Friday, July 12, 2013

Dead French in L.A.: Frank Toulet Opens Frank's Cafe (Musso & Frank Grill) 1919

"On September 27, 1919, The Hollywood Citizen ran an announcement about the opening of Frank Toulet’s new restaurant, Frank’s Café at 6669 Hollywood Blvd. In time, Toulet partnered with restaurateur Joseph Musso. As the owners of the new Musso and Frank Grill, they hired French chef Jean Rue, who created the menu — much of which remains unchanged even today."

Musso and Frank Grill is a restaurant located at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard (moved from 6669 next door) in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Opened in 1919, it is steeped in Hollywood history, having been the hideout of a host of famous Hollywood celebrities from days gone by. It is named for original owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet.[1]

As Hollywood's oldest eatery (since 1919),[1] Musso and Frank is the paragon of Old Hollywood grillrooms. In Hollywood's boom years it was a prime destination for Hollywood's movers and shakers, including, directors, movie stars, producers and noted writers. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Bukowski, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hemingway drank here during their screenwriting days along with Orson Welles who regularly held court. The waiters can point out their favorite booths and tell stories about which books were partially written here. Legend has it that Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanks raced each other down Hollywood Boulevard on horseback, the loser having to pick up the dinner tab at Musso and Frank's.[2]

The restaurant is featured in a scene in the 1994 Tim Burton film Ed Wood in a scene where Ed Wood, Jr, meets his hero, Orson Welles. It is also featured in the videogame LA Noire as a famous landmark.

Also, on episode 19 of season 3 of 90210, there is a scene where characters played by Shenae Grimes and Sally Kellerman are on the inside of the restaurant as one of Marla [Kellerman]'s favorite places.

Frank Toulet sold out his interest in the restaurant and disappeared into history.


1.^ Musso and Frank Grill,
 2.^ Hollywood Lost and Found: Musso and Franks

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