Yank Lisa and Brit Andy, who consider themselves the unlikliest people in Northern California to have became ranchers and farmers, headed south for the late winter--and seemingly encountered Dick everywhere they went. In "The Good, the Bad and Richard Nixon" on their Left Coast Cowboys site, they describe entering the Getty Museum in LA and thinking they ran smack into a Nixon bust. Actually, it was a likeness of museum benefactor J. Paul Getty. "But I'm telling you, Nixon is everywhere down here," Lisa writes.
In San Juan Capistrano, the shopkeeps told them Nixon stories and pointed them to his supposed favorite eating spot in town. "Now, I knew that Richard Nixon was a man who put ketchup on his cottage cheese, so I wasn't expecting fine dining. But the Old Adobe Restaurant was a hoot. Part of it is the old town jail, which I thought must have given Nixon a frisson with his fajitas."
Actually, it's the El Adobe of Capistrano Restaurant, which, ironically, is owned by South County land developer and Orange County Democratic Party big-wig Richard O'Neill. Lisa writes, "They've even preserved his favorite table and chairs," which are shown here. Apparently the restaurant had not paid its light bill before the shot was snapped.
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Anyway, as the legend goes, press gathered at Nixon's Western White House in San Clemente wanted to know where the president liked to eat nearby. He answered El Adobe, where he loved the Mexican food. Problem was, El Adobe served continental cuisine.
Now, the way I first heard it (probably from someone on Dick's infamous enemies list) was he'd either never eaten there or not done so enough to remember what was served, but he wanted to come off like he routinely dined among the common folk. The way I see it spun now is El Adobe's chef made Mexican food exclusively for Nixon, In either truth, a presidential stamp of taco approval being exposed to the masses brought about the restaurant's switch to Mexican for all.
Nixon is now so associated with the place that bloggers James and Tim got a hankering for El Adobe amid all the Frost/Nixon hoopla.
Read all about a less surprising place the Left Coast Cowboys encountered the Stubbly One at TheNewNixon.org, which also muses on the ex-prez's ranking on Spike.com's list of "The 7 Biggest Dicks of All Time."