Dan Tana’s is one of a rapidly vanishing breed of historic, long term Los Angeles restaurants. With new trendy places opening (and closing) each week, very few can stand the test of time and continue to attract the hot crowd. Whether you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, a trip to Dan Tana’s is sure to be a memorable night.
Dan Tana’s is one of the mainstays, the classics, that has been providing fine drinks and great food since 1964 to generations of Angelenos. Its the kind of place that today’s top stars frequent, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis and more, but go back in time to the restaurants early years in the 1960’s and you would have seen the stars of those days, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Warren Beatty also eating, drinking and partying there.
Its a great date spot, or for a drink after work as well with great bartenders who know how to make and serve real drinks for real drinkers. It’s open late, and one of the few great places where you can walk in at midnight or 1 AM and sit down for a great full meal that’s more than a diner.
The restaurant is on a busy stretch of Santa Monica Blvd., in the last block of West Hollywood, before it moves westward into Beverly Hills. There is street parking, but its very limited and you’re better off with the $7.00 valet parking. We were greeted warmly and were seated immediately. Although it was a Saturday night, we had made reservations earlier in the week and had also informed them it was a special occasion, as it was my wife and my 44th wedding anniversary and we would be joined by our son and daughter. It was early, 6 PM and there were other diners but it was not yet crowded. We were brought menus immediately and drinks also came quickly.
The Caesar salad is a house specialty and is tossed table side. It was great, filled with flavor, really old school in a good way. Our other opener was the fried calamari ala Rick Hilton, who is Paris Hilton’s father. All the dishes are named after famous Hollywood regulars, and even Paris Hilton herself comes here often with her family. The menu is standard Italian restaurant fare, with pastas, meat, chicken and fish dishes as well as an extensive list of salads and appetizers. The fried calamari was not the best, rubbery and just nothing special, especially nothing special for the $30.00 they charge!
Another member of our party had the shrimp scampi ala Jerry Buss, the owner of the world champion Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team and another Dan Tana’s regular. The flavor was great, the shrimp were fresh, tender and cooked perfectly. The portion was quite large with many shrimp and also came with a big portion of pasta.
The other two diners each had the steamed clams, which was an enormous portion. The clams were perfectly cooked and seasoned well. The portions were huge, with a massive pile of clams and pasta. Classic Italian style steamed clams, well done, but certainly nothing new or different. You don’t expect or want new and different here, you want that old school flavor.
The fettucine alfredo was good, perfect tender noodles and creamy, not too tangy cream sauce. I wish I had added a chicken breast as it was just too much pasta. And this after all the appetizers and some average bread / rolls. It was a lot of food.
At other visits I have had the steaks here, and they are thick, perfect and wonderful. As such, I would recommend a steak unless you are a seafood lover. The chicken dishes are also excellent, we recommend the chicken parmigiania ala Ted Demme, a great Hollywood director and producer. Its a generous portion, with great flavor, red sauce, cheese, pasta, chicken, everything you want in an Italian dish.
Although you may think this is a pure Italian restaurant, its actually a Serbian restaurant, owned by a Serbian former star soccer player and actor who changed his name to Dan Tana. One of his early restaurant jobs was at Patsy D’Amore’s famous Villa Capri Restaurant, one of LA’s historic (now long gone) Italian classics that are connected in various ways to every other classic Italian restaurant in Los Angeles.
Trendy atmosphere, major celebrities really eat here, often. Central location in West Hollywood / Beverly Hills. Open late, friendly old fashioned wait staff and service. Large portions, not crazy expensive, reliable, old school food.
Food quality has declined while prices have risen. Very, very, very crowded, hard to get a table on busy nights. Tables are very close together with no privacy.
9071 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 275-9444