On Thursday evening, it was too late to take a plane to Greece, so we did the next best thing and had our Greek celebration at Papa Cristo’s Greek Restaurant. With a history of 68 years, as the oldest Greek restaurant in Los Angeles, Papa Cristo’s caters to families every Thursday evening, with authentic Greek cuisine and entertainment.
The music by Edwin Hakopian was marvelous and the belly dancer set the stage for one big party with various people brought to dance with Maria, a Greek belly dancer. I was also coerced to do a little dancing also. I tell you, you have to be in good shape to do all that dancing.
Chris Cristos, the owner of this historic restaurant, deli, and grocery store tells me all his products are imported from Greece, including the chocolate, and the goat and sheep cheese. From a humble beginning, Papa Cristo’s is a family tradition that dates back thousands of years. Chris’ wife Maria and his Mother who is 97 and sharp as a zip, they all are part of the Greek tradition.
My celebrity guests for this evening were Jin Jiang, a violinist with Andre Bocelli, and her husband, Tom Hallick, the former star of the day time soap, “The young and Restless.” On this special evening everyone sits together family style, where people genuinely have wonderful conversations. It’s the way Papa Cristo’s likes to bring people together in a family style setting. Our dinner started with feta cheese, and Greek olives with Pita bread and a Greek beer, Fix Hellas and Crazy Donkey.
The beers, a history of 150 years are in competition with various wines that have a history of 3500 years. I would highly recommend the St George wine, which is derived from three different grapes. The appetizers served are called Spanakopites turn overs with spinach and cheese. We were then served white potatoes, with homemade bread. Everything is baked daily at Papa Cristo’s.
I don’t know what the sauce was that they prepared with the small potatoes, but it was delicious! “I’ve never had anything like this before,” Tom Hallick told us. But that was just the beginning of a wonderful dining journey.
A greek salad, accompanied with string beans in a red sauce really hit the spot. Ah, but to our surprise tender juicy chicken was served, and the New Zealand 6 month old lamb chops were divine! The chicken and the 6 month year old New Zealand Lamb Chops were juicy and tender to the bone.
By now, we were comfortably full, but there is always room for the homemade Baklava, made with walnuts, served with espresso Greek coffee. After drinking the espresso, we were asked to turn our cups over, leave them for five minutes, then turn them back up and read the button of the cup.
To our surprise, two complete strangers at our table described that Tom and Jin would be going on a short trip, then a long trip. What a remarkable way to end the evening!
Papa Cristo’s is closed on Mondays for movie shoots and is open Tuesday till 3 pm and Wednesday-Saturday 5pm to 8pm and till 4pm on Sundays. Papas Cristo’s Geek Restaurant is located on 2771 west Pico Blvd. For catering, or to make reservations call 323-737-2970.
Celebrity Scene News awards 5 stars to Papa Cristo’s Greek Restaurant for authentic Greek cuisine, and a wonderful evening of conversation. Tell them Pete sent ya!