After two posts on the restaurants of Rossmoor, (Rossmoor Center food here, Rossmoor Village here) we now move “outside the walls” to take a look at the many restaurants of Los Alamitos proper over the years. Again, we didn’t grow up here and know we are missing some eateries (especially the older ones). Let us know what we’re missing.
This one looks at the fine (and even some not so fine) dining on the boulevard. We’ll start up at the north end and make our south. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the cafes of Katella in our next post.
North of Cerritos
Pup and Taco – (corner of Ball and Norwalk) – 3398 Norwalk Blvd. – (1974) Yes, we know this address is not really in Los Al, but it is just north of the high school. This was a favorite of Los Al students at lunchtime and, presumably, the folks in the College Park North and Greenbrook areas.
Sizzler Family Steak House (Sep 1977 – current)
North of Katella
Valentino’s Pizza – 10511 Los Alamitos Blvd. (license pulled in Feb 1992 – – Lee has been very involved with the Los Al community. His annual month-long campaign with Casa Youth Shelter has earned many $$ for that organization.
Casitas de Amigos 10513 Los Alamitos Blvd – (opened as early as 1992
Yogurberry 10525 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (Aug 2007-Sep 2012)
Simms Kansas City BBQ – 10525 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2018 – 2020)
Teofilo Coffee Company – 10525 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Early 2021 –
Engineer Ron Dizon, an avid brewer of Filipino Coffee, had been operating pop-ups for a few years, then decided to take a chance running a brick and mortar operation.
Los Alamitos Donuts – 10531 Los Alamitos Blvd.
Bionico’s – 10533 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2020 – Dec 2020) – This mom and pop fruit wrap business opened during the second year of the pandemic but could only go for about six months before closing its doors.
Subway – 10535 Los Alamitos Blvd – one of two owned by Rahul Patel in Los Alamitos (the other is on Katella). Rahul sold this particular location around 2020.
El Pollo Loco – (June 1995-current) – technically the address is 3502 Cerritos but its corner location and the fact that more people enter the property from the boulevard almost force us to include on the boulevard list.
Louie’s Garden (10542 Los Alamitos Blvd.) – An October 1970 LB paper noted that “Mr. and Mrs. Wing Louie had spent $50,000 to remodel a former Topper’s restaurant to open a luxurious Cantonese Chinese luncheon and dinner house. “
The Happy Buddha – 10542 Los Alamitos Blvd. By August 1984 (but could have been much earlier) – this place was now serving Szechuwan and (Peking) Mandarin style food.
Taco Surf – 10542 Los Alamitos Blvd (March 2000 – current)
Los Alamitos Beverage – 10601 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (open by 1950 – Dick Fulford and his wife __ opened this place up after he got out of the service after WWII. He was very active for years in Los Alamitos Business community.
Tubby’s Liquors – 10601 Los Alamitos Blvd. – Per Jamie Lumm (who worked there while in school) on Facebook: The owner was Harold (Tubby) Jacobson. He and his wife Ina Lee were from Ida Grove Iowa and they lived in Rossmoor. He believed he was the owner thru the late 70’s… Some readers report that Tubby also owned either the Rossmoor Gourmet Liquor Store or te Carriage Trade liquor store in the Rossmoor Center.
“we could buy a shitload of penny candy at Tubby’s!”
South of Sausalito
Jabberwocky Java – 10631 Los Alamitos Blvd – (Dec 1995-Jul 2002) Capitalizing on the popular 1990s coffee house trend (Starbuck’s, Perk Place in “Friends“, the coffee house in Frasier, etc.) Hap and Lance LeCompte opened up Jabberwocky Java around 1996. It didn’t hurt that his parents owned the building — in the beautiful Arbor Village. (This row of homes used to be the model homes in a small 1950 tract called Los Alamitos Terrace.) Java encountered difficulty with neighbors whose residences backed up to the alley over the live music after 8pm and high school kids being loud (who’d a thunk it?) while sipping an expresso after school. incorporated as the DeVinci Company, with Steve Rashtabadi as the owner.
