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LA’s Retro Favorite Mel’s Diner Returns to Sunset Friday With a Wild 40-Cent Burger Deal

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Plus, a new Trejo’s Tacos, Brad Johnson’s hospitality podcast, and glazed brisket for Purim

Mel’s Drive-In sign glows with neon at night.
A neon sign for a Mel’s
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.

The iconic Mel’s Diner on Sunset is reopening on Friday, February 26, and to celebrate the owners are rolling back the prices to 1947 levels, at least for the burgers. That means the retro diner will be serving up 40-cent smash burgers from noon to 4 p.m. for whoever shows up (wearing a mask and socially distancing, of course), though the burgers themselves are limited to one per person. On Saturday, expect a classic carhop experience, complete with servers on roller skates.

In other news:

  • John Kelly Chocolates has a new location. The Hollywood chocolatier has landed at 9523 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills, in the former Bo Nuage space, selling upscale chocolate boxes and more.
  • A dueling piano bar is set for Downtown LA, reports WhatNow Los Angeles. The large subterranean lounge area at 215 W. 6th Street is over 6,000 square feet, and is capable of holding over 350 people inside at once. There’s no timetable for opening jus yet, so don’t expect to be rocking out in the coming months (obviously).
  • The LA Times finds a lot to love about the food at Macheen, the ongoing pop-up operating out of Milpa Grille in Boyle Heights. Co-critic Bill Addison particularly loves the baseline compositions for the team’s various tacos, calling them all “complex, saucy, deeply considered richness with keen blasts of acid for contrast.”
  • Trejo’s Tacos is coming to 316 Santa Monica Boulevard in the city of Santa Monica, says Toddrickallen. Signage is already up for the expanding brand.
  • Longtime restaurateur Brad Johnson has a new podcast called Corner Table, with a focus on discussing the finer points of dining and hospitality in Los Angeles and beyond. The first episode debuts tomorrow.
  • Freedman’s is doing a family-style pick-up dinner for Purim this weekend, with options from glazed brisket or matzo lasagna sesame seeded challah bread with honey butter. Check out the options below, and order on Tock.