Chef Alfredo di Lelio invented fettuccine Alfredo in 1914 for his pregnant wife who had terrible morning sickness. It was so delicious he added it to the menu of his small restaurant in Rome. While honeymooning in 1920, silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks happened to eat there and so loved the dish that they asked for the recipe. They brought it back to America, to the restaurant of the new bohemians of Los Angeles: Musso and Frank Grill.
For decades Hollywood legends have hung out at Musso and Frank Grill. It opened in 1919 and is completely entwined with stories of the stars who have dined there. Charlie Chaplin ate there so much he had his own booth, and the menu still features his favorite dish, grilled lamb kidneys with bacon.
The menu, much like the decor, has not changed since the restaurant’s early days; old fashioned victuals like chicken pot pie and Lobster Thermidor are standard fare. If that’s not your taste, the adjoining bar has served its classic martinis to everyone who is anyone in Hollywood. This includes Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Jimmy Stewart, and Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on.
The restaurant’s back room hosted the glitziest private parties but also became a second home to some of the greatest writers in American history. Regulars included influential writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, John O’Hara, T.S. Elliot, and Dorothy Parker. It was said to be so packed with literati that everyone there was either someone you should know, or someone you would eventually know. Even after the backroom closed, the list of writers and stars who sipped drinks at the bar is legendary.
You may not see any stars from your red leather booth at Musso and Frank’s, but you will feel the history of all that is Hollywood. The classic interior, the long wooden bar, to the waiters in the same red dinner jackets they’ve worn since the restaurant’s opening. Try the fettuccine Alfredo, it’s delicious.
Know Before You Go
Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 11pm. Sundays from 4pm to 9pm.