Monday, February 04, 2008

Historic L.A. food sites: Yee Mee Loo's, and me

Here I am checking out the jukebox at Chinatown classic Yee Mee Loo, best dive bar ever, circa 1989 or so. It closed soon after. Most of you know that venerable bartender Richard went on to work at the Good Luck Bar, which was sort of a semi-classy recreation of Yee Mee Loo. The Chinoiserie wooden bar itself resides on Glendale Blvd., in the space that used to be Cinnabar. That space is due to re-open very soon as Palate from Octavio Becerra, and that bar had better be intact, or there'll be some splainin' to do.
These photos are by Ron Resnick. You can see more of his work at Blurry Lens.

11 comments:

slowrider said...

Yeah!!
Yee Mee Loo!!
Loved that place.......
So tiny......and attached to the restaurant part by a doorway w/a curtain.......
don't remember how the food was.....
anyone?
I remember the blue Tidy Bowl drink though!

Anonymous said...

ah yes, I remember the blue drink, and Richard-the-bartender's odd practice of occasionally stopping at a commercial bakery on his way in to work, and buying an enormous plastic bag (like a trash-bag)full of rolls, which he would periodically hand out, while wandering up and down the length of the bar holding the bag as if he were a bizzare Asian bar Santa.

r. gould-saltman

Anonymous said...

i miss cinnabar. i lament its passing every time i drive up brand blvd. does anyone know what came of the chef damon?

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this bar! Thanks for posting the pix- brought back a lot of memories. We'd start at Mon Kee's for dinner, head over to Yee Mee Loo's and wind up at Al's Bar. Yeah, I'm that old...

Anonymous said...

I think chef Damon is at Bistro 45.

Anonymous said...

The restaurant was called Yee Mee Loo,s. The bar was called the Kwan Yin Temple. The bar was an altar used in the movie The Good Earth.
et

Erica said...

I used to work at Cinnabar - the best place in the world. Chef Damon is now the new chef at Bistro 45 in Pasadena cooking a much different sort of cuisine...the bar itself remains with the owner of Cinnabar, Alvin Simon, hiding away somewhere hopefully to return soon?

Anonymous said...

I always heard something from my neighbor that he sometimes goes to the internet bar to play the game which will use him some habbo credits,he usually can win a lot of habbo gold,then he let his friends all have some habbo coins,his friends thank him very much for introducing them the cheap habbo credits,they usually buy habbo gold together.

mhantholz said...

When I was a kid in 1950s Echo Park L.A., our family used have dinner there---signed photos of movie and sports covered the walls. My friends and I would stop for lunch at Yee Mee Loo on our way back from catching the early show RKO Hill Street [double feature/25c-"House Of Wax"/"Phantom Of The Rue Morgue" (in 3-D), "Revenge Of Frankenstein"/"Curse Of The Demon", "Horror Of Dracula"/"Thing That Could Not Die",etc.]. The lunch special 35c.
*Eat Your Hearts Out Bitches*

Cathy M said...

I use to go to Yee Mee Loo every weekend as a child with my parents. I remember the bar being separated by just a cloth in the doorway. The food Yee Moo Loo cooked up was amazing. The BEST! I use to stand outside the restaurant and watch the cooks cooking away through the glass window at the front of the restaurant. Such wonderful memories taking that drive into Los Angeles from Encino every weekend to savoir their wonderful food!

sluhunter said...

I too was there every Friday with my parents as a child. My parents were friends of the owner David Yee before he passed away. As soon as we arrived, my father disappeared into the bar, only to emerge when dinner was served. War Won Ton Soup, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Egg Foo Young, Chow Mein and Steamed Rice. After dinner he was back in the bar until we left. My father was known by "Johny Mushroom" When we moved out of the area, my family never returned. Many childhood memories there growing up!