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Don The Beachcomber: The Original Tiki Bar

Glitz and glamour weren’t the only things that fueled the guys and dolls of old Hollywood. From award-winning pastry chef George Geary comes a historical look at Los Angeles’s most talked-about restaurants and dishes from the 1920s through the 1980s. Packed with vintage menus, photos, recipes and trivia about Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope’s eating habits, L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants will delight history buffs and food nerds alike. Geary has updated over 100 famous recipes for today’s home cook, allowing us to re-create the chili Elizabeth Taylor once craved and more. We take a look at one of the country’s first tiki bar.

“Donn Beach” was born Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt in Texas in 1907. After traveling in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, he landed in Hollywood and worked as an illegal bootlegger, making moonshine during Prohibition for a number of years.

After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Donn opened Don the Beachcomber, a small café and bar in the corner of a small hotel bar at 1722 N. McCadden Place, where he concocted powerful rum drinks for his customers. With his business growing in popularity, Donn had his eye on a larger space across the street, at 1727 N. McCadden. He and his girlfriend, Cora Irene “Sunny” Sund, raised the money together to move into the new location three years later… read more >

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