It was my girlfriend’s birthday and I needed to take her and her group to the best restaurant I could find in Los Angeles. Amanda loves lobster and steak so I searched Google and thought about all the restaurants I had been to during my lifetime in LA. At the end of my search I happily discovered that The Palm, America's Oldest Classic Steakhouse, had a terrific seven year old location in downtown Los Angeles. I had only known about the old Palm Restaurant location on Santa Monica in West LA and was pleasantly surprised that there was The Palm Restaurant Downtown Los Angeles.
So the four of us took the short drive downtown and found a beautiful, classic, clean restaurant with friendly staff that greeted us with smiles. As we entered there was a lively bar to our right and a grand classic warm restaurant to our left. We were ushered to a large comfortable booth where our memorable culinary experience began.
We were so anxious to get our lobster, we forgot about ordering any appetizers and went right to ordering drinks and the main courses.
Amanda and I decided to split a four pound lobster and a 24 ounce Prime Aged Bone-In Rib-Eye Steak.
Paula ordered the Sliced New York Strip topped Danish blue cheese over roasted garlic infused mashed potatoes and bordelaise sauce. Adrianna ordered the 14 ounce Filet Mignon. Between us we ordered a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a side of broccoli. We all shared our meals with each other and found the food to be scrumptious. The steaks had great flavor and were cooked exactly right. The lobster was sweet and cooked just right. A waiter came over to help break out meat from the harder places of the lobster. The potatoes were amazing; the broccoli was cooked just right and tasted delicious.
We ordered a cosmopolitan that tasted great and Amanda loved the strawberry mojito she ordered and said it was the best she had ever had!
Now that the main course was over it was time for us to choose from a tempting dessert tray. We decided on the carrot cake, tiramisu and key lime pie with the last two arriving with candles for Amanda and her daughter Adriana. The desserts were as great as the meal. We all loved our food and the ambiance and would definitely recommend The Palm Restaurant Downtown Los Angeles.
About The Palm Restaurants
The Palm, America's Oldest Classic Steakhouse has been famous for since 1926. The Palm Restaurant is the oldest family-owned white tablecloth restaurant to expand across the United States and still maintain family ownership. Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi`s original New York City steakhouse on Second Avenue has grown into a thriving empire of over 25 restaurants spanning the continent from Boston to Los Angeles. With the newest one opening in London.
From Italian Fare to Steak and Seafood
The northern Italian entrepreneurs who began The Palm tradition in 1926 intended it to be a restaurant specializing in cuisine from their native Parma, Italy. According to Palm folklore, the name "Palm" originated when the proprietors obtained a business license. They wanted to call it "Parma," but because of their Italian accents, it translated into "Palm."
Steaks and seafood were not part of the original concept of The Palm but began out of an effort to cater to its clientele of artists and writers. Every time a customer asked for a steak, John Ganzi ran up Second Avenue to a nearby butcher shop, bought a steak, and cooked to order. Today, The Palm runs its own meat wholesale company to ensure the quality of its steaks.
The Palm`s reputation for seafood started with third generation owners Wally Ganzi and Bruce Bozzi who introduced the gargantuan four-to-eight pound lobsters in the 1970s and disproved the theory that large lobsters are tough. Almost overnight The Palm went from selling 150 pounds of lobster per week to 25,000 pounds per week. Even with these signature additions, tradition at The Palm honors its roots. Some of John Ganzi`s original Italian dishes are still on the menu.
The Evolution of Palm Caricatures: A Unique Marketing Strategy
The Palm caricatures serve as an effective local marketing tool as well as a signature element of the famous restaurant. Before each restaurant opens, 200-300 local notables are drawn on its walls and new caricatures are added regularly. Each Palm's walls become a "living mural" of thousands of regular and celebrity customers. A Palm regular who is asked permission to draw their caricature submits an 8x10 color photo and a few different facial shots to their local management. After a caricature is complete, the patron is asked to come in and sign his or her caricature. The number of caricatures added each year depends on the clientele. In the New York Palm, where space is limited, approximately five caricatures per year are added to the walls.
Many of the memorable moments at The Palm were made when celebrities visited to sign their caricature. Fred Astaire went so far as to tap dance on the bar at the Los Angeles Palm in celebration of his caricature unveiling.
I hope to be able to report on many other Palm Restaurants in future articles.
1100 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Serving Lunch Weekdays
11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Serving Dinner Nightly
3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (Monday - Thursday)
3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (Friday)
5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (Saturday)
5:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Private Dining Rooms Available
See more at their website here
Photos by Lawrence Davis
Published on Dec 31, 1969