Restaurant Haunts: The Gourmet Ghosts of LA

A ghouly guide details some 40 local eateries that come with a side of eerie.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    The Hollywood Roosevelt's spookier sightings are referenced in "Gourmet Ghosts," James Bartlett's book detailing the haunted eateries and inns of Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Houses are the typical places we think of being haunted, especially creepy old castles packed with cobwebs, old organs, creepy portraits, and dread.

    But the realm of the undead extends to all corners, legend has it, including those slightly newer places where we go out to grub down.

    Southern California is home to a number of historic restaurants, many of which come with their own stories and sightings, sightings that have more to do with the supernatural than supper.

    Author James Bartlett's "Gourmet Ghosts" delves into some 40 local diners, taverns, posh dining rooms, and inns, places that all have a single spooky thing in common: They're not only favored by the living but by afterlifers, too.

    You can probably guess a few of the eerier entries. The Hollywood Roosevelt made the roster, of course -- actor Montgomery Clift has been spied here and there around the vintage hotel -- as did the Magic Castle.

    Of course, the Magic Castle's beloved wraith is pretty front-and-center, but we'll spoil no more of that.

    Mr. Bartlett covers a wide swath of the city in his tale-telling, so downtowners and Beverly Hillians alike will find spots they know well. "Gourmet Ghosts" also gives foodies a peek inside some of our region's long-time-iest go-outs, meaning that a destination's feel, color, and mood get some love, too, in addition to its celebrated spirit. Or spirits, oftentimes.

    Other ghostly grub spots mentioned include the Figueroa Hotel, Boardner's, and Yamashiro. Excuse us while we pause to summon three more delighted squeals: eek, eek, and eek.

    Surely there are foodies out there who are also phantom fans. Can you visit all the places mentioned in a single year? And what will you see?