Did you know that National City is home to a piece of history with an Old Hollywood connection? If you’ve never stepped inside the red-bricked walls of Café La Maze, then you’re in for a special treat! On this episode of Beyond The Vision, we’re meeting with restaurant manager Ernie Alvarez to get the scoop on the famous origins of this classic eatery. Known for their famous guests and delicious dishes, this steakhouse is a local gem you’ve got to check out!

A Glamourous History

Café La Maze has a long and fascinating history, one which you’ll get clues about as soon as you walk through the restaurant’s red double doors. The cozy, elegant ambiance transports you back to the 1940swith classic mid-century red tufted leather booths and swanky light fixtures. Framed photographs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia artfully accent red-and-gold walls and commemorate infamous visits from the Hollywood elite. The inspiration for all of this glitz and glamour? Marcel LaMaze, legendary restaurateur and maître d’ to the stars in the 1930s and 40s.

Café La Maze in 1949

With a successful location on Sunset Boulevard and famous friends like the Marx Brothers and Jimmy Durante, Marcel received many requests for a second location towards the southern border. Since the Caliente Race Track in Tijuana was a popular destination for celebrities—especially during Prohibition and again during WWII—they needed a place to refill and relax on the long trip from Los Angeles to the border. Consequently, Marcel suggested the spot where Café La Maze now sits, and its doors have been opened since 1941. With a prime location and plenty of delicious food and drink for its guests, Café La Maze’s grand opening attracted legendary actors like Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and Errol Flynn.

Dine, Dance & Drink Like An Old Hollywood Star

You can still find the old-world ambiance and entertainment today that the stars once enjoyed, choosing from a variety of delicious entrees and strong cocktails while enjoying live music every night of the week. Try their classic, hand-cut prime rib with sautéed mushrooms or decadent lobster tails with drawn butter. Pair your meal with a bubbling glass of Champagne, a classic Sidecar or refreshing Millionaire Margarita. No matter what you choose, you’ll feel like an Old Hollywood star as you soak in the ambiance of classic Jazz played by one of Café La Maze’s amazing entertainers.

So if you’re ready to take a step back into time and experience a piece of history, head to Café La Maze and check out everything their extensive menu has to offer. Be sure to look for Ernie and tell him Sonya sent you! Stay tuned for the next episode of Beyond The Vision as I continue to bring National City to you, highlighting everything our awesome city has to offer.

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