Wesley Idol wants to offer top-quality cuisine to Angelenos. No surprise there; most restaurateurs do. But he wants to do it while most of the city sleeps.
As the owner of what he calls the only fine dining establishment in downtown Los Angeles that’s open 24 hours, Idol has introduced a special late-night-early-morning menu at his restaurant, Pacific Dining Car. It includes such delicacies as lamb burger with yogurt-mint dressing, and poached eggs with artichoke hearts in hollandaise sauce over spinach – served only between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Idol’s strategy is to offer top-quality cuisine to the segment of Angelenos who don’t work a nine-to-five job.
“There are legions of people who haven’t seen 10 a.m. in years,” he said. “I want to reach out and offer fine dining to those people as well as the ones who work regular business hours.”
One adjustment Idol has made for the late-night crowd is to trim his prices. Some plates have smaller portions for lighter appetites with correspondingly smaller prices; some of the offerings are $10 to $15.
Pacific Dining Car was launched by Idol’s great grandfather in 1921. It has two locations, one downtown and another in Santa Monica. The interiors, reflecting the original splendor of Victorian dining cars rather than the downscale diners that came later, evoke memories of a time when late-night trains sped over the rails.
The restaurant’s after-hours customers include some of the city’s celebrities, Idol said, but he declined to name any.
“People come here to hide, not to be seen,” he explained.
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