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22 Old-Timey Los Angeles Restaurants With Wacky Shapes

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We're used to seeing swanky rooftop restaurants and bars, taco stands and outdoor patios decorated with lights in Los Angeles. But back in the day we had restaurants and food stands that took architecture to the next level, with wacky buildings shaped as actual items like tamales, hot dogs and planes.

We sifted through Los Angeles Public Library's photo collection and found a treasure trove of retro restaurant snapshots that took us back to a simpler time when restaurants had gigantic items on their roofs and when the programmatic architecture movement was a big thing. Buildings were shaped to look like oversized objects so they would catch the eyes of drivers passing by. This was before Yelp, so we can imagine they had to find some creative ways to get the word out about their eateries.

There are some relics from the programmatic architecture movement that are still standing. If you check out Idle Hour in North Hollywood, you can sip on a cocktail while chilling in a gigantic barrel-shaped bar.