Blogging.la reader Nicole Seymour solved the mystery of the Cahuenga Pass Steamboat, revealing that the answer lies in the book, California Crazy & Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture:
There’s a color picture of this place dated 1968. The two main signs say “Showboat — Ali’s Broasted Chicken” and “Showboat Broasted Chicken,” but it also has signs higher up on the building that say “BBQ Ribs,” “Hot Dogs,” etc.
Its a great pic that, due to copyright law, I can’t reproduce here… but, with a few simple clicks you can find it online. Instructions after the jump.
I also was able to find that the same address was recently home to a restaurant/catering business called “Food Fetish” that has worked out of assorted locations around Los Angeles over the years, confirming additional comments left in the original post.
Now the next mystery: since the Showboat is no more, where can anyone find some broasted chicken?
If you want to see the steamboat as it was probably intended to be seen, click here to search for the word “showboat” on the California Crazy and Beyond page at Amazon. Click on the result for “Page 111”, and then go back one page. (wish I could simplify this for a direct link, but I guess this is one way to keep us buying books)
From the book:
The Showboat (1968), a restaurant chain, created the illusion of a Mississippi paddle wheeler by hanging the decorative boat elements on a basic box.