I’m a bit of a collector of vintage cookbooks, mostly from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and I recently picked up a copy of the Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places, initially published by the Ford in the late 1940s. It’s a fascinating little book – each page has a recipe from a different restaurant somewhere in the U.S. The book is organized by region, and was, apparently, designed to fit in the glove compartment of your car, so in addition to being a recipe book, it’s a travel guide. The book is also beautifully illustrated, with a picture of each restaurant by a different artist, so it’s also a neat little anthology of mid-century design.
Los Angeles restaurants are extremely well-represented – below are some of the images and recipes from the book of L.A. restaurants of the past. Most of these are now long gone, but we can now re-create them in the comfort of our own kitchens, thanks to the magic of used bookstores and the internet!