Dine Like It's '59 - Page 13

12 California restaurants that savor dishing up the mid-century experience
Retro Dine
Retro Dine

12 I Idle Spurs Steakhouse


Even those who ponder overly much on all things mid-century modern often neglect one subset of the style—cowboy modern. Not so the folks behind Idle Spurs Steakhouse, a gem of a place not far from the classic roadway Route 66 in a desert town that has seen livelier days.

The sprawling structure, post-and-beam, open planned, with floor-to-ceiling glass opening onto an atrium-like dining patio, is artfully cluttered with saddles and spurs, cowboy hats, and silver mining machinery.

The steaks? Superb—and at low, low Barstow prices. Tourists who pass through Barstow bound for the Mojave Desert National Preserve or Las Vegas have been enjoying Idle Spurs since its founding in 1974.

"As a small fountain splashed cheerfully beside us, we watched a glorious pink-and-orange desert sunset through the windows of the enclosed patio and ate superb sautéed mushrooms and excellent tenderloin of beef with rice pilaf," travel writer Susan E. James wrote.

It's also a great place to hobnob with the locals. "This has always been the meeting place for the High Desert," one local fan told the local Desert Dispatch. "This is the jewel restaurant of the High Desert."

• 690 Old Hwy 58. Unfortunately now closed.


• For profiles of additional restaurants like these, read 'Southern California Eats' and 'Southern California Eats 2' (Schiffer) compiled by John Eng and Adriene Biondo, Granada Hills Eichler owners who've been cataloguing and photographing California restaurants with mid-century and architectural flair for years.

Photography: James Fanucchi, John Eng, Thomas Hawk, Michael Locke, Patrick Gregerson, Debra Jane Seltzer of RoadsideArchitecture.com, Yuichi Sakuraba, Skip Moore, Kansas Sebastian, Robert B. Moffatt, Shinnygogo, Eric Gardner, Rex Mandel, Tony Hoffarth, Alan Light, Sylvie Poitevin, Guzzle & Nosh, Jassy 50, Idle Spurs, Dal Rae, the Purple Room

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