New book on Musso & Frank

| October 3, 2019 | 2 Comments

CELEBRATING Musso’s star are Rana Ghadban, Mark Echeverria and Councilman O’Farrell. Photo by Gary Leonard

For its 100th birthday, Musso & Frank Grill has had a lot to celebrate. In addition to serving what have been hailed as the best martinis in town, Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd.) has played a vital role in the entertainment industry. From providing a gathering place for writers, actors, and producers, to serving as a movie set for various films, Musso’s has hosted a myriad of Hollywood big shots, including Charlie Chaplin, Johnny Depp, and most recently, Quentin Tarantino. Now, Musso & Frank Grill has cemented its place in Hollywood history — literally.

On Sept. 27, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president Rana Ghadban and 13th District city councilman Mitch O’Farrell helped Musso’s chief operating officer Mark Echeverria unveil Musso’s latest accolade, its very own sidewalk star, located in front of the restaurant, adjacent to the Walk of Fame. This is the first time a restaurant has been given this honor.

A true staple of Hollywood, Musso & Frank Grill first opened on Hollywood Blvd. as Frank’s Café in 1919, under the ownership of Frank Toulet. When Toulet paired with restaurateur Joseph Musso, they changed the restaurant’s name to its current moniker. In 1927, the pair sold Musso’s to Joseph Carissimi and John Mosso (no relation to Musso). A family business, the restaurant is still owned and operated by Mosso’s granddaughters and their children.

On September 23, the owners of Musso & Frank began its week of birthday celebrations.

To kick off the observances, Musso’s hosted a book launch for “The Musso & Frank Grill” by Michael Callahan, with an introduction by novelist Michael Connelly (of the “Harry Bosch” series). The first-ever book to chronicle the popular restaurant’s history, Callahan’s tome also shares recipes for some of Musso’s most beloved and classic dishes. Pages are peppered with celebrity anecdotes and, to further acknowledge the restaurant’s strong connection with the entertainment industry, the book includes a full listing of all the movies and TV shows that have filmed there.

At the book launch, the restaurant staff and their families gathered at a celebration held at the Charlie Chaplin Studios. Musso’s has a strong connection to Chaplin, who frequented the restaurant so often they named a booth after him!

Then on Sept. 24-26 Musso’s most loyal patrons were welcomed to step back in time and enjoy the menu prices of 1919, when martinis were only a dime apiece. Diners could also enjoy Musso’s “pop-up museum,” where visitors could view Musso artifacts (such as the restaurant’s oldest menu) which have never been on display for the public before. The evenings also featured a documentary memorializing Ruben Rueda, Musso’s former bartender for 52 years, titled “Retracing Ruben.” Another display honored Sergio Gonzales, who worked at Musso’s for 42 years. Director and filmmaker Tina Whatcott Echeverria is in production for a documentary called “Big Shot” about the beloved waiter. Both Rueda and Gonzales passed away earlier this year.

On the Grill’s actual 100th birthday, Sept. 27, Musso’s and the Chamber unveiled the “Hollywood Award of Excellence” star.

Wrapping up the celebrations, Musso’s and the Chamber joined with different charities for one final anniversary event. On Sept. 28, they again rolled back prices, but this time the general public could partake in the 10-cent coffees and $1 steaks. Musso’s requested a donation to one of the partnering charities to gain entrance. Today’s guests can enjoy Musso’s award-winning martinis, as well as their fettuccini Alfredo, chicken pot pie, and other classic dishes, in the film-famous setting — as has been the case for 100 years.

By Julia Stier

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Category: Entertainment

Comments (2)

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  1. James C Cox says:

    Where can I buy the book.

    Thanks, Jim

    • Rachel Olivier says:

      I contacted the restaurant, and it’s available there for purchase. Or you could try special ordering it through Chevalier’s Books. I did not see it on Amazon.

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