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Cool Culinaria: prints of vintage menus and cocktail art

December 27, 2012|By S. Irene Virbila
  • Luncheon menu cover from L.A.'s iconic Brown Derby with Hollywood and Vine picked out in red.
Luncheon menu cover from L.A.'s iconic Brown Derby with Hollywood… (Cool Culinaria and the Brown…)

The online shop Cool Culinaria specializes in “vintage menu art rescued from obscurity and reimagined as posters." A 13-by-19-inch Giclee print of the Brown Derby luncheon menu cover costs $28 unframed, $145 framed.

They’ve got them in larger sizes, too, 16-by-20 for $45 and 20-by-24, $52, both unframed. The Derby's dinner menu is available, too, but I love the luncheon version with Hollywood and Vine picked out in red. You also get a copy of the interior menu listing the Derby’s famous dishes, such as shrimp Creole, veal paprika — and Cobb salad.

Only a few other L.A. restaurants are featured here -- Sugie’s Original Tropics (1946), McDonnell’s Drive-In (1940s) and the Broken Drum in Santa Monica (1940s). But you can find menus from New York, Vegas, Chicago and more.

The best selection, though, is devoted to reproductions of vintage cocktail menu covers from just after Prohibition through the 1960s. The “Shaken & Stirred” collection has some real beauties. I love the cover for La Cucaracha Cocktail Club in Mexico, “famous the world over,” and with “English speaking personnel.”

The menu covers for Piccadilly Hotel in London from the 1950s and the New Monteleone Hotel Cocktail Lounge in New Orleans from 1940 are classics. Most prints run $28 to $52.

To get a heads up on what's new, follow Cool Culinaria’s blog.

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Twitter.com/sirenevirbila

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