Here’s everything I remember about Tracton’s, a restaurant my family frequented for many years: It was on La Cienega down near Rodeo, across from what was then a Fedco membership department store (we were members) and is now a Target.  The place was friendly inside and they served big hunks of meat.  I usually had the chopped steak, which was basically just a very thick hamburger patty.  I also remember an odd argument with a waitress once when my aunt asked for a doggie bag so she could take the rest of her dinner home and the waitress accused her of not having a dog.  Which was true.  My aunt didn’t have a dog but what business was that of the waitress?

I also remember that when Tracton’s closed, the building became one of those places that’s a different restaurant every time you drive by as one after another goes out of business.  Finally, one closed down and stayed closed for a couple years until the building was torn down.  And that’s all I remember about it.

Research has yielded the info that it was opened and owned by a gent named Harold “Red” Tracton who played host to all sorts of L.A. notables, mobster-types included. There was also a Tracton’s downtown and he operated the Buggy Whip restaurant near LAX (and still in business), the Salem House which was in the Farmers Market and the restaurant at the Fox Hills Country Club. Before that, he had Norm and Red’s Green Lake Cafe out in Pasadena. The most famous of all these — the Tracton’s on La Cienega that my family visited — opened there in 1956, then moved to Encino in ’78. In 1988, that place was sold and is now a Chevys Fresh Mex Restaurant. Red moved to Del Mar and opened a restaurant that’s still open (and quite successful) as Red Tracton’s, operated by his daughter Tracy. Red passed away in 1999 but his tradition of serving big hunks of meat continues.

56 Responses to Tracton’s

  • Greg Irvine says:

    John Engstrom, you have the placement of the buildings correct. To the east was Rodeo Bowl and Pepy’s was kitty/corner and of course Fedco to the west & Atlantic Richfield station to the south across street..My mother worked at Tracton’s for 30 years. Also knew Teddy and Red and Bobby the manager for years.

  • Phil Ehrens says:

    A popular joke with the local kids was “Tracton’s… Spell it backwards!”

  • sue says:

    Does anyone remember the lunch cafe in downtown Los Angeles, across the street from Bullocks? The waitresses were all 50 years plus, loyal employees who worked their for decades. They wore uniforms. It was not diner-ish but more of an upscale lunch location. I cannot remember the name of it but they had the best egg salad sandwich.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Yo Sue: Per reading your Comment, “Clifton’s” popped into my head…don’t know why as I was a SC student who had no reason to be familiar with “downtown” except for my curiosity per coming from “back East”. Alas, Bullock’s was originally at Broadway and 7th (vs apparently being Burlington herein): Place your cursor under the red parking sign and while holding down the Left mouse button, move your mouse to the right.. Check out this history as well as this: Hope this is it as it sounds like the type of staff that would be there. Let us know one way or another! Bon Appetite!

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Alas….as a PostScript Sue, hope you are able to complete e.g. The Paradise via Netflix.

  • Thomas Lantry says:

    I’m looking for anyone who remembers the “Admiral’s Dinghy” restaurant and bar in Marina Del Rey. I believe in the 70’s or 80’s. I acquired a beautiful 3 in
    thick redwood sign approx 3ft x 4ft. The name is in relief on both sides, and
    there are the two original chains attached to the heads of the 3ft long bolts
    that are holding the 3 planks together.

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