DeVinci Company – 10631 Los Alamitos Blvd (
Shenandoah at the Arbor – 10631 Los Alamitos Blvd — (August 2003 – present) This restaurant originally opened up in Naples, by where Russo’s is/now was), then spent a few years on 2nd Street, before settling in on its boulevard location in summer 2003. Great southern cooking from Rick and Jill Wilson (love their chicken fried steak!) the open-air garden setting in the back quickly became a favorite. especially for the ladies who lunch and bridal showers, etc.
From Serpentine South – Center Plaza
This used to the location of the old Los Alamitos Sanitarium from 1938 to about 1968. Before that the building served as the housing unit for single Sugar factory workers (1915-1926), and after the factory closed, it served as the meeting house of the local women’s clubs.
Sno-Biggie – 10668 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2013-2016)
Subs and Grub – 10668 (Jan 2017 – current)
Quinn’s Ice Cream & Sweets 10670 Los Alamitos Blvd. An ice cream joint . Tina Crispin, owner.
Papa Joe’s Pizza 10678 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Feb 1998-March 2001) – Owner: In Sung Yoon.
Bonjour Bagel Cafe- 10696 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Dec. 1994 – current
Sango Sushi – 10692 Los Alamitos Boulevard – owned by Akiro Izushima for many years, bought in 2018 by Ken Kim.
Gabrielle & Kristina’s Hot Dogs – 10742 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Aug 1997-1998)
Brew Kitchen Ale House – 10708 Los Alamitos Blvd. (March? 2015-current) Joe Maggiorre had restaurants in his genes. His father opened and ran the popular Andiamo’s for years in the Marketplace. When the Marketplace raised their lease rates, Andiamo’s almost moved into the spot now occupied by Green Street interiors but Judy Klabough signed the lease first. Andiamo then retired. Although he and wife Lindsey lived in Long Beach, Joe worked at many restaurants from Santa Monica to Newport and wanted to do something closer to home. Thus, Brew Kitchen Ale House was born in 2015.
House of Rossmoor delicatessen – 10794 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (listed in 1968 Chamber directory.) (This site is now occupied by McNally’s Electric)
Palm Tree Cafe – 10761 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Open in 1950) George and Florence Watte, operators. George also ran the town garage and auto repair. His family had been in Los Al going back to the early 1900s. And if I’m not mistaken, his uncle or dad had a ranch house (about where Sprouts is now) that was the only residence on the Rossmoor area prior to the tract being built. George and Florence seem to have gotten out of the restaurant business and subsequent owners seem to have attracted a tougher crowd. The Nov. 29, 1956 Enterprise main story told of several shots being fired “just before 1am” by an angry 22-year old Long Beachman at the Palm Tree Cafe. Fortunately, the customers , most “members of a motorcycle group from Los Angeles and Long Beach,” disarmed him.
Robert Leo’s Pantry – 10761 Los Alamitos Blvd . – Seeking some re-branding after the above shooting incident, the Palm Tree Cafe made repairs and adopted a new name. In the last week of December 1956, an ad in the Enterprise announced Robert Leo’s pantry, “all newly remodeled / A FAMILY RESTAURANT open 24 Hours. The management wishes to emphasize that the new restaurant is entirely separate from the Bar Room.”
The new owner was one Max Shayne who apparently led a colorful yet tragic life. A January 24, 1957 Enterprise article revealed that the owner of Robert Leo’s Pantry was a Max Shayne, who also dabbled in the development of a 5-wheel sport car, which he called the bearcat. The October 3, 1957 issue of the Enterprise reported that Shayne, “a 45-year old wealthy businessman,” was found brutally strangled in his car in an industrial area of Compton. He often came to Los Alamitos where his sister-in-law Ottimae Herrema managed the cafe. In November, the paper reported that an insurance company claimed Shayne had committed suicide, and had purchased a life insurance policy just 20 days prior to staging his own death. The company also noted that Shayne had spent time in an Illinois prison, and had falsified information when applying for the policy.
