Meet me at Fanny's

Close up at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures' lush cafe

Fannys Restaurant by Konstantin Kakanias
Illustration by Konstantin Kakanias, courtesy of AMMP

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we thought it appropriate to tip a glass at the new Fanny’s restaurant and café at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, named for the original "Funny Girl" Fanny Brice.

Fanny Brice Hollywoods Funny Girl
Fanny Brice, Courtesy of Instagram @fannysrestaurantandcafe

Born Fania Borach in 1891, Brice was a prolific comedian, vaudeville star, illustrated song model, singer, and theater and film actor

“Fanny began her show business career in her teens, and was known for her special brand of humor, charisma, and tireless work,” said her grand daughter and philanthropist, Wendy Stark. “Defying all expectations, she became one of her era’s most prolific entertainers, defining herself, for herself. She was the first woman to star in a sound motion picture and paved a path for countless others.”

Brice was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with two stars and famously portrayed by Barbra Streisand in the 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl, the 1968 movie of the same name, and its 1975 sequel Funny Lady. All three were produced by Brice’s son-in-law, Ray Stark (Wendy’s late father).

Fannys Restaurant Dining Room 2022
Fannys Restaurant Dining Room, Courtesy of Instagram @fannysrestaurantandcafe
Fannys Restaurant Dining Room Booths 2022
Fannys Restaurant Dining Room Booths Courtesy Instagram @fannysrestaurantandcafe

Juxtaposing the futuristic architecture of the Renzo Piano-designed main Museum building, to which it connects, Fanny’s incorporates warm natural materials: maple wall paneling, marble, zinc, and leather and mohair upholstery, perfecting the power lunch experience with a bank of booths that run through the center of the room. A specially commissioned wraparound mural by L.A.-based Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias celebrates film and music legends from classical Hollywood to present day. One wall of Fanny’s is dedicated to fascinating family photos from Stark’s collection, showing Fanny Brice growing up, her family, and places they lived. Another displays hand-drawn sketches of colorful costumes that were presented to Barbra Streisand for her role in Funny Girl.

Salmon Crudo at Fannys Restaurant and Cafe 2022
Salmon Crudo at Fannys, Courtesy of Instagram, @fannysrestaurantandcafe
Fannys Ceasar Salad 2022
Fannys Bespoke Ceasar Salad, Courtesy of Instagram, @fannysrestaurantandcafe

By day Fanny’s Café and Bar is a casual eatery and coffee pitstop for visitors to the museum; the menu includes quick-serve small plates and prepared food options including an exceptional selection of pastries, ultra-fresh salads, its chicken club sandwich, salmon crudo, and vegan beetroot tartine.

By night, Fanny’s Restaurant is an old-school, elegant dinner spot replete with reservations, captain-based service, and valet parking. the food is decidedly more formal, with luxuriant offerings like a 12-ounce dry-aged New York strip, the table side ceasar salad and citrus crème brûlée. A DJ adds ambiance and a nice contemporary twist to Fanny’s sense of tradition and Hollywood heritage.

Comedienne Fanny Brice sipping a cocktail in Hollywoods Classic era
Comedienne Fanny Brice sipping a cocktail, Courtesy Instagram, @fannysrestaurantandcafe

The impressive, movie-themed cocktail menu is the work of longtime L.A. mixologist Julian Cox. It includes imaginative creations like the Easy Rider (Ford’s gin, kumquat, lime, almond), All About Eve (Lo-Fi aperitif, red plum lime, shiso granita), Black Panther (blackcurrant, Avua cachaça, whey, Byrrh, seasonal spices/fruit, Meyer lemon “air”), and what it boldly dubs the “World’s Best Martini.”

Fannys Restaurant Interior Museum Entrance 2022
Fannys Restaurant Interior Museum Entrance, Courtesy of Instagram, @fannysrestaurantandcafe
Saban Building. Photo by Joshua White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

Fanny’s Café and Bar is open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (bar remains open until 6 p.m.) Fanny’s Restaurant offers a Tuesday Theater Menu, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (bar closes at 8 p.m.) and serves dinner Wed.-Sat., 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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