Monday, May 09, 2011

"Classic Locations"

For decades, Chasen's chili warmed the hearts and stomachs of Hollywood's luminaries. In fact, Elizabeth Taylor had orders of the restaurant's signature dish flown to the set while making "Cleopatra" in Rome in 1962. Ronald Reagan proposed to then-actress Nancy Davis in a booth there. Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and F. Scott Fitzgerald were among the glittering customers.

Vaudevillian Dave Chasen opened the West Hollywood eatery, at 9039 Beverly Blvd., in December 1936 on the suggestion of his good friend, Oscar-winning director Frank Capra. The documentary "Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's" was filmed there before it closed in 1995. Bristol Farms is now at the location. The facing wall along Beverly Boulevard is the only part of the original building remaining.

Above, Elizabeth Taylor and husband Eddie Fisher dine out at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles in 1959. (Los Angeles Times)

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