The Sugar Shack – 10761 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (1965- at least 1970) OK, I suppose it’s possible they had some kind of food in there. But mainly, I put it in this list, because no matter what kind of list you put together about this town, a lot of people always say, “And don’t forget the Sugar Shack!” For those who don’t get it, it was a topless bar — totally out of place, but it fell through some legal loopholes and the city couldn’t shut it down. This is now the Farmers Insurance site.
Los Alamitos Inn (DeBruyn’s Cafe) – 10791 Los Alamitos Blvd. (1950s-1968) This cafe had a storied career in Los Alamitos — on multiple sites and multiple streets. Originally it was the “famous” Felt’s General Store at the corner of Main and Florista (it’s in many of those old photos of Los Al from c1910. By 1923 it had been hauled over to the only paved street in the area — Los Alamitos Blvd (recently renamed from Myrtle Street). For the next 25-30 years, it was known as Watts General Store. Sometime before 1950, restaurateur Dominic DeBruyn (he had been the longtime owner of the Airport Club which became the Boondocks) bought the building and moved it across the street and a little north to its location at 10791 Los Alamitos Blvd. He renamed it The Los Alamitos Inn, but if you go by newspapers of the day, it was more often called DeBruyn’s Cafe. (Maybe that was just the eatery within the Inn.) DeBruyn was very involved in the local Chamber of Commerce, often hosting their meetings. A September 1959 ad read “Cocktails · Restaurant/ Los Alamitos Inn “serving lunches and dinners.” Banquet Room Available. (now the site of Sam Varon’s Los Alamitos Optometry)
A & W Root Beer – 10821 Los Alamitos Blvd. waitresses on roller skates, dispensing root beer floats and Mama, Papa & baby burgers.
Supreme Burgers – 10821 Los Alamitos Blvd. –
Paul’s Place – 10821 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (license obtained 8/2/1988 by Paul & Joyce Nikolau). Even in mid 2020 I can honestly report they are still home to a great mushroom burger and french fries.
Layton’s Blacksmith Shop – 10831 Los Alamitos Blvd – a strange place for a restaurant, but longtime local Rob Stephens says Layton rented out the end of his shop to a lady who had a little eatery with a counter that seated 4-5 persons. By 1956 it had the name of Marie’s Coffee Shop, and it was owned by Marie Slette. Jim Bell, son of Los Alamitos’ first mayor, remembers this place as just selling sodas and other drinks. (it was located where Bixby Plaza Carpet is now)
Hollywood Candy Girls – 10806 Los Alamitos Blvd. – opened in 2017 after a long delay. Had been located as a wholesale headquarters operation across from McAuliffe School. Founded by LAHS grad Jackie Sorkin and she made a name providing candy to weddings and big parties for celbrities. Was featured on morning shows and Food Network etc.
DeWitt’s Market – 10842 Los Alamitos Blvd. In the 1950s Rob Stephens says “it was a great place for penny candy (you could actually get two pieces for a penny in those days)”
Lupe’s Market – (actually a block east of the boulevard at the corner of Pine & Reagan). Also called by many old-timers, the Mexican market. Lupe Torres ran this store out of her house. “Lots of candies for the younger folks and Hispanic / Mexican foods.”
Ameci Pizza – 10847 Los Alamitos Blvd – started by Julia DiBartola in the early 1990s. Once her sons graduated from Los Alamitos HS, she sold out around 2000 and retired. It’s been operated by Walid Assoum since then.
The Donut House – 10851 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (Nov 1994 – current) Negenh Sien Taing, owner.
Louise’s Cafe (1940s-early 50s) – NE corner of Florista & Los Alamitos Blvd. (Now the Vet’s office) Jim Bell said Louise Sleddy served some of the best food in town. She was originally located at Los SAlamitos and Green, but sometime in the mod-to-late 1950s she sold her cafe and moved up the street to this location.
