Thursday, September 28, 2006

La Palma Chicken Pie Shop

La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, Anaheim, CA.

That plate of food might look a little unappetizing, but I assure you, it was the best chicken pot pie I've ever eaten in my life. I licked my plate clean. For $6.20, I got a salad, a cup of delicious chicken noodle soup, that pot pie with mashed potatoes, and a slice of boysenberry pie. Not only did I leave stuffed and satisfied, delighted by a waitress who called me "dear" and other charming colloquialisms, but I got a couple beautiful snapshops of some gorgeous Googie signage. There was a giant iron piece of the chicken on the street sign mounted on a wall inside, but it seemed a little rude of me to just start snapping photos. Everyone was cordial, despite my wild appearance (I hardly fit in with the mostly-senior crowd), and I must reiterate the deliciousness of the food.

Stop by this place for a great deal, great food, warm service, and a full belly.

It's posts like these that make me want to become a food blogger too!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Seventh Day Adventist Church, Orange, CA.

The whole building is made out of flagcrete. They have an outdoor courtyard filled with desert sand and stonework and desert plants. Low-lying roofs with flat overhangs held up by minimal metal beams. Oh, and that courtyard? It's in-between two magnificent A-frame roofs! The whole thing is incredible. Not sure when it was built. I was invited by a parishioner to speak with the pastor, but it all seemed a little eerie at 5 pm on a Tuesday, so I backed out and climbed back into my car. But what a fun-looking church!

Orange Seventh-Day Adventist Church
1310 E Walnut Ave
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 538-1809

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies, Los Alamitos (Rossmoor), CA.

Some of the neatest and subtlest Googie I've seen in a while. Parts of the sign have been slightly altered, but I really doubt a business opened any time after 1980 would choose to build a big road-pulling sign like this! And although the building is brick, there's so many beautiful horizontal and vertical lines. And look at those protruding pieces, that serve no purpose other than to be neat! That neon sign? Possibly original, otherwise what a backwards-thinking business owner. ( You know, "Let's build this place in a slightly controversial [because of the racial stereotyping, a la Sambo's] and unpopular style from the '50's and '60's" ) Don't know when this place was originally built.

Fortune Cookies
11151 Los Alamitos Blvd.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
(562) 493-0058

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chapman Car Wash

Chapman Car Wash, Garden Grove, CA.

A picture of each side of the sign. The west side of the sign has been readapted as a pigeon's coop-- it's covered in their mess and filled with them in all the cracks. The east, darker side of the sign is much cleaner (but harder to see since the sun was right behind it). Imagine whether those pylons on the top of the sign used to keep moving up up up-- maybe they had a couple sputniks or starbursts on top. It's hard with these old signs to tell what exactly has been changed. Like, for example, the "car wash" font on this sign is most likely not original-- it's too plain for a sign with so many shapes!

Chapman Car Wash
9732 Chapman Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92841

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Earl's Home Cookin'

Earl's Home Cookin', Orange, CA.

Open 25 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1970, Earl's Home Cookin' is an Orange County stadard. Poor service, a diner attitude, and hearty mediocre food are all wrapped inside one sweet little modern building with a slanted overhang roof, flagcrete pillars, and formica countertops.

Affordable! A gargantuan top sirloin with a baked potato for only $6.99. A "#86" combo-- 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, 2 pancakes, for $3.49! The perfect late-night eatery when everything else is closed in OC after 10 pm. A little slice of the good ol' days is still available in the heart of Orange County. And the coffee ain't bad either!

Earl's Home Cookin'
807 N. Tustin St.
Orange, CA 92867

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thrifty Car Sales

Thrifty Car Sales (Harbor Motors), Costa Mesa, CA.

What a fun roof! But it's so dirty. They should hose that off.

Thrifty Car Sales
2640 B Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hi-Crest Liquor

Hi-Crest Liquor and Junior Market, Garden Grove, CA.

This roof's got quite the zig-zag on it! And flagcrete walls that wrap all the way around the building!

Hi-Crest Liquor and Junior Market
12055 Chapman Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sky Palm Motel

Sky Palm Motel, Orange, CA.

An old run-down motel in the middle of Orange. Volcano rock walls. Palm trees. The Mid-Century Modern geometric shapes on the front of the motel. That A-frame roof. The geometric shapes all over the staircases. The light fixtures under that A-frame, which are hard too see, but so delightful. But most of all, that beautiful neon sign.

The lights have been removed on the "NO" part of the "NO VACANCY" sign. This place is a run-down heap. But so, so Googie!

Sky Palm Motel/Sky Palm International Lodge
210 N Tustin St.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 639-6602

Monday, September 04, 2006

Linbrook Bowl

Linbrook Bowl, Anaheim, CA.

As good ol' Googie bowling alleys featuring 40 lanes shut down all over California, at least some outstanding examples remain. Linbrook Bowl, so named because it sits on the intersection of Lincoln Ave and Brookhurst in Anaheim, and has operated as a family-owned business since 1958.

The marquee is fantastic! The typography on the Coffee Shop sign-- to die for! That welcome sign? So Mid-Century! All the flagcrete? Phenomenal!

The designers here had something right-- what went wrong between then and now?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Parasol

The Parasol, Seal Beach (Rossmoor), CA.

There is some very exciting news afoot in the Googie community, as we speak! According to several good sources, it is confirmed that the iconic Parasol restaurant in Rossmoor/Seal Beach will be re-opening in 2007 as Orange County's first Mel's Drive-In!

Several changes have happened with the plans for The Parasol. Initially, the building was slated for demolition, along with Rossmoor Bowl and other locations in the shopping center. A group of upset members of the community banded together and called themselves "The Friends of the Parasol," and initiated a petition (which garnered over 10,000 signatures) to prevent the closure of the restaurant, which was popular with the nearby Leisure World retirement community. Once every other building in the center was leveled, it was clear that the Parasol would, in fact, be saved and renovated.

For about 6 weeks, the plan seemed solid, until a bit of news was released in late May. Roy Hall, the restaurant's operator, had been unable to reach an agreement on lease terms with Century National Properties, the landlord of the property, and so left the project. This put a bit of a damper on the situation. Even if the restaurant was restored, it would be done without many of it's most famous elements-- the parasol-shaped chandeliers and lamps.

But Century National Properties is still spending $1.5 million to renovate this little restaurant, which opened in 1967.

Mel's Drive-In is a perfect company to take over as tenant of this venerated Googie landmark. Operating since 1947, Mel's has operated out of some of the most outlandish Googie buildings. Featured in Lucas' American Graffiti, and functioning in Universal theme parks worldwide, the noteriety of the Mel's name, as well as their attention to the history of the building, should spell good news for the community. Rossmoor, a community with the highest gross income of any area in North Orange County, can now have their cake (keeping an old establishment with a long history), and eat it too ( a brand-new shopping center). The news was announced on August 31, 2006 in the OC Register. [link]

Thank you, Seal Beach, Century National Properties, and Mel's Drive-In for proving that Googie's got some worth, and can still be topical to our society today!

Here are several more links with pictures and information about The Parasol, for those interested:

  • Article in OC Weekly w/ interior photo, Aug 22, 2002. [link]
  • Article in OC Register about closure, Mar 15, 2006. [link]
  • Article in OC Register about closure, Mar 14, 2006. [link]
  • Article in Yahoo! Finance about new tenant (Mel's), Aug 31, 2006. [link]

The Parasol Restaurant
12241 Seal Beach Blvd.
Seal Beach, CA 90740