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While many restaurants fade in and out of the L.A. scene, a few golden spots remain. Casablanca Restaurant in Venice, inspired by the 1942 film, has been one of these iconic local staples for nearly 40 years.
The Restaurant hasn’t had to change much over the years to be successful. Its theme has proven to be everlasting. The restaurant has attracted customers for decades by embracing the elements that make Casablanca such a classic film.
Memorabilia and murals fill the restaurant space, transporting customers back into the story of great love and sacrifice. On top of this, the old- school Mexican dishes and the friendly atmosphere of the restaurant make this a place you’ll want to return to over and over again.
When I walked into the Casablanca Restaurant for the first time, I knew it was a truly special place. The interior is lined with Casablanca posters and collectibles. Every wall is colorfully painted with murals that illuminate the dimly-lit space. The largest of these pieces features Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and various actors from the film, sitting alongside the restaurant’s owner, Carlos Haro Jr.
The restaurant maintains a warm, family-run vibe. The staff are extremely friendly and there is a hospitable feel to the place amidst the buzzing atmosphere. It is a restaurant that fits all occasions. The classic dress of the staff and the dimly lit surroundings give the restaurant a formal air, yet it is seamlessly accommodating for nearly every kind of guest. The restaurant is a great spot for romantic dates, casual family outings, lively nights on the town with friends – you name it.
In the evening, the live piano music completes the scene. Little can beat the experience of eating delicious food while being serenaded by classic tunes. The performance makes dinner at Casablanca Restaurant the closest you can get to visiting Rick’s Café itself.
The delicious Mexican food, prepared with great care, thoroughly complements the experience.
Every table’s meal begins with warm tortillas, freshly tossed at the center of the restaurant. The meals consist of classic, less-served Mexican dishes, complemented with a California flair. At lunchtime you’ll find a collection of ‘Almost Famous Burritos,’ such as their flavorful ‘Chicken with Green Mole Sauce.’ Tacos, tostadas, pasta, and unique chicken, meat, and seafood dishes are available as well. For dinner, the menu features ‘World Famous Calamari,’ and endless specialty dinners.
If you would like to experience the restaurant in the morning, you can stop by for Sunday Brunch. Enjoy a Mexican omelet or dish of huevos rancheros, while starting your morning with a dose of Casablanca.
At the heart of the restaurant is the Haro family legacy. Carlos Haro Jr., the owner, took over the restaurant after his father, the founder, passed away five years ago.
The elder Haro owned a movie theater in Mexico before moving to California and opening the restaurant. Casablanca was one of his long-time favorite films.
“I’d like the restaurant to honor my father,” Haro Jr. said. “My father loved Casablanca and all the characters. The restaurant is really a tribute to him and his love for the movie.”
Casablanca Restaurant at 220 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, is one of the few places in L.A. that has stayed true to its legacy and stood the test of time. The family truly cares for the restaurant, and this can be seen with every decorative detail and every meal served.
For additional info, call 310-392-5751 or log on at http://casablancarestaurant.net/call