Campbell’s Market – opened soon after World War II. It competed with Long’s Super and DeWitt’s but all were soon put out of business by the even more super (i.e., much larger) Thriftimart, Michael’s/Stater Brothers (where the Boot Barn is now) and the Food Giant down in Rossmoor Center.
Ruth’s Malt Shop — (1950s) “across the street from the school” Laurel School. “buttermilk pancakes, short orders and home made fries. The best hamburgers in town.”
5th Avenue Bagelry (2017-
Penguin’s Place Frozen Yogurt (1996-1999) – 10879 Los Alamitos Blvd.
Lucky Panda – 10883 Los Alamitos Blvd.
Golden Panda Buffet – April 1992 – Dec 2006)
Red Wok – 10883 Los Alamitos Blvd. replaced the Lucky Panda.
redid the fish tank in the dining area that we all missed.
A la Waffle – 10893 Los Alamitos Blvd –
Teriyaki Ichiban – 10893 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Oct 1997- current)
Siamese Express (Mar 1989 – Nov 2001) – Owner: Vira Wongsriphorn.
Maleyna’s 10895 Los Alamitos Blvd.
Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine – 10895 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2011-current)
Borsht Deli – 10897 Los Alamitos Boulevard – opening early 2022
Padnoi Thai – 10894 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2018 –
Burger King – 10931 Los Alamitos Blvd – (closed around 2009)
Preveza – 10931 Los Alamitos Blvd – (closed in Jan 2016) a co-venture between Paul Nikolau and the Chamberlains. Good Mediterranean food but it just never clicked for some reason.
Wahoo’s Fish Tacos – 10931 Los Alamitos Blvd – (opened in August 2018 – )
Don’s Fine Foods – 10951 Los Alamitos Boulevard – per the December 5, 1957 issue of The Enterprise, “A completely new 75-capacity restaurant opened its doors last week at 10951 Los Alamitos Blvd with all new kitchen equipment and fixtures to greet its customers.”
Proprietors Don and Dot Lynch come to Los Alamitos with many years of experience in the restaurant and motel business. They are presently planning a 26-unit moel on Katella besides their restaurant venture.
The couple presently operates Don’s Motel at 4915 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach,. Lynch’s father, Clarence, has opened at least 15 restaurants in the Long Beach area and the younger Lynch has opened several of his own.
The new eating establishment has a stainless steel kitchen, with a pastry table, charcoal broiler and is complete with the latest cooking equipment. Lynch cuts his on meats, especially the charcoal-broiled steaks in which nhe specializes.
There are 20 stools and 14 booths for convenient seating.
Another member of the family helping out in the restaurant is Mrs. Allen Wells, Lynch’s sister, who is helping Mr. and Mrs. Lynch manage the place.
Long’s Market – A Los Al hybrid. The Long family bought the NW corner of Los Al Blvd and Katella where for years they had a trailer park. In 1950 they built the area’s first “supermarket.” They opened their doors in April 1950. The Shell Station is located on much of this site now.
Shell Station – after this was renovated around 2002 there was a mini-mart Taco Bell location in here. Now it’s just the mini-mart.
Los Alamitos Plaza (old Laurel School site)
Technically, the Plaza is just one of three different parcels of the old Laurel School site — and which for some silly legal reason, could not be sold as a single unit. The Plaza technically excludes the other two parcels — the old Bob’s Big Boy (current Shoe City) building site and the Starbucks/Sherwin-Williams building. All the stores in the Plaza have a 10900 address, but different suite numbers.
Creative Cakery – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #101 – Lynda Carraway opened this around 1998 and ran it or about five years.
Beth’s Cake Shoppe & Tea Room – (Mar 2008 – Feb 2009)
Baja Sonora #3 – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #101 – (2014 – current) Baja Sonora was started by Mike Mendelson and his wife at Clark and Spring in Long Beach in the 1990s. The store was very successful, and a former worker arranged to start a second location on Atlantic in Bixby Knolls. This was soon followed by this store in Los Alamitos. This location has never quite caught on — parking was probably a huge issue. In December 2018 it was sold
California Cocina and was converted. The new place serves Mexican and Italian dishes, and they’re pretty darn good.
