With its googie architecture, 60s decor and rat pack lounge, La Villa Basque is the greatest retro restaurant ever

Sunday I try to feature something a little off the beaten path.


1960 retro restaurant La Villa Basque

So how about this…

Absolutely positively the way coolest restaurant possibly ever!

A 1960 pink and gold-flecked-wallpaper bathroom. My definition of heaven!
A 1960 pink and gold-flecked-wallpaper bathroom. My definition of heaven!

I don’t even need to eat, I will just use the washroom.


Here’s what their website says:

Built in 1960, La Villa Basque Restaurant is a staple of the City of Vernon. The French/Basque style heritage has attracted over 1 million guests since its doors opened. The decor is original Googie Architecture with a Rat Pack martini lounge with contemporary overtures like plasma TV and progressive wine list. The menu evokes creations from Basque country, Paris and local nuances from Los Angeles that reflect the attitude of La Villa Basque. Set in the meat packing and produce districts in Los Angeles , La Villa Basque delivers the best ingredients readily available.

La Villa Basque Restaurant is owned by Mayor Leonis C. Malburg, who has presided over the City of Vernon for over 40 years. Leonis is the grandson of John B. Leonis Sr, who came to the U.S. in 1889 from the Cambo-French Basque region of the Pyrenees to start a new life. In 1905, John B. Leonis Sr. co-founded the City of Vernon. He would eventually become the mayor, a banker, a financier and an industrialist. His vision of a self sufficient city was passed down through the generations where Leonis C. Malburg carries on with La Villa Basque Restaurant. Come and experience history.

See lots more photos of La Villa Basque:

Be sure to see jericl cat's photostream of La Villa Basque

  1. Cherie says:

    googie aside, Basque food is fabulous. We lived in the Central Valley for years and loved it. Our haunt was Woolgrowers. Wonderful cuisine!!!!!

  2. LarsErik says:

    I just wanted to bring the updated photos in this photostream to your attention. Apparently this incredible time capsule has been Home Depot updated. I am crying inside.

  3. Kiki Dulane says:

    My husband and I went there last weekend, not looking at the comments on this blog post. We were so disappointed! We could only take pictures from the outside, because (as Scott says) it is only open M-F for lunch. We’ll take the day off sometime and go there, from what we could see it was AMAZING! Plus, I’m part Basque so I loved the Basque symbols and sayings above each doorway.

    On the same road trip we happened upon Chips restaurant in Hawthorne. Totally googie! We went in but didn’t eat. The inside is pretty much intact, from the brief glimpse I saw of it.

  4. Scott Mercer says:

    Retrotravlgrl, you’re going to be out of luck trying to have a “date night” there.

    The place is open only 11-3, Monday to Friday. That’s right, lunch only, during the week. Even the bar portion has these same hours.

    Tough luck. But you really should take a day off and try to make it down there anyway. The decor is awesome and the food is pretty well prepared, in addition to being moderately priced.

  5. kgreen says:

    This place is amazing– I work in Vernon and go there about twice a month. For anyone who loves googie achitecture and mid century design, it is a gem. This restaurant was also in a scene from Running with Scissors in which Annette Bening is having lunch with her son. One amazing thing about this restaurant is this eclectic customer– which my co-workers and I call the “beehive lady.”
    She has a 3 ft beehive like Marge Simpson and she is wrapped in about 5 yards of tulle. If anyone knows who this lady is please tell me because it is unbelievable. She is there about everyday at 12pm.

  6. maddydallas says:

    That is so awesome! I want to eat there now! I had the weirdest flashbacks to going places like that when I was a kid!

  7. retrotravelgirl says:

    OMG…hubby and I SO are having a date night there next weekend.I promise to report back and let you know how yummy and delicious it was. The Los Angeles Conservancy Mod Com Committee recently held their monthly meeting there. So bitchin………

Comments are closed.