As soon as your eyes adjust to the Buggy Whip's dark foyer, you'll make out a group of photographs lining the wall. One shows Paul Darricarrere, owner of this Westchester stalwart, with two old-time Los Angeles restaurateurs: Raymond Andrieux of the Tower and Alexander Perino of Perino's, which was one of the city's premier restaurants from the '30s to the '60s.
The Buggy Whip is from the old school too. It opened in 1953--a dinosaur by Los Angeles restaurant standards. Judging from its popularity, though, it won't become extinct for ages to come, and the reasons are clearly not lost on Darricarrere, who took over the Buggy Whip in 1977. He has carefully maintained the restaurant's atmosphere: fresh flowers, soft lighting, red leather booths, caricatures from the '20s magazine Vanity Fair on the walls.
Darricarrere owns a large fish-importing business, so there is always a good selection of fresh fish. As an appetizer, you can get Florida stone crab claws ($14.95 for two), accompanied by a horseradish-jolted mustard sauce.
Main course fish specials usually include broiled Atlantic salmon ($16.95) and occasionally Chilean sea bass ($16.95) steamed in foil with tomatoes, onions and ginger. Meat lovers can order a broiled 20-ounce Delmonico steak ($21.95) or veal Williamsburg ($18.95), sauteed slices of milk-fed veal topped with avocado and tomato.
Lunch offerings include large sea scallops sauteed in garlic butter ($10.95) and breast of chicken broiled with lime and cilantro ($8.95). From 5 to 7 p.m., $9.95 twilight dinners are offered with selections such as broiled mahi-mahi with lemon butter and beef tenderloin strips stroganoff.
\o7 The Buggy Whip is at 7420 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles. 645-7131. Open Monday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.\f7