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Fight is on to keep 'Mad Men' restaurant from changing with the times

March 24, 2011 |  8:21 am

The city of Vernon is under pressure to change, but a push is on to keep at least one thing in this 5-square-mile industrial city the same.

That's La Villa Basque, a 1960s-era landmark used as a location to film the television show "Mad Men." Even as state lawmakers seek to dissolve the city around it, Los Angeles-area preservationists are campaigning to convince the restaurant's new operators not to remodel and modernize it.

The operators are giving La Villa Basque a new name, "Vivere," and a sign in front boasts "New Chef, New Menu, New Vibe."

But leaders of the Los Angeles Conservancy say the restaurant's Googie-style coffee shop, its elegant dining room and plush Rat Pack martini lounge should not lose the "authentic character" that makes the place a throwback to another era. Read the rest of the story in Thursday's L.A. Times:


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--Just what do all those food trucks mean for Los Angeles culture?

The bar in La Villa Basque was used in an episode of "Mad Men." Credit: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times