As I was waiting for my doctor to come in and start my physical this morning, I thought back to another medical waiting room I was in several months ago. I was waiting to be taken into surgery for a broken elbow, and a resident was reviewing my chart. We started talking, and it came up that I had moved to LA in 1981. “A long time ago” he said. ”Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of changes- good and bad” I responded. “What are the good ones?” That silenced me for a moment- traffic is worse, housing is still expensive- but I came up with something! The restaurants have gotten better. They are more varied, with many more cuisines, and healthier to boot. A lot of restaurants have come and gone- which is all the more astonishing when some of them last over 40 years.
Dhaba has been on Main Street in Santa Monica since 1971. In LA terms, it is an absolute dinosaur. But next to Chez Jay (1959) and The Galley (1934!), it’s a youngster. Will today’s trendy places be around that long?