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Happy Aluminum Anniversary, Fred 62!

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Is it possible to love a creation in spite of its creator? You have to admit that "Live Through This" rocked, even if Courtney Love is not the most likeable person on the planet. And Picasso wasn't exactly a nice guy. The same holds true for Fred Eric, one of the most controversial personalities on the LA food scene. I cannot say my one run-in with him, in which he almost ran me over with a motorcycle, exactly endeared him to me. His restaurants, as well as his personality, inspire love/hate relationships.

Fred 62, which was sort of sandwiched between Vida and the Airstream Diner, was like the Jan Brady of Fred Eric’s creations. But it may turn out to be his longest lasting legacy. On the hippest street in town, Fred 62 has managed to hold its own for ten years. It seems that Fred 62 is becoming an old standby. Quite a feat for something so gimmicky.

The location is hip, the servers are hip, and the clientele is most definitely hip - it's almost a little annoying. The interior is slick and cool. The of-the-moment car culture seats are a nice spin on the usual 50s diner décor. Fred 62 is, in essence, a diner, spun through Fred Eric's brain, where it rolled around with a little punk rock and your mom's apple pie. The hipness and smugness are tolerable, because when it comes down to it, Fred Eric is a culinary genius. Even if he can't seem to stay with a project (including Fred 62), he can sure develop an interesting menu. The language he uses to describe the food is whimsical in an overly self-aware kind of way, peppered with in-jokes and pedantic plays on words, like the "Charles Bukowski", which doesn't quite work because it is not actually a ham on rye. Sometimes diversity can be the hallmark of a bad restaurant. But between the Asian noodles, the American comfort food and the creative vegan fare, Fred 62's variety fits the funky neighborhood. There is something for everyone.