In his column ‘The Verdict’, Judge Robert Gardner called Rossi’s Cafe “the finest Italian restaurant I have ever patronized.” He added, “Mama Rossi featured her pickled mushrooms, which had to be tasted to be believed. I have always thought that her pickled mushrooms were particularly good because Mama Rossi used wild mushrooms she picked on the hills surrounding the present Fashion Island.”
Corona Del Mar’s oldest restaurant, known today as Five Crowns was built in 1936 by Matilda “Tillie” Lemon MacCulloch. An American wife of a wealthy Scotsman, she lived in England but had grown up visiting Southern California as a child. She modeled it after Ye Olde Bell, an inn at Hurley-on-Thames, 35 miles west of London, England and called it the Hurley Bell. Local architect Shelby Coon used photographs of the inn to design it. Originally planned to be an inn, the MacCullochs ended up making it their home.
Inspired by Chris Jepsen's presentation on OC Tiki at the Orange Community Historical Society Annual Dinner, I thought I'd look for some information on the history of tiki establishments in Corona del Mar.
There were a lot of tiki places that came up in the search but the one that caught my eye was the Jamaica Inn, which also had Christian's Hut, a classic tiki restaurant inside of it. It was located just down the street from me at the corner of Avocado and PCH where there is now a rather sterile looking medical office complex. It likely extended over to the office building that has Shape Up in it, as well. The difference between the two is rather stark.