Musso & Frank Grill: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

If you walk into Musso expecting to have the same kind of steak you had last week at Morton's, you probably have the wrong idea. Because before the restaurant became a martini-fueled Hollywood clubhouse, the place where Faulkner blew out his liver and generations of character actors learned to show up on Wednesday for the chicken potpie, the restaurant was practically a showcase for what was then considered California cuisine, a genteel marriage of the local produce, abundant local fisheries and masculinized lunchroom cooking: avocado cocktails smeared with sweet, pink dressing and frigid bowls of chilled consommé; fried smelts and dainty plates of crab Louie; kidneys Turbigo. This is what the cosmopolitan life was like, before Cosmopolitans. Or if you happen to be of a certain bent, you could always try a long, drowsy lunch of Vicodin, jellied consommé and Welsh rarebit, followed by a desert-dry Gibson and a long nap — an experiment in what one friend of mine calls gout-stool cuisine. 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd. (323) 467-7788, mussoandfrank.com. Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Full bar. Validated parking in rear. All major CC. American.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
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