Abbate’s Italian Market & Deli – (not sure of the exact suite in this center. They were closed by Aug 16, 1980 when their equipment was put up for auction. members of one of the local facebook sites, say the family was from College Park East, and the sandwiches were delicious..
Nick’s Burritos #2 – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #109. (2007 – ) Nick’s Burritos in Seal Beach had one of the best reputations in the area. Hard to believe, but this one has probably surpassed it. It is easily one of the most popular breakfast burrito joints in the Los Alamitos area (and oh yeah, they have some decent sandwiches as well). Lunch times are always crowded, but servbice is fast.
Yogurt Twist (Oct 2008 – Nov 2012) Had a bunch of elementary school age children’s drawings on the wall. Doug Habing, owner.
Papa’s Western BBQ & Saloon & Papa’s Kitchen (April 2000-2005) – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #115 – Delicious Santa Maria style BBQ. Louie Leppo had a thriving catering business in this area for years. Back in the day he frequently did team dinners for the Rams when they trained at LB State. He opened up where Kampai Sushi is now. He soon was in poor health and his wife Lin and son ran it for a few years before giving up the lease.
A Jim Dandy BBQ – a son talked his dad into financing this, but it did not last long. A lethal comination of not so tasty food and a fire put them out of business
Kampai Sushi – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #115 (open since around 2009) – This place has been another popular spot for locals who savor sushi.
Siam Palace – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. #131. Kelly Lo, owner. (Sep 1997-2007)
Thailusion – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd, #131 (2013 – current) – Firefighter Brian Kite and his wife bought this place from her uncle, the previous owner of Siam Palace. Brian did all the woodwork.
Zip’s – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. (next to Kaplans) (there in 1976) M-m-m- good sundaes and banana splits.
Bagel & Beef – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd.(June 1975 – October 1975 ) Kosher style deli. Owner Stanley Black spent over $200,000 converting a few stores into a restaurant. The decor was California and Mediterranean, the walls adorned with colorful prints of Picasso, Miro, Dali, Shagall, etc. Black was a former car salesman with no restaurant experience and the place, while ambitious, was seriously under-financed and quickly went under after three or four months.
Kaplan’s Delicatessen – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Oct. 1975 – 1976)
Abraham Kaplan owned Kaplan’s House of Corned Beef in Long Beach and then opened up a series of restaurants in the area, including one in Cerritos and at the old bagel and Beef. From an Oct. 1975 article in P-T: “Owned by master baker Abraham Kaplan and his general manager is Irwin Smith. I can assure you that Kaplan’s is 1,0000 times better than the bagel and beef kosher-style restaurant which was at that location for a few weeks and then went kaput and broke. Kaplan’s has all the great kosher-style items. including pastrami, chopped liver, breast of turkey, corned beef, whitefish, lox, cream cheese, chicken , roast beef sandwiches, cheeze blintzes, salads and just about everything else. ” [note this site later became Claim Jumper and then Hof’s Hut.]
Claim Jumper 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. (September 197-c1995) – gold rush theme, started by Craig Nickeloff, Los Al class of 1970. Last I heard it had done pretty well for itself. It had moved from Los Alamitos to the Long Beach Marketplace by 1995.
Hof’s Hut – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd. – In 1947 Harold Hoffman opened a hamburger stand in Belmont Shore. Four years later he opened his first Hof’s Hut. Soon there were huts in Los Altos, Marina Pacifica and other spots around the southland. In the 1980s, Harold’s son, Craig Hofman, assumed control of the business continued to expand, and even introduce new concepts, like Lucille’s BBQ & Ribs and later Saints and Second, Spin! Pizza, and Mighty Kitchen.
