6 Delicious Retro Soda Fountain Drinks In Los Angeles
If you're into old-timey drinks that might have been served at a drug store back in the day, then you'll be happy to know that there are several restaurants paying homage to those old fashioned ways. And we don't just mean offering bottled vintage sodas— much as we adore the selection at Galco's. Classic nonalcoholic drinks like egg creams, phosphorous, floats, and rickeys are popping up on restaurant menus all around L.A.
Though you might not get the flash and flare that the soda jerks had back in the day, most of these places do have excellent food to keep you otherwise entertained. Here are some of our favorite throwback drinks around town.
Cream Soda at Fundamental L.A.
Fundamental L.A. is one of the best kept bargains in the city. For $39, you get a three course tasting menu from chef Phillip Pretty (formerly of Sona and Joe's) plus dessert. It's a hearty amount of food, but be sure to save room for their amazing cream soda, which is a far cry from what you might have tasted from an A&W can as a kid growing up. It's made with a simple mix of Tahitian vanilla, cream, and seltzer water that's sweetly satisfying without being over-the-top indulgent. It's a bargain, too, at $3 for a Mason Jar.
Fundamental L.A. is located at 1303 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, (310) 444-7581
Root Beer Float at Golden State
We have to give credit to the folks at Golden State for not only serving one of the city's finest burgers, but for giving us one of the first beer floats made with craft beer. Though we are huge fans of the latter, the guys on Fairfax also make a mean traditional root beer float with Virgil's soda and a scoop of Tai Kim's gelato from Scoops. They also do Coke floats as well as ginger beer floats with the spiced soda from Reed's.
The Golden State is located at 426 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, (323) 782-8331
Photo courtesy of Wexler's Deli
Phosphate and Egg Creams at Wexler's Deli
We can't help but obsess over every single detail at Micah Wexler's new world deli over at Grand Central Market. His smoked fish plates, pastrami sandwiches, and lox and bagels are out of this world delicious and as good as you'll find at any top notch deli. The dizzying scent of pastrami might make you overlook some of the other items on the menu, like his oh-so-satisfying egg salad sandwich or the old fashioned sodas like phosphorous or egg creams, but you shouldn't. Phosphate—a popular drink from the 30s—might sound a bit clinical, but trust us when we say that this tangy combo of seltzer water, cream, and a few dashes of slightly zesty Acidic Phosphate is as delicious as the rest of Wexler's fare.
Wexler's Deli is located at 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles
Custard Shakes at Short Order
If you are a fan of Shake Shack in New York, the creamy custard shakes spiked with Tahitian vanilla will take you right back to the famous burger stand. Short Order uses Strauss Creamery dairy for their version of this old timey treat, which features a higher fat content than your average shake. They also make adult shake versions spiked with booze.
Short Order is located at 6333 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, (323) 761-7970
Custard sundaes called "concrete" and malted milkshakes are popular at Top Round (Photo courtesy of Top Round)
Malts at Top Round
In addition to their custard-based concretes, ice cream sundaes, and thick rich milkshakes, Top Round also does magnificent malts. It starts with their classic vanilla custard base combined with cream and malted milk powder, plus chocolate or strawberry syrup if you'd like. Our personal favorite indulgence is the classic vanilla with malt paired with an order of seasoned curly fries.
Top Round is located at 1000 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, (323) 549-9445
Lime Rickey at Malibu Pier Restaurant
A rickey really is the perfect mocktail for summer, especially beachside. Typically made with muddled lime, club soda, and sugar, it's simple and refreshing sans booze. Over at the new Malibu Pier Restaurant, they make theirs with blood orange and lime, giving it a California fresh twist to pair alongside chef Jason Fullilove's fresh fare.
Malibu Pier Restaurant is located at 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, (310) 456-8820