One of the great advantages of living in Los Angeles is the ability to go out to find cuisine of just about any type. For the last thirty years, the library has helped to document the history of Los Angeles cuisine through our historic menu collection. For years, it was only available to view through appointment, but anyone can view it from the comfort of their own computer.
The oldest original menu from a Los Angeles restaurant is (as best we can tell as some don’t have dates on them) is from 1875 for a banquet at Don Mateo Keller’s on Alameda. The menu for this rather large feast had “maccaroni and cheese” as one of the entrees along with curried pig’s feet. It’s unclear whether you got both or you had to choose. Menu Cover | Inside Page
Although you most certainly could buy sushi earlier than 1980 if you knew where to look, our oldest menu with sushi on it is this one from a restaurant called Amagi, which was on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Inside Page
But not every menu is from a place that would break the bank or just be for the rich and famous. This menu from the 1950s for a barbecue restaurant that had locations in Bell and South Gate called Don’s Bar-B-Q Pit featured an extremely happy looking pig (that wore human clothes) heading to the restaurant. It is unsure if he was heading for a meal or TO BE the meal. Menu Cover | Inside Page 1 | Inside Page 2