Lord Henry’s – (October 1972-1991) — 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos, (714) 821-9170. An August 1972 LA Times article notes that construction had begun and a mid-October opening was expected for this “swank $275,000 restaurant and cocktail lounge. ” This was probably the only place in Los Alamitos where you’d get dressed up to go out and eat. At the beginning, Henry Grum was the owner, and The Sensuous Sound was the frequent featured band. By 1975 the general manager was Rusty Bennett, A 1991 article notes that Lord Henry’s was later owned by Alfie Anaxgoras until he sold it in 1988. It specialized in “quality prime ribs, steak, rack of lamb”
Manana’s – 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd (1991 – ) After Lord Henry’s closed, the site was occupied by Manana. An article in the LA Times, Jan. 24, 1991 noted that “The owners were Larry Cano and Fred Le Franc of Vision Restaurants Inc. recently instituted what they term “Mexican food at old-time prices” at their Manana and Salud restaurants. They’ve cut entree prices as much as 50%. Combination plates now range from $2.95 (for a one-entree selection of taco, enchilada, chili relleno, burrito, tostado, taquitos or tamale) to $4.95 (three selections).
Brewster’s – a sports bar opened as early s Jan 1995 by an ambitious, recent Los Al grad, Emil Jorge (LAHS ’87). Advertised as a Southwestern Grill and Sports Bar. After it closed i 1997, Hof’s Hut moved their corporate headquarters into the building and stayed there a couple years before moving to a new headquarters in Signal Hill. Then Keller-Williams Realty occupied the spot.
Bob’s Big Boy – (1971 – building permits were approved in late August 1970. They were operating by 1971. In 1983, Orange County sheriffs made some arrests when bookmakers were observed making bets and echanging money at the Bob’s Big Boy at the corner. A classified legal says the location was ordered close by developers and items would be auctioned off on April 1, 1990.
“Great after dances at Pine Jr. High back in the day. – Cameron Meyers
South of Katella
Louise’s Cafe (1940s-early 50s) – 11080 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Los Alamitos & Green) Jim Bell said Louise Sleddy served some of the best food in town. Sometime in the 1950s she sold her cafe and moved up the street to where the Vet’s office is now at Florista & Los Alamitos Blvd.
B & G Cafe – 11080 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Los Alamitos & Green) (listed in 1968 Chamber Directory) — – Long-time Los Al resident Rob Stevens says Bee & Gee Cafe Shop was at the corner for many years during the 1950’s. The unique history of this building is that it used to be the rental office for Rush Green, who developed City Garden Acres tract in the mid 1920s. Green’s office occupied the bottom floor and the upstairs was a community room, used for dances and meetings.
Ethel’s Coffee Shop – Los Alamitos & Green –
Al Dente Fine Italian Groceries – 11092 Los Alamitos Blvd (corner of Los Alamitos & Green) (opened in 1982-closed c. 2002) – Opened by Sydney Silvi, a passionate cook of Italian foods, who quit her dress-buying job with Bullocks to open this popular store. (per the above article in a 1991 LA Times) Silvi described her store as “somewhat of an ego trip. I sell the ingredients I like to use for cooking. If I don’t like it, I don’t sell it.” “There was also an Italian deli where Enchanted Florist is currently. They had the most delicious fresh sliced meats and cheeses.”
Shakey’s Pizza – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd. (there as early as 1969 when it advertised for part-time help over 21.) Gil Coronado opened this store as early as 1969, and continued to run it for almost 40 years. It was a go-to spot for a couple of generations of youth sports after-practice/game parties, and for adults who needed to unwind over a couple cold beers after the stress and tension of rec league basketball or softball. (Unfortunately, re: the latter, they probably put on more calories after the game than they expended during the game.)
Train Wreck Pizza – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd – when Gil Coronado, long-time owner of Shakey’s, retired to devote more time to rooting for his beloved USC Trojans , he passed on the restaurant to his son, who took a chance on a new concept that unfortunately far too closely resembled its new name.
