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100 Favorite Dishes

26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's

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Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM
click to enlarge Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's - G. SNYDER
  • G. Snyder
  • Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's

Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's.

It may as well be a civic requirement that any mention of Musso & Frank's's include the phrase "Hollywood institution" at least once. Opened in 1919, the clubby dining room is a bedrock of history and tradition in the part of town where style is as impermanent as studio backdrops. It's where Faulkner, Chandler, Chaplin, and countless other Tinseltown stars downed countless amounts of rye and gin; where the waiters dress eerily similar to those in Kubrick's The Shining; and where the menu items seem more like museum exhibits than foodstuffs (jellied consommé and avocado cocktails anyone?).

After your third martini or Manhattan, when your stomach starts to growl and a pile of sourdough bread spread with butter just won't cut it, you would be pleased to order a thick slab of pink prime rib, or a nicely seared porterhouse with a baked sour cream-dolloped baked potato.

If you really wanted to jump into a time machine, though, you would order the lobster thermidor, the throwback of throwbacks -- a preparation so rare these days that it might well be the gastronomic equivalent of the California condor. It's a splurge -- but imagine it's your retirement dinner, and the partners at Sterling Cooper just handed you that gold watch.

A fat lobster tail is drowned in an ultra-creamy sauce made from egg yolks, heavy cream, sherry, mushrooms and a dash of paprika -- oh, and butter, lots of butter. It's a dish of unmatched gout-inducing pleasure, something that hasn't truly existed in its purest form since it went out of style with shag carpets and Cadillac Sixty Specials. This is a dish that belongs to a particularly gilded chapter of history, and at this Hollywood institution, history has rarely tasted so decadent.


Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles

99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1

98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil

97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.

96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche

95: Duck Shawarma at Momed

94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa

93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen

92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

91: Baco Mercat's Bazole

90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame

89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence

88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market

87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane

86: Galbi Jjim at Soban

85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post

84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun

83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co

82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus

81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant

79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan

78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat

77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho

76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure

75: Porcetto at Sotto

74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense

73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses

72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King

70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away

69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ

68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House

67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata

66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh

64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers

63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow

62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill

61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge

60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham

59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar

58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka

57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside

56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food

55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar

54: Taco Sampler at Guisados

53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich

52: House Wonton Soup at China Cafe

51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery

50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium

48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri

47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast

46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke

45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood

44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly

43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Cafe

42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall

41: Banh Mi at Buu Dien

40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista

39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar

38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat

37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken

36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo

35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli

34: Bossam at Kobawoo House

33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar

32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl

31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko

30: Crispy Pork with Morning Glory at Crispy Pork Gang & Grill

29: Sashimi Special at Sushi Gen

28: Tamal de Mole Negro at Guelaguetza

27: The Hickoryburger at Apple Pan


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