Foster's Freeze! Did you live near Sepulveda and Washington?
My father used to take me there all the time when I was a small child.
It hurt when they built a motel on the grounds and it closed.
The Big Yellow House? Heard it was horrible and never went. Now I wish i had just once. I'm not part of the history.
Fosters Freeze lasted a LONG time in a little nook on the Mesa in Santa Barbara, Ca. It was busy and the food was always good.
Big Yellow House was in Summerland, Ca. I didn't know it was a chain. I never ate there either but all my family did many times. It was always busy and the smell of cooking chicken from the back bothered the neighbors on the hill. The beautiful old building is sitting empty and for sale again last I heard plus it has ghosts...woo woo. I've never been inside but it must have an incredible 180 degree ocean view. One of you guys should buy it ($$$$$).
The Miami Beach Lum's 1980 problems were caused by zero zip nada prepwork done in the kitchen and an inexperienced young cook. Once the manager's family ate lunch there and as an experiment so they could see how long regular customers had to wait for their food, I didn't tell the cook that the order came from the manager/owner's family and he processed it as any other regular order. They waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited until the manager's wife couldn't stand it any longer. I kind of got in trouble for that and should have told her it was a test so she could see what our customers had to put up with daily. Live and learn.
Wolfies Miami Beach
Sad to hear it's gone. I didn't fancy it myself but it was a staple in the area.
After learning how to waitress at Lum's I worked at the trendy Angela's Cafe in Coconut Grove (Miami) Florida. Anyone remember it? After that Cafe L'Orangerie in Coconut Grove, Florida in the Mayfair in the Grove Mall. And finally The Spiral Restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida. The food was incredible at all all three places...YUM. That was 1981, 1982. The are all gone now. If I can remember some of the recipes I'll post them in the recipe forum.
Zucky's in Santa Monica is still there as of March 2010. It was right up the street from my Dad's Biff's at 3rd and Wilshire and his competition.
I've watched all the UK and USA Kitchen Nightmare shows and it ALWAYS comes down to how fresh and good the food is. And after that the service. It's not complicated - but it is very hard work to run a restaurant properly.