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The Restaurant Guide 2003

Far Out

June 22, 2003|S. Irene Virbila

The same city that gave you a restaurant shaped like a derby continues to dream up the ofbeat and the weird. Only in L.A. can you order a martini and a manicure while sitting under defunct chrome hair dryers at Hollywood's Beauty Bar. Around the corner, at Star Shoes, you can sip a cocktail while trying on vintage LaRose shoes.

And what about Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas? After driving up a twisting mountain road only to arrive in what feels like the middle of nowhere, what do you find? Valet parking. In the woods. Fortunately, the food is very much worth the drive.

Langer's, the hoary MacArthur Park deli, offers a unique service: Curbside delivery, different from drive-in or drive-through. This was to encourage patrons to stop by for its gloriously messy pastrami sandwiches despite a deteriorating neighborhood, which has much improved. The Red Line now stops practically at its door, but Langer's hasn't abandoned the practice.

As for architectural follies, we can and do cite Tail O' the Pup, the stand that looks like a giant hot dog, though the fascination wears off after about two minutes. In Beverly Hills there's Fred Eric's Airstream Diner, which looks like a travel trailer trapped under a building. Snow White's dwarf figurines have been turned into stools. Beverly Hills doesn't know what to make of it.--S.I.V.

Crepe in the Grip is an odd name, with an even odder scene--an Asian-style youth paradise in a bright Pokemon-type color setting, with one TV playing music videos and another showing a video game. Just about everything comes wrapped in a crepe, whether you're ordering teriyaki beef or ice cream.--Charles Perry

Airstream Diner, 9601 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 550-8883. Beauty Bar, 1638 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 464-7676. Crepe in the Grip, 7 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra; (626) 284-1237. Langer's Deli, 704 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles; (213) 483-8050. Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas; (818) 222-3888. Star Shoes, 6364 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 462-7827. Tail O' the Pup, 329 N. San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 652-4517.

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