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 Treats, Fizzies 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

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

  1. Arsen jr.
    I’m so sorry, I don’t have any pics from Nero’s, we spent many many hours there every weekend playing pool and dancing to the live bands that we there in the early to mid 70’s it was quite a place, people flocked in to this afterhours from all the nearby clubs that closed at 2am there were a load of pool tables, my husband was good player back then, would get into the pool “tournaments” so to speak, and we would meet so many different people at that place! My friends band was playing there for a while, a band by the name of Buster Brown, I have many good memories of Nutty Nero’s!! Lol can’t believe I could stay up that late!! but we were so young!!

  2. Arson jr Before it was Nutty Neros it was Blue Buney built by G B Stevens AKA [ASSHOLE] Steve, The afterhours were BIG Steve left his wife Lois to hook up with one of his cocktail waitresses,was your mother Astrid?

  3. This site is great, guys! My mind is just SWIMMING with nostalgia, lol! While reading these cool entries, I’m wracking my brain, trying to remember. What was the name of the old buffet rstaurant next to where the old Swensen’s Ice cream parlor, behind where Bob’s Big Boy used to be (now where Carrow’s is now, in Montebello.) Maybe someone here will know? Thanks!

  4. Thank you, I knew I wasnt crazy, I knew I used to eat at a Lil burger place called Monkey Uddle.

    My mom would take us there after shopping at Lerners. I would get a grape soda with crushed ice. Ahhhh what great memories.

  5. I was born in 1969 and when I was a lil girl the mc donalds in pico rivera on slauson ave had go carts to ride in the back of mc donalds im thinking it had to be early 70’s or so? I cant find it anywhere it would be nice to see a fun childhood memorie again.does anyone remember it?

  6. I had a Hot pastrami at Chronis’ last year. It was still great but about 2/12 times the price I used to pay in 1964. I recently discovered Taco Baja about 3 blocks down Whittier Blvd. towards Atlantic. Why wasn’t that place there when I grew up?? I remember the French Cafe next to the Garmar theater. My mom worked there for a few years. Marcel would let me sit at the bar and he would make Hopalong Cassidys
    for me. Everyone remember the huge shopping complex between Olympic and Whittier with Telegraph on on one side and Gerhart on the other? That was an empty lot where I used to fly kites growing up.

  7. If you are still around… I used to play with my band there on Friday and Saturdays nights back in early 70’s. we goofingly called ourselves the Tuxedos and other things sometimes. … We would start at 9pm and play sets until like 1:45.. the club would close and vacate.. and then reopen as an after hours dance club No Alcohol… we would then play another 5 sets til 6am or 7 am. crazy.. 4 nites in 2 days. Arsen had a good set of pool tables in the rear of club , with some real hustlers.. Bar in middle and then a sunken area where customers could sit, dance and enjoy the music..OR on Fri and Sat.afternoon’s to 8:30pm and weekdays topless dancers were on stage in the center of room. CRAZY…

  8. Q-vo Vince!
    In ’68 my name then was Leticia (Tissa) Lamb. After the Garfield /Roosevelt (go Bulldogs)games we’d cruise to Chroni’s for hot dogs (on Whittier). The Italian restaurant next to Kennedy Hall was Vesuvio. And the Woolworth’s on Atlantic Square had a diner. Googies was a coffee shop at Atlantic Square, next to JC Penney. Across from Belvedere Jr. High, Salas Drug Store & Soda Fountain. The FLORAL DRIVE IN snack bar too! At Rudy’s Pasta House for Little League fundraisers, Cold Duck would play!! Have fun, Letty

  9. I remember the Bee Bag On Whittier. I think that was the first restaurant I went to. Then there was Jim’s Burgers on Washington in Montebello and Googies in Atlantic Square!

  10. My uncle Mando owned Las Carnitas in the 70’s. I worked there on my summer vacations. My grandma would start cooking in the morning. They opened at lunch. We kept the floors covered with classic sawdust. That sign was an icon.

  11. Does anyone else remember Smiley’s Dan’s Shack in East LA? My husband and I filmed our movie there at night for two weeks in 1997 after it closed and I am curious to know if it still exists.

    “Smiley” was very nice.


  12. Hi, grew up on Duncan & Telegraph, Griffith, Garfield, Trade-Tech. Mon & Dad owned Armenian Bakery (fresh string cheese) Uncle Motsie owned Meat Market on corner (shish-kebab) I’m 71 so memories go way back. Johnny’s on Olympic& Downey Rd. Cal-Mex, Lupe’s 8th & Mirasol, Frank’s Taco Inn, ASB Burgers, Sextos, B-Bag. Chronis. Loved Bill’s Paradise, especially Mexican Billburgers, remember them? Soft Tostadas Taqitos, Four Finger Dogs Here is a question: Bill had a “Deluxe Quesadilla” I remember cheese, and Pastrami but what else was in there? Lettuce? Tomatoes? They were messy but Oh so good. If you remember, please post

  13. Ross Suderno,
    “Deluxe Quesadilla”, I remember those at Bill’s Paradise!
    I seem to remember they also put an avocado sauce, like a thin guacamole, in it.

  14. Thanks Al, I’ll try it. I’ve duplicated the Mexican Billburger and the Soft Tostada pretty close and every time I do I’m right back on Beverly and Findlay. We used to ditch Garfield at lunch time and cruise Montebello High then hit Bills and sneak back in school, never got caught. Graduated Summer ’65

  15. Clifton’s downtown LA was the best and the Chinese food at the back of grand Central market it’s still there but sadly they recently changed the recipe of the chow mein it used to be made with bean sprouts and so good old school and they now make the chow mein with the fried noodles that every other Chinese restaurant sells like panda express very disappointing!!!

  16. hey Ross how are you doing. were cousins hope you remember me I am Sam Boranian. my dad was mike {Momecon}. my grandmother was anti hepsogs sister. Rose Arus in armenian} Kardashian/ Boranian . i worked at larry manookian gas station when I was a kid. talk to cousin Darrel a couple years ago he moved to vegas. was that your 57 chev with shaved door nob I think you had a bitchin motorcycle too. love you cus

  17. My name is Peter Fregoso, W50 grad from Garfield, have not seen much if anything about the era, early 50’s or earlier, i had a gas station on brooklyn & Mednik 56 to 78 then an auto parts house on atlantic near beverly would like to hear from people from that period

  18. Yes.I remember dan’s shack on Beverly boulevard in 1992.I had a three piece band played oldies.every Friday & Saturday night Joann also ran the bar.she was half Mexican and half Japanese she had a friend that I met we had a little relationship going her name was Suzy I should had a Polaroid came back then to remember Suzy.but she hadn’t been around anyone I was heat broken ???? smiley ran the bar also.the shack is not thair anymore. Now is 1-800-plumbing 2510 Beverly boulevard the old sign never worked.dan’s shack in green neon I don’t know were smiley is now. Thanks for the memories ????????????????

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