Fight is on to keep ‘Mad Men’ restaurant from changing with the times


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The city of Vernon is under pressure to change, but a push is on to keep at least one thing in this 5-square-mile industrial city the same.

That’s La Villa Basque, a 1960s-era landmark used as a location to film the television show ‘Mad Men.’ Even as state lawmakers seek to dissolve the city around it, Los Angeles-area preservationists are campaigning to convince the restaurant’s new operators not to remodel and modernize it.


The operators are giving La Villa Basque a new name, ‘Vivere,’ and a sign in front boasts ‘New Chef, New Menu, New Vibe.’

But leaders of the Los Angeles Conservancy say the restaurant’s Googie-style coffee shop, its elegant dining room and plush Rat Pack martini lounge should not lose the ‘authentic character’ that makes the place a throwback to another era. Read the rest of the story in Thursday’s L.A. Times:


--Michael’s in Santa Monica launches new mixology program and lounge, hosts art opening

--Ambitious new restaurant group aims to bring savvy dining to underserved areas, beginning with 1321 in Torrance

--Just what do all those food trucks mean for Los Angeles culture?


The bar in La Villa Basque was used in an episode of ‘Mad Men.’ Credit: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times