Whittier Blvd. and it was the aroma of Porky’s that would really catch your attention, just like when you pass King Taco nowadays!! Alot of people don’t know that Porky’s (in its heyday) was the place to get tacos!!

  8. Yeah, Porky’s had that tangy red sauce mixed with carne smell that hovered over that entire corner.
    Around the corner from Porky’s on McBride I remember that there once was a little Chicano Power type bookstore that got firebombed one night. It was all very suspicious.

    Another little joint along that stretch of Whittier is a Chinese restaurant called CHUNG KING. That place has looked exactly the same since I was a kid and it’s still going to this day. I remember our neighbors, the late Mrs. Pauline Caudillo and her husband Paul would dine there every Wednesday.

  9. Al- Another favorite childhood memory was going to the McKeon’s Market on Whittier Blvd. in East L A, on the southside of whittier blvd.I can’t forget the canned “MilkShakes” from the Borden Company, they came in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, had the Borden cow on the front, they were the old school aluminum cans, SOLID AS A ROCK!! Anybody else remember that?

  10. Al- Who remembers the Eastway Market in front of Salazar Park, (back in the day it was Laguna Park) and the homemade chorizo they would sell there? People would order from Hawaii and receive their orders by mail!! My relatives from Tucson would come here in the 60’s and 70’s and couldn’t wait to taste some Eastway Market Chorizo!! It was so lean, not all greasy, no little hard balls of nerve or gristle. They made this quality chorizo from Beef Brisket, the same one used for corned beef!! How many places do it like that nowadays?????

  11. The Other Ball…a cop bar? Wonder what year that was? I went only once in the late 70’s or very early 80’s and it a Total Nude dancing place. I still recall all my friends and I drinking 7-up because that was all they could legally sell.

    That was when Valley blvd (mostly in Alhambra) was kinda’ happening. Anyone remember, The Turning Point next to the drive-in theater – across the street from Norms – which just closed down about a month ago. Also Rick’s Skyroom, or Skybar about a block west of the Hat. There was an all-you-can-eat buffet there in the corner..forget the name. There was also McQuiginss pub at the end of the corner on the same block of the Garfield movie theater. We would go there after bowling on Main st. in Alhambra, it’s now an auto body shop, next to the carwash on Main/Atlantic; or Andy’s Pool Hall on Garfield…I think it’s the Adelante bar, or the karate studio next door. There was also a tiny movie theater on Main/2nd in Alhambra called The El Rey.
    And I remember when dinosaurs used to rumble down the corner of….oh, never mind!

  12. Wow, “verysimple”, the mention of “Pete’s Deli” at Atlantic Square sure takes me back. My mom would take me once in a while to Pete’s for a brisket on rye…not quite up to Langer’s specs, but hey, it was closer to home! Pete’s wasn’t the ONLY Jewish deli in East LA…remember Mort’s Deli, next to the Kmart on Whittier Blvd? They made a mean pastrami, let me tell u!

  13. Man you are sooooo right! You do make your bones by dicovering your own places, maybe by looking at some place while your driving by (or maybe a place you’ve driven down a thousand times!) and saying, “I’ll give it a try…” and hope (and pray) that you haven’t wasted your $$! But if the place is really good, you feel like you’ve just discovered gold, and I ain’t about to give up my gold mine! Now 2 things about your list. 1) Those Kmart submarine sandwiches, when I was around 4-10 years old (I’m 30 now!), we’d go to our Kmart on Western Ave. in Los Angeles and we’d by these sub sandwiches at their deli that my dad says were called Kregie’s, or Craigy’s… Craigie’s… I don’t know how to spell it! But I do remember how they tasted. And even though I can remember that they were pre-wrapped and cold from sitting in the deli’s fridge, they were KILLER good! I wonder if the ones you remember where the same. 2)YES! Everyone has their panaderia. I have to give up my panaderia since not only is it THE BEST, all others suck in my opinion! It’s called Mima’s and it’s in Inglewood. They are super good, and they are in a totally hidden area. Seriously, you can’t see it! But they do so well, they couldn’t care less. If you can find it, GO! The best pan dulces, the best pastel de tres leches, the best flans, chocolate cakes, they even have capirutada, made traditionally with the tortilla on the bottom! They kick ass!

  14. Bianca, Thanks for sharing! And thanks for pointing out why it’s so important to go out and discover and experience all of the hidden spots of the city, not just the obvious ones!

    Those subs you describe sound just like the ones I remember.

    My current favorite panaderia is “La Fama” on Ford Bl. north of Chavez, ELA.

  15. Al- Something I was recently reminded of was the “Chicken Delight”(Don’t Cook Tonite, call Chicken Delight!), and the “Pizza Man” (He Delivers) that were on the SouthEast Corner of Eastern and Cesar Chavez. Those old time commercials and the actual vehicle pulling up to make the delivery was a big part of the fun!!

