My father is currently in the hospital (again) as he just had some minor surgery – and no, it was not caused by me dragging him to filming locations! 🙂 As they say, though, every cloud has a silver lining! Not only has his hospital been used as a filming location, but there is a restaurant across the street from the hospital that is a favorite of film producers. My dad is staying at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. Even though there are countless vacant hospitals all across LA that are only utilized for filming, for some reason Good Sam still shows up in productions now and again. The exterior was shown in an earlier episode of The Closer, it was featured on Dr. 90210 and a movie was filmed there last winter, but unfortunately I am not sure what movie it was.
Across the street from Good Sam is a restaurant that has been around since 1921 called Pacific Dining Car. Fred and Grace Cook opened the restaurant in a replica of train dining car on a rented plot of land in Downtown Los Angeles in 1921. The idea was based on a restaurant that they had visited in New York that was also situated in an authentic railway dining car. Owned and operated by the same family since its opening, Pacific Dining Car serves up some AMAZING food in a truly unique environment. You definitely feel like you are stepping back in time when you enter the restaurant.
The restaurant has long been a favorite of novelist James Elroy, author of Training Day, LA Confidential, Black Dhalia and the screenplay for the 2008 movie Street Kings. James usually writes about the LA area and often features Pacific Dining Car in his novels. Consequently the restaurant often shows up in the movies based on his books. The movie Training Day was filmed in the Pacific Dining Car, as was Street Kings with Keanu Reeves. Both movies were filmed in the Pacific Northwest Room of the restaurant. The scene from Training Day when Denzel Washington meets with the “three wise men” was filmed at the booth I am standing in front of in the picture to the left. (IMDB actually states that Training Day was filmed at the Santa Monica location of the Pacific Dining Car, but that information is incorrect.) My dad happened to also be in the hospital during the filming of Street Kings and I got to watch part of it be filmed. 🙂 I got to see Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, and Jay Mohr. I was HIGHLY disappointed, though, that I didn’t get to see Chris Evans, who also starred in the movie. He is such a cutie!! The security guard on duty during the filming was slightly disgusted with the fact that I was standing around watching the filming of Street Kings while my father was in the hospital. What can I say – once a stalker, always a stalker! 🙂
If you dine at Pacific Dining Car, chances are you’ll get to see a celeb. Famous patrons have flocked to the restaurant since its opening – including Louella Parsons, Mae West, Mickey Cohen, George Raft, Sid Ziff, all of Linkin Park, Nicholas Cage and Johnny Depp who just threw a party in the Astor Room of the restaurant.
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: The Pacific Dining Car is located at 1210 West 6th Street in Downtown LA. You can call (213)483-6000 to make reservations. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can order breakfast there all day long! Pacific Dining Car is in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood and I recommend that you utilize their valet parking and exercise caution at night. Their sister restaurant is located in Santa Monica at 2700 Wilshire Boulevard, but that restaurant is only 18 years old and not as charming. Both restaurants are pricey and will run you about $50 a person for a meal. If you want a cheaper option, head to the restaurant’s full bar for a drink.