For decades, all of L.A. was united under the 213 area code. The iconic digits were easy to dial on rotary phones, and the coveted low numbers (New York’s 212 and Chicago’s 312) were reserved for big cities. I let my fingers do the walking through my collection of old L.A. phone books and found these awesome Yellow Pages ads from vintage L.A. companies still thriving in 2013.
Strolling the aisles of Surfas is like admission into some private, delicious club. Everybody in there seems to be on the verge of some new culinary breakthrough or about to open a posh new restaurant. Seventy-five years ago Les Surfas began supplying restaurant equipment and providing “liberal bank terms” and the “easy meter plan.” I imagine making those loans helped get him and his clients through the great depression. In the 1990’s they opened their doors to the public and home chefs began stocking their kitchens with the same professional equipment. Today you can sample foods, hear lectures in the test kitchen, and pick up a thousand pound floor mixer all under the same roof.