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 […]

Paul Bocuse Menu, Lyon, France, Spring 1980

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I was extremely fortunate the day I discovered a sizeable collection of vintage menus, all from the finest restaurants in France. I found them while rummaging through an antique shop in Berkeley, and from what I could gather, they were simply souvenirs collected by someone who liked to travel […]

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. […]

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 […]

Al’s Chop Suey Menu, Oakland Fruitvale, CA

In Oakland, East Fourteenth Street became known as International Boulevard in 1996, so the former home of Al’s Chop Suey is currently occupied by Canchola’s Restaurant.

I discovered an old menu for Al’s Chop Suey while visiting an antique shop in Berkeley this afternoon. I dig this sort of thing, especially since […]