  16. Vince- I remember that a long time ago “Las Carnitas” restaurant on Olympic
    in ELA used to air a commercial on Spanish radio. It would include a little jingle announcing their delivery service:

    “Llame, llame, llame a las Carnitas,
    para que le lleven sus carnitas,
    y sus tortillas,
    bien calientitas,
    y no tendra que cocinar!”

  17. Vince- I went to the Chicken Delight on Brooklyn and Mott. It was tucked in beside the alley behind the Variety Boys Club. After leaving the Club during the summer we would stop by and order fries. Think it was 35 cents for a big bag. On our way home we would take the alley from Brooklyn to Wabash all the way.

  18. AL,- I never heard that jingle from “Las Carnitas”, very interesting piece of nostalgia there!! I never would have guessed!
    Javi-“Chicken Delight” was a real piece of nostalgia, especially when it was in our neighborhoods also, not just something we saw on tv!! The commercials on TV, the jingle, the delivery vehicle with the Chicken on top, I remember staying by the window after my Mom called our order in, I couldn’t wait to see that vehicle pull up to MY house!!!

  19. I remember zorba’s ,pup n taco,Pete’s deli,Johnny’s shrimp boat,A& W on Whittier blvd,still go to Chroni’s today stiil good,Food giant market had a great snack bar, burger and potato salad MMMMM !but why is nobody mentioning the B Bag taco house on whittier blvd,still crave their food today, damn getting hungry

  20. Red is right the “B Bag Taco House” is always overlooked, I tried “Al & Bea’s” but it doesn’t come close to the “B Bag Taco House”!! Red & Green BURRITOS, my favorites after the burritos were the Tacos, and the “Special Quesadilla”, what a treat!! Tortilla, cheese, lettuce, tomatoe, and juicy pastrami!!!The taquitos were pretty damn good also!!
    Can’t forget the Royal Knight Motel across the street either, lots of memories.

  21. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo!! That one really made me crack up Vince! Hot Damn! 🙂

  22. Bianca- Glad you enjoyed that post, just trying to “keep it real”, you are so right about the subs at Kmart back in the day!! My mom always took me to the one on Whittier Blvd, the subs were fantastic, and to be honest they had a very particular taste that Subway doesn’t even match!! Also, who remembers the old, tall, thin white guy that would always be standing in front of the Kmart on Whittier Blvd with his wife in a wheel chair? He kinda looked like Grazo from Grazo’s Pizza. They were around the area for years, and he always took care of his wife!

  23. Vince- Thanks for all your great comments! you are food aficionado with a great memory Camarada! Those K-Mart subs were special, they were thick and chewy. They were also just a little bit soggy (in a good way). I remember that old white couple! The man walked sort of like he had a spinal condition and the woman in the wheelchair didn’t speak. Someone once told me that Kmart had hired them as security.
    Hey- My favorite Burritos of all time have been:
    1. El Tepeyac
    2. Back in the day, a Zorba’s Red Chili Burrito (Damn those were amazing)
    3. J&S Bean & Cheese
    4. Lupe’s

  24. AL- Thanks Al, I love this web site, I just hope in the future you will do a documentary, or a nice book with pictures!! PBS, and Los Angeles proper have their “Things That Aren’t Here Any More”, I can’t wait till we get ours!! You are so right, there was a time when the man was doing some security work just inside the front door. He was ALWAYS with his wife, rarely left her alone. Never had the “Zorba’s” Red BURRITO, I’ll have to ask my friend Red if he remembers that one!! Very interesting. One more thing I remember is when Zorba’s first opened up it was about the same time that Orange Bang first came out!! “El Tepeyac” has been a family favorite since the early 60’s remember when “Ranchera Beef” was on the menu?, J&S was always good!!

  25. Trolling around I just found this blog.

    I remember a lot of those places. Chicken boy! omg, that was a staple of old downtown. Did anyone ever have the pizza at JJ Newberry back then? I use to think it was the best.

    I remember the Orange Julius in Boyle Heights – my old hood. If you remember that one, you’re old like me! lol. I remember the little devil too.

    The K-Mart was just like you described. I used to always get the vanilla pudding. I remember always smelling popcorn in there. There was something distinctive about the guys voice that said “attention K-Mart shoppers”. People always make fun of the blue-light specials, but they were real! lol.

    I remember going to Sambos a lot too. There was one somewhere between Boyle Heights and Vernon on Soto st. I think. Sambos and Clifton’s in downtown were our weekend places.

    Thanks for sharing the memories. There are plenty more I’m sure and hopefully as time goes on, we’ll all share more.

