Musso & Frank Salon

Time travel back for a literary dinner and posh hobnobbing.

The last time we called upon Musso & Frank Grill we surreptitiously checked our phone beneath the table, just once or twice, to see why our pal was late.

And we thought, "stop that." And then we thought, "if this were 1938, we'd be fully engaged in an interesting conversation, probably about books."

But, every once and awhile, it is possible to time travel back at Musso's, to a day where fabulous conversation ruled and modern conveniences didn't suck all of our attention. And, good news: A bit of time-travelery will be happening on Monday, Jan. 23 at the LAVA Salon.

What is this? In short, fabulous people gussy up and gather at Musso's to discuss books and ideas and history and such. Literary stalwarts like Faulkner, Fante, and Hammett used to sup and sip at Hollywood's oldest dining establishment, and their names are sure to be summoned. A three-course dinner is planned, too, for the ticket price of a hundred bucks. (Tying one or two on, dear reveler, will be extra, so stash some beverage cash.)

The courses, by the way, will represent "historic fare of the restaurant." So think Cream of Tomato soup and Diplomat Pudding. Just typing the words "Diplomat Pudding" made us feel 3% more elegant.

We're swoony over the LAVA Salon for several reasons. One? Dan Fante, John Fante's son, will be in the house chatting about his literary lion of a dad. And another reason? Musso & Frank is typically closed on a Monday night. Meaning? You and your dressy cohorts get to hang from the chandeliers without being fussed at by other diners ("hang from the chandeliers" in the proverbial sense, of course).

And Musso's? We vow to stow the phone forever, late friend or not. You're so lovely and 1925. We want to live up to all of that class when we're there. The mod cons can wait. And speaking of modern conveniences, Charlie Chaplin used to love booth #1 in the restaurant's Old Room. What would the maker of "Modern Times" have thought of our own?

Okay, LAVA Salon, discuss that one.

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