Vista del Arroyo Menus, Pasadena, CA, 1927

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Originally built in 1920, the Vista del Arroyo is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but is known today by its more business-like moniker, the Richard H. Chambers United States Court of Appeals. Pretty cool courthouse, if you ask me. The original Spanish Colonial Revival architecture featured […]

Nut Tree Menu, Vacaville, CA, 1950s

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I’ve seen similar Nut Tree menus as this one dated all the way back to the 1940s, but the 20-cent coffee on this menu has me questioning such an early date. My rule of thumb for the 1940s is that coffee was 10 cents, so 20-cent coffee […]

Vintage Fruit Crate Labels, Lodi, CA, 1940s–1960s

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I finally became bored enough to scan some of my favorite vintage fruit crate labels from my hometown of Lodi, CA. For this posting, I focused specifically on grapes, which of course, includes lots of Zinfandel, as well as table grapes, such as the Flame Tokay.

These crate labels date […]

Bob’s Big Boy Menu, Burbank, CA, 1970s

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Bob’s Big Boy is perhaps as iconic as any Southern California restaurant chain, with its familiar Big Boy statues and its ties to L.A.’s classic Googie movement (architect Wayne McAllister also designed the original Lawry’s location on La Cienega, along with several other restaurants throughout the southland).

Lawry’s Prime Rib Menu, Beverly Hills, 1940s

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I’d never turn down at meal at San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib, but Los Angeles and Lawry’s still take the crown for being the original and the best. Lawry’s first opened its doors on La Cienega Boulevard in 1938; House of Prime Rib came along in 1949. […]

1960s High-Hand Fruit Crate Label, Loomis, CA

This fruit crate label for High-Hand dates from the 1960s (the zip code is an easy tell). After the zip code’s creation in 1963, the USDA soon required fruit crate labels to display this new piece of data. It’s fairly easy to see that with this particular label, this zip code was simply tacked […]

Fishermen’s Grotto Menu, San Francisco, 1940s

Crab Cioppino, Fishermen’s Style… $1.90.

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Submitted for your approval today is a post-war menu from San Francisco’s famous (and once proud) Fishermen’s Grotto. Aside from the super-low prices, clues to the age of this menu include a $10 bottle of 1941 Ruinart Champagne on the wine list, […]

Menu from Dinah’s Shack, Palo Alto, 1960

Sadly, there was no actual Dinah, as far as I can tell.

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I won this old menu in an auction lot, and didn’t even realize it until I got home. I conducted a bit of research on Dinah’s while I was scanning these images, and I found […]

Ahwahnee Hotel Menus, Yosemite National Park, 1961

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Fifty years ago, the menus at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel featured a series of beautiful woodblock prints, taken from the 1932 book “Trees of Yosemite” by Della Taylor Hoss. I’m not sure how many menus were in this series, nor how long these menus were in use, although I would […]

1960s Nut Tree Menu, Vacaville, CA

1960s Nut Tree Menu, front cover.

I’m fascinated by the Nut Tree. Almost obsessed. This menu is probably 10 years before my time, but I collect anything from this former California landmark. Sadly, the Nut Tree has devolved into a lousy outlet mall, practically a cemetery in comparison to what it was […]