Jurassic Restaurant is a sight to behold for its sheer oddity: Walls are plastered (rather convincingly) to resemble prehistoric caves, green rainforest flora drapes from the ceiling and, most noticeably, a truck-sized T-rex skeleton rises from the center of the room. Should someone be paying Universal Studios royalties? The place only grows more confusing when a waitress wearing a skimpy cowgirl outfit scampers over to refill your pitcher of watermelon soju. Despite what your buddies might suggest, Jurassic is not inspired by Spielberg's theme-park blockbuster or the more recent Chris Pratt sequel but rather a popular dino-themed bar that opened in Taipei in 1988. At this so-called “Asian Hooters” of the SGV, you'll find a lengthy menu of Taiwanese pub snacks such as grilled lamb skewers, fried chicken cartilage and tofu hot pots, served with ample amounts of beer. It's not the sort of cross-cultural mishmash you'd expect to stumble upon in a shady strip mall, but as Jeff Goldblum once explained, “Life, uh, finds a way.”

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly