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California Bucket List

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L.A. County

Drain a martini, savor Old Hollywood, at Musso & Frank

Martini at Musso & Frank (Los Angeles Times)
Martini at Musso & Frank (Los Angeles Times)

Why: If the legendary Musso & Frank Grill ever closes, I’m leaving L.A. A bastion of old-school waiters and a writers’ haven for almost 100 years, this period piece is one of the few reasons that locals venture to Hollywood Boulevard.

What: A clubby steakhouse under 50 coats of lacquer in the heart of Hollywood. Cool and dark, it sports a fine mahogany bar that serves the best martinis in town, perfectly proportioned at the exact right chill. F. Scott Fitzgerald purportedly proofed novels here, and was so comfortable that he’d duck behind the bar to mix his own mint juleps. William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker, T.S. Eliot and John Steinbeck were also among the literary legends who found inspiration here. The feel-good menu includes an assortment of steaks and chops, charred on an open-fire grill. Look for the daily specials, which include chicken pot pie ($23) and braised short ribs ($37). Musso’s closes too early on weekends — 11 p.m. — and isn’t easy to reach. But here’s hoping this esteemed old joint — young in spirit — is still up and running 100 years from now.

Where: 6667 Hollywood Blvd., three blocks east of the Red Line subway station at Hollywood/Highland, eight miles northwest of downtown L.A.

How much? Sandwiches from $9, but most meals range from $20 to $50.

Info: Musso & Frank Grill

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