A Trip to L.A.'s Past at Perino's

Think pink. You walk through huge doors into a room where pink banquettes hug pink tables, each bearing a single pink rose. Glittering crystal chandeliers drip pinkly down from the ceiling.

Now think black, which is what is worn by the waiters and captains who hover over your every move. Black is also the color of the warm cheese-topped bread that should bring sighs of nostalgia from every true Angeleno. For what you are really asked to think here is history: Perino's (4101 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 487-0000) has reopened in all its glory.

The new owners have brought back the old chef and the old captains. They have also, unfortunately, brought back the old menu. This venerable document includes some wonderful things like souffled potatoes ($6 extra, and worth it) and some really dreary things like overcreamed pastas and endless variations of veal.

Walking into this wonderful room, it is easy to imagine that you have been transported back to the '50s. This kind of luxury is getting hard to find. But sitting in history is not enough; these days when they go out to expensive restaurants, most people in Los Angeles are thinking food.

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