The Top 7 landmark restaurants in Los Angeles

ABC7 unveils their list with:

  • Yamashiro
  • Pinks Hot Dogs
  • The Lobster (Santa Monica Pier)
  • Bob’s Bog Boy Restaurant
  • Musso & Frank Grill
  • Philippe the Original
  • Randy’s Donuts (Inglewood)

With some degree of pride, I can claim that I’ve been to all of these and would agree they all fit… except for The Lobster. Great location, decent food, but the place is way too new to claim landmark status. That slot is much more deservingly reserved for Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood.

Any other restaurants overlooked (or overhyped)?

22 thoughts on “The Top 7 landmark restaurants in Los Angeles”

  1. As usual, nothing on the Eastside as if it didn’t fucking exist. I hope the locals over there might allow this gringo — for want of their fave places — allow me to recognize Boyle Heights’ El Tepeyac.

    ABC bastids: Way to limit yourself to the number that also happens to be your channel. That’s not a stale approach by any means.

    And on this side of the river here’s some that would totally qualify or at least replace the freakin’ donut place.

    The Pantry
    El Coyote

  2. I’ve never even HEARD of the Lobster, but think the list should have included Spago (say what you want the food is awesome and the history is undeniable too).

    I’m sure there are plenty of others I’m missing too –

  3. I admit I’ve never eaten there myself, but I do think Tito’s Tacos should be on the list if only because the line of customers outside no matter what time it is or what the weather is like, does actually qualify as a landmark.

  4. I too have never heard of The Lobster. I think Canter’s is half-assed, but they should definitely be on that list. Same with The Pantry and El Coyote. What about Soot Bull Jeep, and Original Tommy’s too?

    There’s a reason Tito’s isn’t on the list – it’s because Tito’s has the worst tacos on Earth (I feel pretty much the same way about Pinks, too, on the hot dog front). If a taco stand is going to be on that list, it should probably be King Taco, or maybe just your neighborhood truck or cart.

    Not like I expect ABC to be in touch with anything, anyways.

  5. I’d heard Tito’s was awful, but hey, if we were aiming for good food, I’m sure Bob’s Big Boy wouldn’t be representing the burgers and fries crowd.

    Anyway, good to be confirmed on that Marshall. Nice to know I can continue avoiding the hoards there.

  6. Canters is a disgusting, but should definitely be on the list, who hasn’t been to Canters. The Lobster what is that?

    The person who made this list must live in Hollywood and sometimes goes out to the airport, which is why Randy is on there (they had to be in LA prior to the 105 being built, so they could possibly be a native or maybe they got here in college and are in their 40s or 50s, I’m guessing that since they have actually driven through Inglewood) and their wife’s parents live in Santa Monica and owns the Lobster, that’s my guess.

    These lists are always secret advertisements for someone’s friend.


  7. The Lobster? That place has a great view, but that’s about it. I’ve been twice and have never been that impressed and it’s WAY expensive.

    Now, Randy’s, that brings back memories. I shot part of my senior film there and spent hours in that parking lot, though managed to not eat too many donuts. And if I’m on the right side of the aircraft when returning to LA, I always look for it as we land. I guess that makes it a “landmark”.

  8. I’m a native Angeleno and I’ve been to all of those places except The Lobster (which I have never heard of).

    Missing is The Pantry.

    Randy’s is not really a restaurant.

    I prefer Cupid’s over Pinks, but I’m in the minority.

    I grew up with Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, but I don’t know if it’s old enough to qualify or widely known.

  9. As the comments here state, no one will ever agree on any list. Putting down the list-makers’ East/West, white/black, Ch.7/Ch.4, and whatever criteria the used is all just very amusing.

  10. I agree – the omission of Original Tommy’s and Roscoe’s is egregious. I would also daresay the original In N’ Out in Baldwin Park should be included.

  11. What is with this mythology built around Pinks? It’s a hotdog! Why do people line up around the block for a hotdog?

  12. Every L.A. native knows that this list ain’t complete without the Apple Pan. Quality Forever, dude.

  13. I can’t believe so many people never heard of the Lobster. It’s the restuarant at the top of the Santa Monica Pier, to the left of the sign. And yes, one would think it’s new, and in its current incarnation, it is. But it started off as a seafood shack in the 1920s, and was vacant in the 80s, then renovated and reopened in the late 90s. Of course, it is an odd “landmark” choice because it’s not like it’s an original version. I think the original structure was torn down. Anyway, meh food, nice views though.

  14. Both Tito’s and Pinks are nothing special. These places are just about the long lines….. Apple Pan is OK but if I have to choose one Westside greasy spoon it’s gotta be Johnnie’s

  15. I think Pacific Dining Car, Geoffrey’s Malibu, and perhaps the Polo Lounge should be on the list. Also, the Saddle Peak Lodge (although it’s in Calabasas), although that name probably means nothing to non-foodies. As for Spago – does it count if they’ve changed locations? Otherwise, yeah.

  16. I disagree with TL here. Pinks is great when you find your thing there and is a much beloved icon in the Fairfax District. And Apple Pan is a total old school Rancho Park icon that serves really good quality burgers and pie since before WWII. Yum! (OK, full disclosure: I can’t really disagree with TL here because I haven’t been to Johnnie’s but I have to defend my food turf.)

  17. I disagree with TL here. Pinks is just great when you find your thing and is a much beloved icon in the Fairfax District. And Apple Pan is a total old school Rancho Park icon that serves killer burgers and pie since before WWII. Yum! (OK, full disclosure: I can’t really disagree with TL here because I haven’t tried Johnnie’s but dude I had to defend my food turf.)

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