The Cafe has long since gone, but I did find this photo of the Gorky's sign that used to let late night hipsters know there was a 24 hour Russian cafe (cafeteria really) open for their pleasure.
My wonderful and talented friend Lisa introduced me to this place in the mid 80s, and from the moment I walked in I was in love. Gorky's wasn't in the best part of town and that was part of the charm. That, and sharing stuffed cabbage with the most diverse cross section of Los Angeles that you could hope to find.
Gorky's wasn't particularly impressive to look at if memory serves. But its counter culture existence seemed to go so well with all of those who were trying to escape the Reagan 80s, even if we, ourselves, weren't communists, being a liberal, in those times, was pretty close.
I think i've mentioned before that Gorky's was a cool place to hang out, where people smoked Clove Cigarettes, long before they were in, and way longer before they were out.
With the revitalization of downtown I don't know if there are any cool counter culture places for the current hipsters to hang. I'm sure there are. I hope there are.
And I hope they find their hangout as cool as we all found Gorky's!