February 16, 2003
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One night about 15 years ago, we took my grandma to dinner
at Chasen's, one of the old Hollywood restaurants (along with
Brown Derby and Musso & Frank's), whose roots tap back to the
days before Technicolor. George Burns was there in a corner
booth, his nose barely reaching above the table. During our
meal the maitre d' stopped by to ask how we were enjoying our
meal (immensely), and asked if we had been to Chasen's before.
Yes, my grandma, told him. In fact, she recalled one evening
she had dined there in the
1950s, on a night when Jimmy Stewart was
having his bachelor party upstairs. The maitre d' smiled, and
said he remembered that night, and for a few minutes they
reminisced about the guests and goings-on at Chasen's on a
night 35 years before.
Chasen's is gone now, and -- so we discovered the other
night, when we visited with Steve & Calli -- so is C.C.
Brown's, an old-style hot-fudge sundae
place a block or so west of the Chinese
Theater on Hollywood Blvd. C.C. Brown's looked like its
roots extended much further back than Technicolor,
probably before sound. But the Chinese Theater is still
there, with John Wayne's tiny cement footprints.