Los Alamitos Pizza & Brewery – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd. – They advertised but don’t know if this ever opened. (Mar 2011-Aug 2012)
Spin! Neapolitan Pizza – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd – (Oct 2013- 2015) The Hofman Group (Hof’s Hut, Lucille’s BBQ) tried out a new concept that had become the hottest thing in the midwest. It did not do that well here.
Mighty Kitchen – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd (2013-2017) – Another Hofman concept. Food was good but it also did not do well.
Mama’s Comfort Kitchen – 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd -(opened early 2018 – — a second location for the popular Mama’s On 39 restaurant in Huntington Beach. Owners __ Truxthall lived in Cypress, and Robert Corrigan lived in Rossmoor. Despite the belief that it was a snakebit location, Mama’s was a big hit from the first day. Very large portions at reasonable prices, and lots of Happy Hour offerings didn’t hurt.
The Boondocks — 11142 Los Alamitos Blvd. – primarily a bar but it has the Los Alamitos area’s oldest existing food preparation license. It originally opened as The Airport Club in 1943, at a time when Los Al Air Station was being filled with more permanent cadre personnel. Originally operated by Dominic DeBruyn but he sold it and opened up the Los Alamitos Inn/DeBruyn’s Cafe about a half mile north on the boulevard. In May 2, 1957, the Enterprise reported that “Jay Westlake, owner of the Airport cafe,” reported a theft of around $300, taken from the trailer house on the rear of the Cafe property. In April 1959, the newspapers reported that Harold Krell announced he had sold the Airport Cafe to Ernest Grosso of Los Angeles. Grosso was already making plans to move here from the big city. By the 1970’s it was known as Johnny’s Boondocks,, but it was still a little green shack. all the alleys were dirt
Cecil’s Meats – 11172 Los Alamitos Blvd. (in business as of Dec. 1964 ad in Rossmoor News) Also well known for their giant dill pickles!
West End Theater – 11172 Los Alamitos Blvd. same address as Cecil’s but the site had served for many years as the home of Drug Fair (as early as 1991…. ) Around 2002, the site was leased to ___ who greatly remodeled and enlarged it to serve as a dinner theatre. The West End Theater group tried musical comedy and Broadway plays) at first, but crowds were sparse, then they augented their weekend nights with imrov troupes (Fleabitten Varmints) and stand-up comics booked by Vic Dunlop. By 2008 it had been taken over by Rite-Aid who used it as temporary site while their new building at The Shops at Rossmoor was being completed.
Helen Grace Chocolates — 11184 Los Alamitos Blvd. (1961-“Tutti-frutti sundaes — enough to feed your entire group…. had a Ronald Reagan sundae and a pat brown sundae when Reagan ran against him in 1966. a chalkboard on the wall by the door and you would put a mark under which sundae you had.a polka dot sundae cost 45 cent’s.mid 60’s
The Sub – 11182 Los Alamitos Blvd. -(around mid 2002-closed in 2007) opened by Jason Chrupcaka and the ex daughter-in-law of Theo’s, a legendary Los Al sandwich shop. They hung in for a few years. It is now the site of the Flame Broiler
DeLucci’s – 11182 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Jul 2007 – Jul 2009) opened by John Salario, a retired aerospace engineer, he tried to make a go of it with his Italian deli style offering.
Flame Broiler – 11182 Los Alamitos Blvd. – has lasted where others didn’t.
Nevin’s Donuts – 11192 Los Alamitos Blvd. Started by Nelson Nevin
in early 1960s? Comments: loved sitting in the little booths. …
The best maple bars!!! tigertail deliciousness… It had a short downtime, when the owner of the Drug Fair, bought the old Bill’s Car Wash site (mid-1980s?) and converted that property to the row of stores it is now. Once completed, Drug Fair moved into the bigger building and Nevins moved back into its present location.
Great Dane Baking Co. – 11196 Los Alamitos Blvd. – started by Karl Pedersen around 2003. It also included a Huntington Beach location. The Pedersens sold it to a group which included Rossmoor residents Natalie Kalish and __ Campion. They sold out to partner Nataly ___ and in 2020 it merged with Donna B’s, which was a Long Beach and South County site, and rebranded as Butter and Cream.
