The L.A. Musical History Tour

The Atomic Cafe (former site)

422 East First (corner of Alameda), Los Angeles

In vogue in the early eighties when the punk scene flourished downtown, this diner didn't draw so much for its cuisine-you have lived if you've never tried their fried baloney chop suey-as for its name and its ambiance of nondescript fifties decor, wall-to-wall mohawks, and a great jukebox. A couple of doors down was the floating punk club of the Brave Dog.

The 1982 film Atomic Cafe must have drawn some inspiration from this place, mustn't it? They were both popular the same year.

The Plugz song, "Adolescent," cites "hanging out at the Atomic Cafe" and the Motels do "Atomic Cafe" on their first album.

In the spring of 1990 the old Atomic Cafe lettering was scraped from the window and the building was remodeled. It now houses a Japanese restaurant.