Billingsley's – Over 60-years of History
Billingsley's is family owned and operated; still going strong in the same location for over 60-years. I believe their success is due to excellent value, good food, and the nostalgic charm of the 40s and 50s. It all began with Glenn Billingsley Sr. who opened the West LA location in 1946 as (Billingsley's Golden Bull). At one time he had seven Golden Bulls, three Outrigger Polynesian restaurants and catering service for Continental Airlines. Brothers Glenn Jr. and Drew Billingsley worked at their father's restaurants for most of their teenage years as busboys, pantry help and cooks, learning the business from the bottom up. It's a family of successes, with Glenn and Drew's mother Barbara Billingsly, who's June Cleaver on the hit TV show "Leave it to Beaver." And their uncle Sherman, who operated the very famous nightclub in New York, called "The Stork Club."
The décor is reminiscent of an earlier time, with vintage dark woods throughout four rooms and a fifth for banquets. There's stained glass, along with enough leather-padded booths for every diner that enters. It's colorful with extra large interesting fish tanks under turn-of-the-century type chandeliers, along with personal colorful lamps, and many write-ups praising the restaurant. It's one of the most interesting places to dine, and entertaining someone here is a "win-win."
There are a lot of specials but the Early Bird Menu is a lure from 4:30pm to 6:30 daily, with complete dinners priced at 16.95. One doesn't see many of the menu items around anymore, such as liver, bacon & onions; Yankee pot roast; fish & chips; veal or chicken Parmesan; chicken Marsala or chicken fried steak; even sliced sirloin steak. Each dinner includes soup or salad, potato or rice, a vegetable, garlic cheese toast, and a beverage plus dessert. You may also substitute spaghetti for the potato. At that hour, one can have Prime Rib, Rib Eye Steak or New York steak for $2 extra on the Early Bird.
Moreover, complete dinners are available at any hour, along with specials for each day of the week, priced from $18.95 to $21.95. Some featured dishes are shrimp scampi, BBQ ribs or broiled pork chops, plus everything that's on the Early bird. Each meal is a complete five course meal.
Then there's a "lite" menu of sandwiches, which includes soup, salad, baked potato, or a choice of rice pilaf, French fries, mash, or cole slaw, served with garlic cheese toast, $7.95-$9.95, except for the New York Steak sandwich, ($16.95). A popular offering is the homemade chili, served by the cup or bowl, with salad.
Over the years a steak house menu was developed, with all the familiar names, featuring New York, 10-oz Filet Mignon, 16-oz Rib Eye, Porter House 20 oz, large Rib Eye (16oz) and a 16 oz ground sirloin, along with smaller versions. In addition there's Prime Rib, and lobster. You can even customize your steak to have it prepared Teriyaki style, peppered, or even topped with a Blue Cheese crumble. The menu is enormous with an entire page of chicken and fish dinners prepared every-which way. Or how about Tahitian style shrimp stuffed with crab and white fish, wrapped in bacon, then fried and served with a tangy red sauce.
Don't take a breath yet because there's more. Pasta dinners include a Cajun Chicken Pasta, ($15.95) with onions, Bell Peppers, and tomatoes; also Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Southwestern style topped with chili and beans, diced tomatoes, plus Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
It's easy to have a fine lunch for less than $10, but never more than $15. Try a sour dough melt, and take someone along with a large appetite and a brown bag. My hat's off to Chef Jessie Garcia!
11326 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; (310) 477-1426. Children friendly. Lots of free parking; major credit cards accepted; private parties; open from 11:30am Monday through Friday, Saturday & Sunday, from 4:30pm. The "Early Bird Menu is served 7-days a week from 4:30pm-6:30pm. www.billingsleysteakhouse.com
PS: Check out the Bar BQ combo's, or change your luck with a Turkey Burger, and remember the "old" French Dips? They are also here! If you aren't hungry when you come in, you will be by the time you finish reading the menu. It's a "Go!"