Scharlin’s Deli -11212 Los Alamitos Blvd. — We’ve found no evidence of this joint, but Los Al native Steve Meisner (who worked for The Fish Company and had his own Charo Chicken for awhile) assures us that Scharlin’s Deli occupied this spot for a few years, breaking it in for what later became Casa Castillo (wh greatly expanded the joint), which later became Mr. B’s, the Pike and now Griffins Grill]
Casa Castillo – 11212 Los Alamitos Blvd. – (Dec 1966 – 1994) A blurb in the Press-Telegram’s Steppin’ Out column describes Phil and Stella Castillo’s latest restaurant [They had the original in Long Beach and another — Casa Fiesta — in Garden Grove]. The Los Al version opened in December 1966. It could seat 198, including 75 in the banquet room. “The casa’s prices are moderate with dinners ranging from $1.40 to $2.
Mr. B’s – 11212 Los Alamitos Blvd (1994-2014) Starting Gate owner Kenny Brandyberry bought Casa Castillo and re-branded it as Mr. B’s It was Mr. B’s as early as December 1994. The joint was featuring karaoke on Thursday by early 1996, with hosts Peter Parker and Fran Emmons riding herd on crowds “frequently topping 300” or so we’re told. Around 2000 (Y2K to many of us) Kenny B. decided to focus on his rapidly expanding ATM business and Casa Youth Shelter fundraising, and he sold Mr. B’s to Perry and Rosie Apostle. Perry’s dad had run the Golden Sails Hotel and restaurant for a long time. The Apostles ran it until they sold it around 2013. Another generation of Apostles, their son, is now running the Flippin’ Pizza eatery on Spring and Palo verde.
The Pike – 11212 Los Alamitos Blvd (2014-2015) – Owner Chris ____ had been successful with The Pike in East Village of Long Beach. He tried to recreate the hipster vibe here, – a tough concept for a town that falls asleep at 10pm — but in the process also deliberately alienated the older local crowd who stayed away in droves.
Griffins Grill – 11212 Los Alamitos Blvd (2016-present)
The Subway – 11292 Los Alamitos Blvd. “Home of the original Submarine Sandwich” – there in 1985
Hero’s – Kevin Lamp says there was a Hero’s Sandwich Shop in this area and he is usually right on these things. Anybody else have info to share?
Theo’s – owned by the Theodore family. This place was well known for their sub sandiwches in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s.
Chicken Delight — 11292 Los Alamitos Blvd. (Open as early as June 1963-still there in March 1965) Don’t cook tonight call Chicken Delight, we deliver!! And check out the phone number — still using the GEneva prefix before they went over to all numbers.
- Papa Murphy’s – 11296 Los Alamitos Blvd. (2013-2018) – a popular take-home cook it pizza shop, operated by Mark and Rosalyn Finegan. They closed shop in 2018 when the landlord raised the rents dramatically. Are still looking for a local operation.
- Wendy’s – 11222 Los Alamitos Blvd.
License pulled Aug 2004 , remodeled in Fall 2018
- Jack-in-the Box – The place to go after Los Al HS football games. Previously located in the Wendy’s location. they took over where a Texaco station had been.
Dick’s Poultry & Produce (1925-?? ) This roadside drive-up produce stand took advantage of the fact that recently paved Myrtle Street had become Los Alamitos Blvd and was a major part (State Highway 35) of the main road from the Pasadena area to Anaheim Landing and the beach areas. While most of the local farmers grew sugar beets, alfalfa, barley, and lima beans, a few farmers (many of them the Japanese leasing farms on the Hellman and Fred Bixby Ranches. grew truck patches of vegetables and some fruits. The poultry and rabbits were primarily from the City Garden Acres tract (now Apartment Row) where deep “farm lots” were sold — and advertising noted them as perfect for raising chickens and rabbits for market.