Friday, April 9, 2010

Cafe 50's--The Best Stuff is on the Walls.

I honestly was not expecting much from Cafe 50's on Santa Monica. In some ways "5o's diners"are to me what Bucca di Beppos are to Italians. You kind of hate them, but at least it's something, and it's not an Olive Garden (the diner equivalent of which is Johnny Rockets).

The problem with a lot of 50's diners decor is that they are basically cliched Reader's Digest versions of the 50s--Presley, Monroe, Dean, and Coca-Cola, repeated ad nauseum. Sure, Cafe 50's is going to have some of that; it would be incomplete without it.

But at Cafe 50's, it's a more complete view of the popular culture of the day. It's like they loaded ten years into a spray can and went to town.

#1DC Antoinette and I took a long time with the menu. We were there for dinner but our options were open. They serve breakfast all day and have a wide selection of sandwiches and burgers.

Interesting things we noticed were that you only get one free refill on sodas and hash browns are only available until noon on weekdays. They also have Buffalo burgers for only $1.98 extra. I'll forgive the anachronism of buffalo meat being readily available. It's not like this place is trying to be Medieval Times. Medieval Times is accurate, right? I don't know; I only go to diners.

By far the most impressive section on the menu is the milkshake list.

The Butterfinger shake was intriguing considering it lacked what I consider to be the secondary ingredient of a Butterfinger candy bar: chocolate. The shake was vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and root beer. Root beer? There were sips that were just straight peanut butter shake but then there would be a sip of the perfect combination and the aftertaste was pure Butterfinger.

Antoinette pointed out these two ads pasted on the wall next to our booth. Boys DO like girls who make Seven-Up floats.

We started with the most intriguing appetizer on the menu, the green bean fries, which are somewhere between a french fry and a zucchini stick with just a little bit of spice. They were very tasty, but they did give me green-bean burps for the rest of the night.

Antoinette ordered the Healthy Sandwich which is just a fancy way of saying "vegetarian." The sandwich was thick with cucumber, mushrooms, lettuce and avocado. The bread was little over-toasted and scratched up the roof of her mouth.

I went with the Sputnik Melt: turkey, coleslaw, cheese, and Russian dressing. It was good but a little dry--I would have preferred a bit more dressing. I resorted to dipping my sandwich in the remaining green bean fries' dip.

We both had sides of coleslaw. I like sweet coleslaw; in fact, the best coleslaw in the world as far as I'm concerned is from KFC. I was disappointed in Cafe 50's coleslaw, but Antoinette liked that it wasn't drenched in dressing and still had a little crunch left.

I could spend hours looking at the walls in Cafe 50's. There's an insane amount of cool stuff up there. The food I could take or leave, though. The milkshake was definitely worth it and I'd go back to try the pie.

Food: Decent.
Price: $7.95-$13.95
Service: Okay.
Pie: Yes.

Cafe 50's
11623 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025

... This movie is about EXACTLY what you think it's about.

1 comment:

Mad Men Girl said...

Hey! Speaking of the 50's...

I've entered a contest to win a walk-on role on that retro-licious TV show, "Mad Men".

If you wouldn't mind taking a couple of seconds to vote for me, go to my blog, or copy and paste the following link which goes right to my picture:

Thanks a bunch!