If you’ve been around Southern California for a few decades, or even if you just wish you’d been around, you’re not going to want to miss the new KCET special Things That Aren’t Here Anymore 3 (the first two parts were made years ago and were so popular that they still run regularly). It’s apparently a sign that I’ve reached geezerhood to say that I was interviewed for the show (as the editor of EAT: Los Angeles), to talk about some of the long-gone eating places that were big when I was growing up in Los Angeles. I talked with producer Saul Gonzalez about Ship’s (my high school friends and I hung out at the Westwood one), Van de Kamp’s (the bakery and restaurant in Glassell Park) and the Espresso Bar, an early-’80s hangout in Old Pasadena, before it was named “Old” and got all gentrified. I hear the only one that made the cut for this show was C.C. Brown’s, the most beloved of all my childhood destinations and home to the greatest hot fudge sundaes the world will ever know. (As for the other places I used to love, they might make future Things That Aren’t Here Anymore shows.)
The show also takes viewers back to Chasen’s, Tail o the Pup (which he and his cameraman visited in storage), Ben Frank’s, the sushi at Orange County’s Japanese Village and Deer Park, and Tiny Naylor’s. Besides restaurants, Things That Aren’t Here Anymore looks at lost venues from L.A.’s music scene, as well as family amusement parks from the ’60s and ’70s.
Check it out on Thursday night at 8 p.m. on KCET, L.A.’s great PBS station. It’s narrated by Patt Morrison, and it’ll be a lot of fun.