  26. Does anyone remember a mexican restaurant called Cal-Mex on olympic blvd near the old furniture warehouse? Had the best chili colorado and bean and cheese burritos. My kids always received a raspata free!

  27. My wife and kids would go to the B Bag almost every week end it was that good. As soon as we got paid we would head from west covina to the B Bag. It was owned by the same person that owned the oeiginal Green Burrito on whittier Blvd off of Rosemead Blvd Near Pico Rivera. The Green Burrito was torn down to make room for the bank on that corner.

  28. Cal Mex was an excellent restaurant already mentioned on this site, the machaca burritos were amazing!! Marinated Top Sirloin, who does it like that nowadays??
    Also, the little appetizers that were on the table, I can’t find those anymore, maybe they were homemade, hot pickled carrot, cauliflower, celery, cubes of white cheese, and some sliced cocktail franks!!

  29. Chicken Delight on Brooklyn near the Boys Club had the best bag of french fries, for 35 cents you get the big white bag full of the really salty fries (just the way I liked them), of course they never lasted on the walk home and was enough for 2 people, however.. my best and I still crave today is the Taco Nazi himself, Orozco’s Taco’s on Soto street, i grew up on soto very close to Orozco’s so as a kid we were always treated to these wonderful tacos by my dad, they weren’t to hot but dad always warned us in case we went on our own, if the grouch asked if we wanted chile, you had to say “Yes”, cause if you said no he somehow found it amusing to pack it in the guacamole, the guy would actually hide it in the taco just to watch you squirm, choke and down your soda in a desperate attempt to cool the fire. So, yes I would ask for chile, otherwise in his own words he would say “whatsa matter… you chicken?”
    Several years later his store closed, rumor had it that he was in prison for smuggling drugs in his tacos, but years later he came back, the same grouchy guy who made the most fantastic tacos, he stayed open for another few years and again closed, by then my family moved from the area… God, I miss those tacos, they seem easy enough to make.. I think I will.

  30. what about lupe’s burrito’s on 3rd what about the the dog lick the hot dog on eastern and whittier blvd juanito’s the fama bakery manuel’s beef dip on 1st st belvedere hi salas

  31. sweet postings everyone

    the original bill’s paradise was on 3rd st que no, taken out by the pomona fwy and then they moved

    ciro’s all the way!

    3rd and ford was the hat

    my mom and i were eating at chicken boys (1958 or so)when a wino (remember we used to call them winos?) came in and started eating the table left overs (pobrecito) he looked over at me and got upset about the way i was cleaning off the bones and started yelling at me in garbled wino speak…my mom told him off, calling him a viejo cochino etc…way to go mom

    i hav a johnny shrimp boat story too but it’s a little tazcado so i’ll shine it on 😉

  32. Yeah, whatever happened to “winos” nowadays people just get the general “homeless” moniker when it’s not always appropriate.
    My great uncle was a wino who would hang-out on Brooklyn (Cesar Chavez) and he had a bed to sleep in. Although, he often wouldn’t make it home…

  33. My wife’s aunt and uncle were the original owners of Johnnie’s Shrimp boat. The business was sold to non-relatives and later moved to its present location.

    Hey, does anyone remember (does it still exist): THE NIGHT OWL???? Somewhere in L.A. near Hollywood Park Racetrack, I think. I was just a little kid when my aunt and uncle took me there a few times and I discovered THE CHILI SIZE, a larger burger patty smothered with chili and onions!

  34. How about the Fiesta 4 drive in..I would so look forward to the pizza from the snack bar and I am not sure why.

  35. tHIS article got me going…I still can remember my very first pastrami. It was love at first bite. I was only 4 years old and it happened at some deli on Whittier Bl. across from Kurley’s store in ELA. That was 56 years ago years and I can remember and taste it to this very day! My love for pastrami sandwiches out lasted my love for both ex-wives. I finished that sucker and begged my mom for another one!!! For those of you younger than me, Kurley’s was THE place for the famous/infamous Sir Guy shirts…(The shirt preferred by the discriminating fashion-conscious cholos of the fifties.).
    Also, on the subject of long gone eateries that really rocked in their day, does ANYONE recall that restaurant on Whittier Bl. that mirrored the shape of the San Gabriel mountains? My folks called it “Las cuevas” because the interior was a maze of tunnels and caves. It was in Pico (Rivera) as you approached the bridge over the Rio Hondo into Jimtown. Other Pico Rivera favorites that are gone but not forgotten were the Hickory Hop, the Hula Hut and Beanie’s hamburgers on Rosemead and Beverly blvds. which featured a giant statue of Beanie from the puppet show “Beanie and Cecil” which went on to become a cartoon series in the 60’s.
    I still also miss the original Johnny’s Shrimp Boat on Main St., eating those greasy fried blobs shrimp flavored of batter along with the accompanying rice and pinto beans covered in thick gravy and that sweet, hot chili sauce, then trying to get to sleep after ward…that was all on top of a Saturday night’s worth of booze, pills and weed at 3 in the morning. Beautiful memories.

