Season 1, Episode 1 features a fictitious place called, appropriately enough, Mama’s Boy.
Freelance journalist and former Cosmo online columnist Lauren Otis has put together an extensive catalog for complex.com called “The Complete History of Restaurants Featured on Curb Your Enthusiam,” and boy is it a doozy! In a project that must have taken nearly 80 hours, she watched every episode, and kept careful track of how many included scenes in restaurants. She then identified the restaurants, giving name, address, website, episode it appeared in, and a brief synopsis of the action.
While for some, this is a mere curiosity to be breezed through with faint recognition, for the diehard fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it could serve as a restaurant guide for L.A.
We find out, for example, that 57 restaurants have figured in the plots, of which 43 are actual places. Of those remaining, 12 fictitious restaurants have been given names, and the rest are shown with interiors, but no names.
Here are the names of the fictitious places (like the ubiquitous Monk’s in Seinfeld):
St. Matthew’s Medical Center Cafeteria
26th Street Bakery
Al-Abba’s Original Best Chicken
Restaurateurs take note: These names are up for grabs.
The restaurants come from many areas in and around L.A., but the most frequent locale is Santa Monica (well, duh!) and L.A. itself. There is even a New York restaurant featured.
For the historian of restaurants and food culture, there is much to be learned. For example, isn’t it interesting that of the 43 real restaurants included, 9 have closed since the shows aired, giving us an idea of restaurant tenure in the City of Angels.
Next: A Curb Your Enthusiasm Quiz based on the material
1. Name the New York restaurant featured, and what were the circumstances surrouding its appearance on the show?
2. Name as many franchise establishments that have appeared as you can.
3. Which restaurant has been shown three times on the series?
4. Name at least five ethnicities of restaurants that have appeared.
5. Name at least five towns or cities that serve as locales besides L.A., Santa Monica, and N.Y.
Next: the answers
1. Rosa’s Place (now known as the Sombrero). Larry ate there while playing Max Bialystock in The Producers.
2. Starbucks, Pinkberry, Jack in the Box, Hamburger Hamlet, Baskin Robbins
3. L.A. Farm
4. Byzantine (Greek), Don Cuco (Mexican), Royal Star Seafood (Chinese), Barsac Brasserie (French), Hana Sushi (Japanese), En Sushi (Japanese), i. Cugini (Italian), Enzo’s Pizza (Italian), Canter’s Wilshire (Jewish)
5. Culver City, Pacific Palisades, Marina del Rey, Calabasas, Glendale
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