June 25, 2007

A Ten-Mile Drive to the Recent Past

Can't Stop the Wedding
REMEMBER WHEN SUSHI and wine bars first became popular? When shops like Merle Norman Cosmetics and Faye's Intimate Apparel populated our small-town centers?

It's not too late to return to those days. All you need to do is drive 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. And never mind the De Lorean.

Montrose claims to be an unincorporated area in of Los Angeles County, between Glendale and La Canada Flintridge.

But really Montrose is somewhere between Bush 41 and Bush 43. Between Spaghetti Factory and Cheesecake Factory.

For the most peaceful transition from 2007 California to 1995 Colorado, take Chevy Chase Drive north through the winding hills of Glendale.

Turn left at Descanso Drive, passing Descanso Gardens. Take a moment. Ask yourself, what the hell is this Descanso Gardens place? Why haven't I heard of this?

Then continue, left on Verdugo Blvd., under the 2, and a few more blocks into a recent past only imagined by "Old School" and "CHiPs" location scouts.

Breathe deep. Try the sushi place. This could catch on! Or just play it safe at Rocky Cola Cafe. Ah, just like that blue-highway vacation in junior high. Only not as bad as you remember.


katiesmurphy said...

I love Montrose. Parts of it have a real 50's mid-America feel too. The toy store, Tom's Toys, is my favorite in LA. The children's book store is excellent too. I've been meaning to pop in the bowling alley -- it has a 50's look to it. And on Sunday mornings they have a huge farmers' market, craft fair, flea market deal on Honolulu (where the main drag of shops is) with a bunch of bouncy stuff and play stuff for kids, live music, good fun. I took my mom there on a visit once and she said she didn't realize places like Montrose still existed, let alone in the LA area.

Miles said...

It also has a great barbeque joint - Zekes!

Will Campbell... said...

For a step back to an I Like Ike timeframe get yourself inside the Montrose Bowl.

If the Black Cow Cafe is still there on Honolulu I'd say add that to your list of Montrose dos.

AVN said...

Quartz City has a yummy write-up of Montrose too.

Mike said...

Montrose rocks -- and believe it or not, most of it (including Honolulu Ave.) actually a part of Glendale. Getting into brunch is tough on Sundays -- except at Zeke's, which just started doing a southern fried style brunch, and it's awesome!