Elvis Presley Los Angeles: Where The King Rocked & Rolled Around Town (PHOTOS)
All shook up? Ready to retrace the steps of your favorite hunka hunka burnin' love? Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, which means he would've turned 77 this year, not really that old at all. He was the King of Rock & Roll, the Godfather of Graceland and an icon whose legend will live on forever. Here are a handful of places where you would have seen Elvis Presley in Los Angeles back in the day … and a few where you can honor his memory today. (Yes, at least one of them involves a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.)
Beverly Wilshire Hotel - Beverly Hills
This gorgeous and iconic hotel might be cited ad nauseum as the "Pretty Woman" hotel, but long before the hooker fairy tale put this place on the movie map, the King called it home when he was busy making movies at Paramount Studios. Years later, John Lennon stayed here while he was estranged from Yoko, allegedly choosing the hotel because he knew Elvis had lived there.
The Knickerbocker Hotel - Hollywood
Elvis has left the building. But before he did, he used to stay at the Knickerbocker Hotel (Room 1016, to be exact), which was his home-away-from-home when he filmed his first movie, "Love Me Tender," in 1956. (It's also where Marilyn Monroe honeymooned with Joe Dimaggio a couple of years before that.) Unfortunately, this historic building on Ivar has been on the outs for some time and is now a senior apartment building.
Elvis at the Knickerbocker on August 18, 1956. Photo: Ed Braslaff
The Formosa Cafe - West Hollywood
Where else can you have a Mai Tais in Elvis's red leather booth than at the Formosa Cafe? This historic landmark on Santa Monica Boulevard, located right next to a movie studio, is where the King -- along with just about every other famous person imaginable -- would hang out while in town filming movies, doing press junkets and all that sort of stuff. Just take a look at the autographed photos on the walls if you don't believe it.
De Neve Square Park - Holmby Hills
Aside from gyrating on stage, Elvis had some serious moves on the field. This small, well-shaded park in the old-money hamlet of Holmby Hills might not grab your attention if you're driving along Beverly Glen (it's at an intersection where Mapleton Drive and Parkwood Drive meet), but that might be why Elvis chose it for the touch football games he regularly organized in the 50s and 60s while here in LA -- it allowed him to have fun without getting noticed. FYI, in case you're wondering, the park is named after Felipe de Neve, founder of Los Angeles.
Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine - Pacific Palisades
Better known as Lake Shrine, this tranquil ten-acre oasis hidden off Sunset Boulevard near PCH hasn't changed much since the days when Elvis would come here to meditate and be surrounded by nature. He was a frequent visitor and it's considered common knowledge that he became friends with then worldwide head, Sri Daya Mata, whom he called 'Ma' and relied upon for spiritual advice. You can still come here today to enjoy the peaceful environment filled with swans swimming across the lake, lush landscaping, waterfalls, fountains, spiritual statues, colorful gardens and even a windmill chapel.
AND THE KING LIVES ON ...
Palm’s Thai Restaurant - Hollywood
Thai food + Thai Elvis = Only in LA.
Grammy Museum - Downtown LA
January 2012 is Elvis Month at this music museum featuring special events, curator lectures and free Elvis evening classes.
Which Wich - Los Angeles
This sandwich shop chain is where you can eat like a King. Just order the Elvis Wich made with peanut butter, bacon, honey and banana.
Jacks N Joe - Los Angeles
This breakfast-all-day joint near USC is where to get the Pudgie Elvis: three pancakes with peanut butter and bananas. Thank you, thank you very much.
MB Post - Manhattan Beach
This South Bay hot spot is where you can finish your meal with The Elvis: a wonderful mess of chocolate pudding, peanut butter mousse and bacon brittle.
Violet's Cakes - Pasadena
Stuff your face with the Elvis cupcake made with banana cake and peanut butter frosting. Just remember you can only get it on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
PHOTOS: Elvis Presley throughout the years