Chasen’s, Forever Missed

Chasens's book cover

If you grew up in Hollywood in the 1950’s to 70’s you remember Chasen’s, the famous restaurant. For me, it was the first real celebrity hangout where you were almost guaranteed to spot the biggest names in show business. I have many great memories of going there with my dad. Later, I went with my husband.

Once, when I was out of town, my husband asked me if he could maybe take my dad out to dinner without his entourage. I said, I don’t know, he really likes his entourage and besides, they are very helpful with his wheelchair … and trust me, the logistics aren’t easy. Navigating around places, getting my dad in and out with the wheelchair was tricky. My husband was determined to spend some quality time with Duke. They did end up going to Chasen’s together, no posse, but marriage was not discussed, I’m sorry to say.

My father wouldn’t live to see us married. I was probably fantasizing that Michael was asking for my hand, knowing me.

For some reason I have never outgrown the love of food overly saturated in butter. Most people I know have given it up, but not me. So, in honor of my love for this kind of food (which is too much work for me to make), I’ll share with you the recipe for my favorite Chasens meal, the Hobo steak.

and enjoy my favorite toast they served at Chasen’s (I ate far too many pieces)

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6 Responses to “Chasen’s, Forever Missed”

  1. Mitch says:

    Hi Fredde…nice piece on Chasens. For me the place was more for atmosphere than for food. I went to the Chasens auction and picked up some stuff, including Dave Chasen’s bookcase and some framed cigarette cards of vaudeville performers. Eddie Foy, Jr. was jealous because he wanted them, too. Now, whenever I go into that Bristol Farms I remember the old place. There’s still Mussos. And the Valley Inn.

  2. Carol says:

    I gave Gabriel his 50th birthday at Chasens – what a hoot – very funny and fun time. Mere and Duke went every saturday night. I don’t think I would try the Hobo Steak because as I remember it was cooked at the table – there was a very special way of cooking it. My favorite was if the entire table wanted shrimp, crab, etc. and it came on a huge mountain of ice. There were times my dad took all six of us for dinner – which was unusual for kids to be there – BUT – we were so beautifully behaved – right. Reminds me of Frances Lastfogel with her famous line, “Here comes Ellie with the six bitches”.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi freddie! We couldnt find the right place to comment about the New York delis you recommended. Unfortunately we did not have time to make it to Barney Green Grass, H&H bagels & Zabar as we had a plane to catch earlier than expected, but we made our way to Stage Deli- and we were not disappointed!!!! The sandwiches were huge, we could barely fit them into our mouths and the atmosphere was great. We tried the matzoh ball soup and it reminded us exactly of my grandmother’s cooking-so we loved it! We are so glad to have met you

  4. Jennifer Dudley Arbaugh says:

    Chasens. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, or…. So many memories… like a flip photo book. Best: Duke and his “sweetheart” each New Year’s in their finest walking out the front door for dinner a deux at Chasen’s. Duke checked his gold pocket watch each and every time, carefully placing it back in his black tie vest.

    Keep reminding me of the soft times.


  5. OMG – How did I miss this!!! I just copied your recipes and I copied the chili from another post!! For sure one of the 3 best spots in BH/LA!! The Brown Derby and Scandia are 2 others. Just amazing. Wow – looking back – how blessed we were to have grown up in our time and in our environment. Everytime I read one of your posts I marvel at our blissful childhood – that never seemed quite so remarkable but soooooo was! The places, the people, the love – BEVERLY HILLS was a sort of mecca in our day. Thanks for sharing! xxoo

  6. Jc Morton says:

    The Chili.. OMG !!! that was my favorite!!! When we first got to Calif in 65′ we rented a little house on La Peer Dr… right down the street from Chasen’s .. ! I use to catch the RTD Bus on the corner of LaPeer and Beverly Blvd. to go to Fairfax High my first year…. it was all very exciting to a Ny kid, being out in “HOLLYWOOD” for the first time.. xo

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