Naming the beloved landmarks of Los Angeles, those buildings that are recognizable at first glance, is an exercise in history, nostalgia, and memory for many Southern Californians.
And Hop Louie, the sunny-lemony pagoda-tall structure that anchors the Historic Chinatown Central Plaza would be at the top of numerous local landmark lists, both for its distinctive design and for its long history of serving hearty staples like sweet and sour pork and Mongolian beef.
So when word recently arrived on the Photos of LA Facebook group just after mid-August 2016 that Hop Louie would close its door, fans began to plan final dinners at the 75-year-old eatery. (Further word from LAist says the restaurant will not be in business as of September.) (Further further word is that the bar will remain open, via KPCC.)
What to do, where to go and what to see
The savory special-serving spot has been a longtime go-to for slide-collecting, history-loving entertainer Charles Phoenix. Hop Louie has been featured before on his Downtown Disneyland tour, and Mr. Phoenix can't let it go without one more visit.
In that spirit, he's inviting all Hop Louie buffs down to the Chinatown destination on Monday, Aug. 29 for a no-host dinner beginning at 5 o'clock. The end hour of the event is a question mark, so swing by, even if it is a bit later in the evening, to see if Mr. Phoenix or his fans are still in the house, opening a few more fortune cookies.
You'll just need to "pay for your dinner and drinks" at this casual, quickly-put-together affair, one that is both about communing at a Los Angeles classic and communing with those who adore the vintage restaurants of our town.
And aren't quite ready to see them go. Swing by Mr. Phoenix's Facebook for the details on the Golden Pagoda gathering.