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Dinah's Shack

Original post made by john Labutski, Los Altos Hills, on Apr 22, 2007

Many years ago when I was a young engineer and new to Silicon Valley, the engineering manager took me to Dinah's for lunch. It was an amazing experience. Seeing the signatures of the who's who of America there on the wall. The food was superb. Many of you may laugh, but my favorite was their lunch special of A chicken liver omelet. The manager recommended it. Being new to the companyI would have eaten stir fried gopher not to offend my new boss. I was raised on a farm in Wisconsin. I hated chicken livers, beef liver and liver sausage as I was growing up.

An younger engineer from Huntsville was heading to Silicon Valley to a Research Center. I recommended that he go to Dinah's Shack. I was extremely upset that it had been closed. I discussed what happening to the old restaurants we used to frequent which also included Villa Felice in the San Jose. Age here is 65 and I am in a wheel chair now.However Palo Alto Restaurants and Clubs hold a lot of found memories for my Wife and I. I have a friend who is purchasing a VLJ for starting a charter service. I guess me and the wife better make the trip back again before all the old places we loved are are all gone and replaced with chain operations.

I looked up in my old travel log. I had been to Dinah's about 27 times and took cabs from the SF Airport during layovers when I flew in from other cities.

Just out of curiosity is the Tar and Feathers still there?

Ocala Florida

Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2007 at 9:06 am

Hi John,

You may be happy to know that I posted a photograph I took of Dinah's prior to the wrecking ball. It's in the "Historic Photos" section of this Town Square.

Dinah's Coffee Shop by the Pool is still there. I love that place. If it's summer, I'll take a quick swim in the pool during breakfast. I have to say, that I get more than my money's worth.


Like this comment
Posted by Vince
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Hi, John. Just browsing around and found your article on Dinah's Shack. I worked as a cook at Dinah's back in about 1960. The chef was Jean Combettes, a fine French gentleman. The Chinese man who fried the chicken was called Choon.

A few years ago I published a short story about Choon, mostly true, which I called The World's Greatest Chinese lover. I even included in the story Choon's famous recipe for Fried Chicken.

Best regards,

Like this comment
Posted by Cece Moore
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm

My boyfriend tell me how much he enjoyed Dinah"s fried chicken and he misses it so much. Does any one out there have the recipe?

Plese e-mail it to me if you do at

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