The legendary Romanoff’s (1939-1962) was run by a reformed con artist. Hollywood celebrities couldn’t get enough of it.
From my book “COLLISION when reality and illusion collide.”
“My New Jersey friend, who knew I was driving to Los Angeles, asked that if I should run into the actor Randolph Scott, would I please tell him that her mother sends her regards. Of course I was going to run into Randolph Scott – doesn’t everyone when they’re in LA?
One of the Hollywood’s legendary restaurants I had been to in 1955 with my mother and wanted to eat at again, was Romanoff’s. I made a reservation. [The year was 1957.]
When I arrived, alone, Prince Michael [Mike] Romanoff greeted me, and led me to a center table facing the entry.
I had been to expensive restaurants before, but I felt overwhelmed by the attention paid to me by the staff. I was getting star treatment. Looking around the room, I spotted Randolph Scott at a table with two women and a man. I really was beside myself when I saw him; I never imagined it actually would occur. Flustered about how to handle the situation, and by my lack of something to scribble a note on, I asked a waiter for a piece of paper. My note to Randolph Scott contained the woman’s name, and a short explanation that if I should see him, she wished me to convey her regards. I sent for a waiter when I saw that the Scott’s table only had drinks on it. I didn’t sense that I was interrupting their dinner when I asked for the note to be delivered. The waiter returned; Mr. Scott asked me to his table. I went, and made my introduction. He stood; introduced me to his wife and the other couple, and then he fondly recalled dating my friend’s mother during their college days. The whole encounter couldn’t have lasted more than a couple of minutes. I returned to my table. When the four of them were leaving, they passed by my table, and stopped to say goodnight. The attention I received from the staff after my exchange with Randolph Scott increased to a crescendo. I could literally hear the drum rolls when I departed Romanoff’s.
In 1955, when my mother and I visited Los Angeles, I suggested we have dinner at Romanoff’s. The possibility of sighting celebrities intrigued her. Although I was only twenty years old, undoubtedly my champagne taste was inherited from Mom who enjoyed indulging herself… and me. She was an attractive forty-eight year old woman, and wore stylish clothes. Upon our arrival, Prince Romanoff greeted us like long lost relatives; treating my mother like a Hollywood star. Mom loved every minute we were there, but when she paid the bill, I wondered – because I bore little resemblance to her – if they thought I was her kept boy!”