Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barney's Beanery

On Tuesday, Laurie had a work related issue, in part because we didn't get back from Las Vegas Monday in time for her to get in at least a half day's work in Santa Barbara.  She had some official documents that now had to be hand delivered to another lawyer's office on the 17th floor of a posh office building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.  I volunteered to help out of love for my wife and love for another great eating experience though not necessarily in that order.

When I got to the building, I discovered two things, first it was 26 stories in height and, more importantly, that they were having the entire building's Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa party in the huge lobby as I entered.  With an awesome looking dessert in one hand and a fancy, whip creamed coffee in the other, the security guard at the door stopped and quizzed me about my business in the building.  After flashing her both a knowing smile from one fat person to another and showing her the properly addressed, sealed, brown manila envelope with about an 80 page document inside, she let me pass to the elevators.  So much for post-911 anti-terrorist security measures.

And yes, after delivering the documents, you are damn right I stopped in the lobby to enjoy some of the fine, upscale holiday fare that was being offered! I can blend when I have to and remember, "FREE FOOD IS NOT FATTENING."

The usually reliable Food Network's Guy Fieri could not come up with a nearby eatery so I tried the Travel Channel's Food Paradise website
for a possible tip.

I know that you are thinking that I just had something to eat at the office building, but I had not counted on it and I already had this plan in motion that begged not to be aborted so it was on to...

Barney's Beanery
8447 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, California
Established 1920

PERFECT!  This is a great place, with great tradition that I had often heard about but had never frequented.  It was right on my way home from "delivering the package" so I just had to give it a shot.

I was greeted by a rather unassuming store front...

... but he inside was a visual feast!

This was at one time the end of the famous U.S. Route 66 thus the miriad of old out-of-state license plates all over the walls.  Being nearly 90 years old and located in West Hollywood means that MANY famous entertainers have dined here over the decades.  My personal favorites were Jim Morrison of "The Doors" and Janis Joplin.  They actually have an old table top bolted to the ceiling that Janis Joplin carvede heer name into one, I'm sure, very sober evening.

Barney's Signature Dish
Chili, Beans and Cheese

It was SO GOOD!  You can tell just by the hint of spillage at the bowl's edge.

Again, as Jason Johnson says, "We need to be tourists in our own towns!"

I also had a slice of their incredible apple pie ala mode.  The pie was fantastic but I really believe that the key to this dessert was the richness of the ice cream.  Barney's did not disappoint me in any way, shape or fashion!

As is my want in these situations, I washed down this caloric orgy with a refreshing Diet Coke.

The Travel Channel's Food Paradise website listed above lists a lot of great places to eat all over the United States.  Here are the 15 that I've been to and, of course, highly recommend to you:

Finn McCool's, Santa Monica
Lawry's Prime Rib, Beverly Hills
Baby Blues BBQ, Venice (also on Guy Fieri's list!)
Phillipe the Original French Dip Sandwich, Los Angeles
Pea Soup Andersen's, Buellton
Fair Oaks Pharmacy, Pasadena
Randy's Donuts, Inglewood
Bob's Big Boy, Burbank
California Pizza Kitchen, California and WAY beyond

The Rendezvous BBQ, Memphis, Tennessee
Dyer's Burgers, Memphis, Tennessee
The Stage Deli, New York, New York
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Waterbury, Vermont
Cafe' Du Monde, New Orleand, Louisiana
The Varsity, Atlanta, Georgia



J TWICE said...

George - Thanks for definitively proving that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! It seems you've really taken your culinary game to the next level for 2009... I can only imagine what new hidden gems Guy will have you finding in Sicily!

Which brings me to my main question: IS GUY FIERI the RICK STEVES of FOOD? You love this "guy"!

Side note: if you go to his personal website ( he lists a whole bunch of "Guy-isms" that sound a little, dare I say, "Dale MacMillanish" -- for example:

1. Off the HOOK!
2. Everybody in the pool!
3. It's on like Donkey Kong

I can only think that he was the original inventor of the now famous, "BAMMM!!!"

Ciao from Vegas,

J. Twice

George said...

Guy is "THE Guy"!