Anna's Pico Blvd. and Kelton, West Los Angeles.
And so here I am, 0400 Christmas morning. Fully awake, hungry, and not heading-out for early morning breakfast at an all-night eatery. All those reliable cooks and servers are reliably tucked in with family anticipating Santa’s annual return. Yes, as it should be, family time. And yesterday, even Christmas-Eve, some restaurants were closed with a few announcing closed until after New Year’s. Yes, as it should be, family time. Now, while appreciating all those cooking and serving me each day of 2019, memories of every such place frequented over my years from Main Street of my hometown-Watsonville California, all places and people in between to Austin’s Lake Austin Boulevard and Georgetown’s Austin Avenue. Thanks to the Watonville Main Street’s Miramar-famous classic home-cooking and for fresh abalone steaks the size and quality you can’t find today. Thanks to Westwood Blvd’s Junior’s and Wilshire Blvd’s Izzy’s Jewish Deli’s home to Bagels, Lox, Corned Beef, Kasha and Fresh Rye Bread. Thanks to Pico Blvd’s The Apple Pan famous for those Hickory Burgers, Fries, Pies and entertaining service. Thanks to Mag’s Grilled Bagels and Monument Café’s breakfast pork chops.
Special thanks to Pico Blvd’s Anna’s Italian long gone but forever remembered. Enter Anna’s, Tony be welcoming and immediately ushering your group into an increasing olfactory gradient of piping hot garlic bread, baked Mostaccioli Siciliana and pizza. Instantly feeling Pavolovian, seating in one of three unique rooms depended on how you might blend with the décor and decorum. Were you a young family, a casual date, a party or a serious date? Having been lucky to experience my share of great American and European eateries, Anna’s, was another world, fantastic, unassuming, nicely paced yet accessibly-priced. Always worth waiting for, if we arrived, we were not leaving with take-out or with an empty stomach. Charlie and his serving colleagues, garbed-in black slacks, red apron and white shirt were institutions. I’ll have Turkey Mazzarino, “oh they don’t have Turkeys in Italy too much trouble” Charlie would say as his reading glasses dropped to his chest. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” explained the décor and ambiance. Red-curtained from the outside world, red walls, Italian art, Italian artifacts with Sinatra or Italian Opera in perfect volume. We always left happy usually after cappuccino and incredibly delicious spumoni. So heartfelt thanks to those serving their best and making us feel welcome like family time.