The Los Angeles Public Library Menu Collection is a database of menus held by the Rare Book Room at the Central Library. The collection consists of restaurant menus from Los Angeles and a few other cities, as well as steamships, airlines, and banquets. Fairly minimal metadata is included: dates, addresses, telephone numbers, cuisine type, meal type, and price range. The collection is not browseable, but keyword searches work well as a starting point (such as a search on chicken or pie) that can reveal names of restaurants to further pursue. It's also possible to retrieve menus by date and limit to those that include images. Limiting to menus that include images is handy since one of the best uses of the collection is as a visual reference - to see and read the graphics and textual styles in use in a particular time period. For example, the menu for the Continental Alta Mira Hotel in Sausalito from 1962 is decorated with striped and patterned beach umbrellas and features hot and cold luncheon choices that are, "fancily garnished."
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