Celebrity PI John J Nazarian Guest Speaker at Sportsmen’s Lodge

I was recently invited as a guest speaker at an event at the new and remodeled Sportsmens Lodge – Hotel. This once famous location is located in Studio City, California. The operation has been around since the 1880s.
This place had a huge following of old Hollywood and as was one of the reasons that Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and many others built homes close to and in the area. For sure those days are long gone, along with the class that came with that era of old Hollywood.

In my very humble opinion it should have been left a trout farm…..it was time you could fish for trout and the lodges crew would cook it up for your eating enjoyment! It was a well visited hang out for many of the old stars of western movies, John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry to name a few. It was not until 1945 did the name Sportsmens Lodge and a restaurant and lounge was added to the sprawling destination that traveled in the day of road trips.

Celebrity PI John J Nazarian on the red carpet at the Sportsmen Lodge Studio City
Celebrity PI John J Nazarian on the red carpet at the Sportsmen Lodge Studio City
It was sometime in 2007 that Richard Weintraub a very successful developer bought the place for close to $50,000.000.00 For a chunk of land as big as this and in such a great location I am sure that Mr. Weintraub is right on target.

What was NOT on target was the shoddy service, for sure, most of the waiters were well dressed and nice hair cuts. I found it odd that when my salad arrived it was placed right on top of my napkin and program that was given to me for the evenings festivities. The salad, it was regular old lettuce, cut into little pieces with some grated cheese dumped on it and a dressing was a total failure….no flavor….awful! I took a few bites and the nice warm temperature reminded me of how I like my tomato soup served when I am in the mood for soup. For me a salad is to be very well chilled, pretty simple, and I am guessing romaine was too top shelf for culinary wizards in Mr. Weintraubs kitchen.

No offers of drinks were asked, ice tea would have been nice, sparkling water…not happening here folks. Well my nice warm and uneaten salad is taken away and along comes the main course, and AGAIN it is placed on top of my napkin and program. I purposely placed the two in the same spot to see if these well groomed robots would ask me or make an attempt to move the napkin. NOT HAPPENING! Again my plate was placed on top of whatever was there! Coffee at some point came and we had one little sugar container and even smaller creamer for 10 people. We all waited patiently as the two items were passed around and the creamer was gone by #6…..good luck trying to get some attention of the robots.

The beef was alright and the potatoes were fair, whipped and placed on the plate by using a design as squeezed through a pastry sleeve….cute. The vegetables were actually acceptable, I had a few bites and it was on a scale from one to ten, 3. In most by the slip shod service. My coffee was gone and it took 30-40 minutes to a refill. The desert would come and that too was a generic frosted cake looking thing for individual portions. Something you might find at Costco on sample day……no class as I am sure was present in the Duke and the Singing Cowboy hung out there, you can bet on that!

Celebrity PI John J Nazarian with the host for John's appearance at the Sportsmen's lodge in Studio City California
Celebrity PI John J Nazarian with the host for John’s appearance at the Sportsmen’s lodge in Studio City California
Well, I did want to taste the cake but once again the coffee was gone and as far as I am concerned so was I. The place is quite frankly has zero charm, the swans are gone and much of what was sorta cool about the place. Now you ask, John how do you know? Well my first time visiting the Sportsmens Lode was in 1971, when I graduated HART HIGH this was were we had our prom, it was pretty great, very nice. Over the years I came back for different events and had a ball, my dear friend Judge Keosian had his daughters baptism party there……that was very nice. I used to eat breakfast there sometimes twice a week with Bob Juleff, the former owner of the Queen Mary, the Shangri-La of Drag….Bob and I were friends for many many years and he knew all the good eating places in the valley. Bob is no longer with us as is the Queen Mary, (not the god dam boat), they both left at about the same time……more good times that are gone forever, I miss Bob a great deal. On the subject of gone forever that too goes for good food and great service at the Sportsmens Lodge in Studio City…….

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Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
June 4, 2013
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