To be fair, I was warned by my dining companion that people do NOT go to Musso & Frank for the food. But at the prices they charge I was left wondering why, oh why, couldn't they hire a chef that could make decent food. I'm not asking for great food, I'm not asking for good value for the money, just something that didn't leave me feeling fleeced.
The 5* service balances out the 2* food, our red coat clad waiter was excellent and couldn't have been nicer, I'm guessing that most of them have been serving here for a decade or two. The ambiance is wonderful, old time Hollywood, like the wait staff, the decor doesn't appear to have been changed for decades. During the week at lunchtime there was hardly anyone in the restaurant, in fact our 1st server came up mid lunch and said they were sending him home for lack of business. Maybe on the weekend or for dinner the food might be better but I'm certainly not going to risk another bad meal.
Favorite Dish: Not wanting to drop $$$ for a mediocre steak or other big ticket item, I ordered a reuben sandwich, $17 at lunchtime. The sandwich arrives with the thinnest layer of meat I've ever seen on a sandwich, this is no Carnegie Deli (NYC) sandwich or Manny's (Chicago) which you couldn't even contemplate finishing. I finally took 1/2 the bread off and doubled up the meat, still not enough. Tiny soft drinks without refills are $3.50! From other reviews it seems that they are known for some dishes such as fettucine alfredo and they are reported to have the best martini in LA.
Last stop of the day is also the oldest; Musso and Frank Grill. Located on Hollywood Blvd., this eatery has been around since 1919. Former hangout of great writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and favorite refectory of Charlie Chaplin and Rudolf Valentino. The menu keeps the old school charm and ambiance with its dressy red coated waiters, dark mood lighting, and open counter dining. Known for its steaks, Welsh rabbit, and (on Tuesdays) Corned Beef and Cabbage. Locals recommend that try the best martini in town, possibly at the back bar while watching the waiters use the old fashioned cash register and run orders to the lively tables. Stop by the front counter and share a laugh or two (and magic tricks!) with Manny Felix, on staff for 40 years at the grill, complete with all the charm and exhilaration in the world. The blast from the past is refreshing and elating; as the nostalgia of Old Hollywood is remembered and appreciated by the old and young alike.
Musso & Frank's is a Hollywood landmark which was opened 1924. In its heyday it was a popular destination for Hollywood's elite, including movie stars, film directors and producers and the great writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner. The waiters can point out their favorite booths and tell stories about which books were partially written here.
Legend has it that Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks once raced each other down Hollywood Boulevard on horseback, the loser having to pick up the dinner tab at Musso & Frank's. If you are interested in Hollywood History, this is a great place to have a meal.
Musso & Frank's is old school: dark and filled with red leather padded booths. The menu hasn't changed in years: they still serve some of the best martinis and steaks in town.
Favorite Dish: Musso & Frank serves old-fashioned American/Continental food. The menu definitely has the flavor of years gone by: Corn beef and cabbage (on Tuesdays), shrimp cocktails, Welsh rarebit and jellied consommé and chicken pot pie (on Thursdays). Steaks are always good here and I like the fish and chips a lot too.