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Time Travel Back to Hollywood’s Old Theme Restaurant Days, and More A.M. Intel

Plus Dry River Brewing gets its taproom, while famous Oxwood Inn closes

The old Jail Cafe
LA Public Library
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

LA’s old oddities

Atlas Obscura spent some time traveling down the nostalgia past in digging up old restaurant concepts from days gone by. Los Angeles at one time was rife with themed restaurants that played to all types of diners, including those with an odd affinity for enjoying the appeal of a dungeon or jail with their steak.

Other notable experiential dining options included pirates and various brazen theatrics, back when dinner and a show meant exactly that. Today, most of those themed restaurants have given way to shared plates and produce-driven dinners, but there are some that still remain beyond the Medieval Times’s of the world. Sadly the Jail Cafe, which at its height boasted three different locations is long gone — but old-timers can still find photos of the place over at Atlas Obscura.

Z Pastabar grows and grows

Looks like some massive expansion is in the works for Z Pastabar, a fast casual noodle option that first popped up at the Westside Pavilion but is now promising on their website locations at malls across the county. There’s the Del Amo Fashion Center, Santa Monica Place, the Westfield Century City, and loads more listed.

More Downtown ramen

Don’t look now but there’s more ramen in Downtown, with the opening of Hakata Ikkousha. The local chain already has outlets elsewhere in Southern California (including Costa Mesa and Torrance), but is now up and running — and doing buy one, get one free tonkotsu ramen — at 368 E. 2nd Street. Open 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (closed from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

Kona Sushi to El Segundo

More seafood hits El Segundo too, this time under the name Kona Sushi. Toddrickallen says the place popped up off an ABC license at 2321 Rosecrans Ave., inside a massive office building.

It’s taproom time

Dry River Brewing is finally looking to open their taproom, with an early party slated for July 1. It’ll be open only the first and third weekend of every month to start, but the big first beer party is going to be a doozy. Tickets are on sale now, with guaranteed pours and other fun details.

Goodbye Oxwood Inn

The Oxwood Inn in Van Nuys is legendary in some circles. The place has been quietly serving the lesbian bar community for decades, says LA Magazine, but officially closed its doors after a 45-year run.

The full Fairfax

Check out Toothpix’s latest epic video, this one a three-parter featuring puppetized versions of the Cofax team, Jon & Vinny, and a surprise final special guest. It’s a Fairfax throwdown for the ages.