Celebrate OSCAR Season With Recipes and Tales of L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants

29 Jan 2017 by Lina Jordan in Celebrities, Cuisine, DVD, Event, Fame, Films, General, Home, Pleasure, Restaurants, Television

Some of L.A.’s famous restaurants served as the backdrop for spectacular Oscar parties and hang outs. Bob Hope routinely went to C.C. Brown’s for a hot fudge sundae after hosting the Academy Awards.  Before Spago many celebrities headed to Chasen’s, Romanoff’s, Trader Vic’s, Ciro’s and The Coconut Grove to celebrate.

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From Trader Vic’s to Perino’s, there are stories to tell and food to talk about. Best-selling cookbook author and chef, George Geary, takes readers on a journey to where the rich and famous ate in the golden age of Hollywood in his new book, L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS (Santa Monica Press/October 2016), an illustrated history Los Angeles’ landmark eateries.

2 hollywood Bison-Musso-and-Franks-Grill-1930002-mz7lyu6bx4ciryonwwrdntkqifxxp5h2qckgu2kwvk (Copy)The book features over 100 celebrity favorite recipes, from classic eateries such as the Musso & Frank Grill, The Brown Derby, The Zebra Room, and The Florentine Gardens, to name only a few.
Geary gives us an insider’s tour of Hollywood through its restaurants, sprinkling in fun facts and trivia such as where a table was sawed off to accommodate a pregnant Lana Turner, to the soda fountain where composer Harold Arlen wrote “Over the Rainbow” for The Wizard of Oz.

Some of the restaurants Geary has featured include: Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakery, Formosa Café, Tick Tock Tea Room, Miceli’s, Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, Cyrano, Chez Jay, Hamptons, L’Orangerie, Tam O’Shanter Inn, Bullock’s Wilshire Tea Room, Zebra Room at the Town House of Lafayette Park, Don the Beachcomber, Cock ‘n Bull, Hollywood Palladium, Scandia, La Scala, Trader Vic’s at the Beverly Hilton, Dan Tana’s, Le Dome, and many more.

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L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS provides an interesting history of each restaurant profiled, from their original address and phone number to who designed it and a few of their famous recipes.  Here are just a few of the over 100 iconic recipes included in the book:

Crab Crepes Bengal – Trader Vic’s
Crabmeat Cocktail – Ciro’s
Cobb Salad – The Brown Derby
Maude Salad – Chasen’s
Braised Short Ribs – Musso & Frank Grill
Coq Au Vin – Taix French Restaurant
Quiche a la Ma Maison – Ma Maison
Spaghetti Bolognese – Perinos
Roasted Wild Goose with Apricot Stuffing – Le Dome
Roasted Tenderloin of Pork – Don the Beachcomber
1909 Brownie Sundae – C.C. Brown’s
Cappuccino Souffle – L’Escoffier
Coconut Cream Pie – Bullock’s Wilshire Tea Room
Macadamia Tart – Spago Sunset
There are also some classic cocktail recipes such as:
The Mike Romanoff – Romanoff’s
Irish Coffee – Chez Jay
Moscow Mule – Cock ‘n Bull
Spanish Martini – Carlos ‘n Charlie’s
The Zombie – Don the Beachcomber

For your Oscar party make a Hot Fudge Sundae from C.C. Brown’s or Clark Gable’s favorite dish from The Brown Derby. Most of the locations chronicled in L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS no longer exist, but George Geary has brought their memories and tastes back to life with updated recipes that remind us why customers kept coming back to their favorite haunts time and again.

George Geary is an award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator. A former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company, Geary is a Certified Culinary Professional and was recently named Culinary Educator of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

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The Ambassador Hotel
The Ambassador Hotel was one of the most historic hotels on the West Coast. It was famous for its celebrity clientele and its nigh club, The Coconut Grove. It was also the location for many after-Oscar parties. With it grand pools and palm-lined property, the 24-acre complex was the epitome of the California lifestyle.

Beef Short Ribs
Serves 6
Preheat oven to 350°F

Beef Short Ribs were a staple on the Ambassador’s menu in the Cocoanut Grove. Served with a baked potato and the vegetable of the day.

6 (12oz) beef short ribs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup red wine
Brown Gravy (recipe follows)

Place ribs in a shallow baking pan, sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary, Place carrots and celery around them. Bake in preheated oven for one hour.

Add the red wine and brown gravy, cover with foil and bake 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender when fork is inserted.

Brown Gravy
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
14 oz chicken broth
14 oz beef broth
1 tbsp beef concentrate (or one bouillon cube)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and stir in the flour until smooth and pale golden. Whisk in chicken and beef broth and beef concentrate until blended. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper is needed. Use in above recipe.

Bread Pudding
Serves 8
Preheat oven to 325°F

2-quart baking dish buttered
6 large eggs
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
12 slices white bread, cubed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

In a bowl whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg. Mix in bread cubes. Place in prepared buttered pan, sprinkle top with cinnamon and coconut.

Bake in preheated oven until set, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Serve warm

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Lina Jordan