  36. not only Sir Guy velours but A-1 Racers (slacks) to go with it…then Henry’s Shoes acrosss the street to get the proper footwear…my mom took me to Kurley’s to get my graduation suit from elementary school (1962)…and the clothes store next to the Golden Gate???? what about the snack bar in the Sear’s store in Boyle Heights…the caramel covered marshmallows and the fresh popcorn always going and the roasted cashews…my my…i may have mentioned it earlier but there was a Cantor’s Deli on Brooklyn and Soto…after it closed we had to go to the one on Fairfax…Las Flautas on Brooklyn (was it actually called that?)…excuse me…i’m hungry now….

  37. ooops, didn’t see the earlier postings on the Sears snack shop…what was the name of the burger stand on 1st St just down from where the market that had the live chickens in front, i used to get off the P-Car and transfer to the Bradshaw bus to get home from downtown and i loved their four finger dogs…also the name of the burger stand that used to be on 1st and lorena???

  38. Hey Ric, it sounds like you’re an old veterano/geezer like me. Do you remember the best gorditas in the world? I have been searching the world over for gorditas like the ones at Las Cuatro Milpas on North Broadway next door to the Muebleria Phoenix. They made them the way that no one else seems to be able to. It was a spiritual experience to walk in that door and smell the heavenly fragrances of carnitas, freshly made tortillas and chilis, garlic and fresh bolillos all at once. The gorditas were the star of the show, they had fresh beans (pintos, not black beans), shredded lettuce, queso enchilado, sour cream, pickled serranos, sliced tomato, guacamole, and the juiciest, crispiest carnitas i have ever had!!! Truly a complete meal in between fried soft masa.
    It was a one-stop- for- whatever- you- want- joint. It was a bakery, tortilleria, grocery store, carniceria, and restaurant all in one.
    It really broke my heart to go there one day with my heart set one one of those gorditas only to find that it was now over-sized taco stand…:-(

  39. Bill’s paradise was on Beverly and findlay in montebello. It was shut down for several years. It has since been replaced by Paradise Cafe.. a lot of the same dishes. Which makessense because from what I’ve gathered… the original Bill’s son runs it.

  40. I stumbled onto this page, and to my delight I read someone remembering the B-Bag on Whittier. I nearly jumped out of my seat reading the rest of you reminiscing about how amazingly good those red and green burritos were. It’s been difficult to find anyone outside of my family who can remember the little taco stand. It was missed very much in my household. I can still feel the flour from the tortilla on my hands and the spiced carne in my mouth! Does anyone remember Perry Boys smorgasbord in Montebello/Monterey Park near the Zody’s? It’s the shopping plaza off of the 60 which houses a best buy and bank of America? Thanks all for validating my taste buds.

  41. i do believe beverly blvd is where Bill’s Paradise moved to from 3rd st after the pomona fwy took them out…anyone know if this is correct or not…i loved them frickin’ tacos…to me that is what a taco should be, kinda like Mom’s cooking ya know…what everything after is judged by…i would love watching my pop come back to the car with that greasy bag and have to wait the 10 minutes it took to drive home…

  42. Bill’s was on Pomona Blvd, then moved to Beverly Blvd. Best Tacos in ELA, oldest stools to sit on, always a line.

  43. Hey how about these places , Fosters or Luigi’ s pizza…both in highland park ? In downtown , L.A. there was a little place called KEYS , they had the best pastrami sandwiches . We would go there late at night after picking up my dad from work ( L.A. TIMES MIRROR PLANT , he was a press operator ) and he got me hooked on those sandwiches like a drug…LOL !! Someone mentioned Sambo’ s ( I heard that they are now the Denny’ s chain ) anyways I was in the birthday club and they closed just before my birthday 🙁
    Oh and what about Pioneer Chicken…omg…I could eat the Orange crust all day long without the chicken . Who knows their recipe , any ex- employees out there by chance ?? How did they get the batter that color ? Oh great , It’s after mid night now and I’m hungry…LOL !

  44. there was so many good eating places, I thank my lucky stars that a few of these places still exist. 1. Cielito Lindo Olvera St. -best tacos in the world. 2. Langer’s pastrami on Alvarado, best pastramis in L.A.(can’t say the world ’cause New Yorkers will get mad). 3. Al & Bea’s on 1st St. in Boyle Heights, great combo burritos. 4. La Luz del Dia, the other end of Olvera St. Can’t think of anymore at this point but I’m sure I’m leaving some great places out.

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