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Found In The Closet – Marvel Mania Hollywood Menu!

More than ten years ago, the restaurant industry went nuts with themed restaurants.  The success and expansion of the Hard Rock Cafe franchise led to the launch of many more themed restaurants, most of which didn’t survive more than five years.  One of those theme restaurants was the Marvel Mania restaurant in Hollywood, California — well, actually, it was located in Universal City outside Universal Studios, which is a short drive over the Cahuenga pass from Hollywood into the San Fernando Valley.

The restaurant was a lot of fun, although the food wasn’t spectacular.  Truly the best part of the restaurant was the bar, which had a great selection of martinis.  Where the restaurant itself was geared towards families with super bright colors and massive murals featuring Marvel’s greatest heroes, the bar area was dimly lit mostly with black lights and the walls were covered with Marvel’s most dastardly villains.  The bar was truly a very cool place to visit if you were a comic fan and if I recall correctly, Los Angeles’ alt-weekly newspaper LA Weekly named it one of the Ten Best Bars in town the year it opened.  Or best bar for martinis.  It was the best of something, I know that much.  The “Monstrous Martini’s” had names like “Negative Zone,” “Asgard” and “Savage Land.”  There were also alcoholic beverages served under headings like “Curious Concotions” with drinks called “Journey Into Mystery” and “Dead of Night” or the “Web-Shooters” which were served in a small souvenir take-home beaker.  Drinks like “Clobberin’ Time,” “Gamma Slamma” or the “Dimension Distorter” could be ordered.

Recently I was going through my second room at home and found the menu for Marvel Mania Hollywood in a box.  Now, yes, clearly I’m a criminal — I snuck the menu out of the restaurant as a keep sake.  I’m certain I’m not the only one, but who could blame me?  It featured fantastic art from Mark Bagley, inked by Jesse Delperdang with colorists Paul Mounts and Bongotone.  Cross Grain Coneptual Design and fishbrain…graphic design pulled all that art together and created this fabulous menu.

Food items all had names that were similarly comic themed.  “Astonishing Appetizers” such as “Namor’s Calamari” or “Gambit’s Ragin’ Cajun Quesadillas” could be found on the menu, as well as salads with questionable names like “The Marvel House of Ideas Salad.”  There were plenty of “Super Hero Burgers” and “Stanwiches” to choose from, all served with “Fantastic Fries.”

But truly some of the best names for food were stuff like “Archangel Hair Pasta,” “Luke Cage Linguini with Mighty Meat Sauce,” “Mutants ‘N Cheese” which featured X-Men pasta, “Doc Ock’s Wok” stir fry and “Sub-Mariner’s Sesame Salmon.”

Then of course there was the “Stellar Sweets” deserts section which featured “The Galactus.”  Here’s the description:

“You’ll need to be the devourer of worlds to tackle this titan.  Twelve scoops of ice cream topped with marshmallow, hot fudge, raspberry and caramel sauce; nuts, cherries and whipped cream.  A titanic treat, perfect for any party or Super Hero family.”

“The Galactus” could have been yours for only $34.95.

Sadly, Marvel Mania Hollywood had a very short life span.  According to <a href=”http://www.thestudiotour.com/ush/attractions/food_marvelmania.shtml”>this site</a> it opened on February 18th, 1998 and closed up shop September 10th, 1999 for “financial reasons.”

In the mean time, enjoy these camera phone photos of the menu.  One day, if I can find an oversized scanner to borrow, I’ll prep proper scans of this menu.  It really is a beauty.

With the success of the Marvel brand in the mainstream today, you have to wonder if Marvel Mania restaurants could succeed today?  The food would have to be a lot better, but I think it’s a possibility.

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21 Comments

who knows maybe when Disney gets around to burning down universals marvel island of adveture and brings marvel into the park they will open up a marvel restuarant again and given what all made up the galactus dessert one would have to have their stomach be made of andamantium to eat it all.

That is very cool. I still have a few coasters and a Kid’s Menu from the restaurant. It was just such a cool place. I was so sad when it shut down. The world just was not ready for so much awesomeness.

One of my favorite dishes were the Rainbow Bridge Nachos. Multi-Colored Chips covered in cheese and other good Nacho stuff.

I would have loved to get some fo the chairs fromt he restaurant where the back of the seats were word balloons.

Oh my god. I remember this place. God, it was so awesome, even the bathrooms were kick ass. Its a shame it went under.

Thanks for posting this. I LOVED this place. The food sucked, but man, it was cheesy great.

I found a handful of photos tonight from the restaurant, although not nearly as many as I had hoped for. I’ll post them when I have a spare moment, but I found photos of the exterior and possibly one of the most insane entrances to a restaurant ever, a photo of a Marvel Mania billboard seen on the streets of LA, and sadly only three interior shots — one of a booth featuring classic Spider-Man art, and photos of Mr. Fantastic and Rogue statues. I’ll scan these and post them online by week’s end.

[...] Original Post: | Found In The Closet – Marvel Mania Hollywood Menu!CBR Live! @ Comic Book Resources. [...]

i have a plate from marvel mania…bought it on ebay when i was a serious collector of anything rogue lol

Iron Mans armor was right there when you walked in the door!
Sure, some of the other “memorabilia” wasn’t as impressive, but the whole place was just so cool.
It’s hard to believe it only lasted less then two years, we managed to go there three or four times.
The menu improved after the first few months.

Maybe part of their financial problems stemmed from people stealing from them.

I remember when they opened this place. It was originally a Victoria’s Station restaurant that had a great happy hour. My brother went to the grand opening and brought home some great shot glasses. It went the way of the Hanna Barbera stores and the WB stores. There was also a restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. in west L.A. called Cartoon Kingdom that had had no licensed characters at all. I still have a t-shirt from the place.

My friend was a manager there and had a stack of these menus after he left. I helped him sell them on eBay for $20 each. I think I’ve still got one. It’s neat but makes me cringe too.

I know, blame it on me, the menu stealer. I sent them into Chapter 7.

Steve: I don’t recall Catroon Kingdom, but do remember Victoria’s Station and a night that involved a shall-not-be-named family member, booze and some puking.

There is a menu for this also included in that “Marvel Museum In a Book”, book. I can’t recall it’s exact name, but saw it tonight at a used book store. It’s that hardcover with souveniers included (i.e: sketches, promos, etc).

I remember the opening night and I thought the decor was somewhat corny. I had fun there with my friends, but there were a lot of novelty eateries popping up that did not deserve to survive. This was one. I brought my camera so check my blog for photos!

[...] I want two orders of everything! [...]

I took the video of the Marvel Mania restaurant and its store in a rainning day. Check them out.

http://youtu.be/t3xRLBtQjVk

http://youtu.be/Ac5O9l66hwc

I have very fond memories of this place…swiped a plate and a shot glass. Still have a t-shirt somewhere… Got asked to leave for fondling the Silver Surfers arse too much…good times!

The food was meh…Chilis standards…but the interior was great. Oooh I remember the bathrooms were fantastic…some kind of projection shit onto the mirrors.

Really was excellent, if u love comics, which we all do…

Loved that place. Exactly bad food, but cool place to hang out. I remember taking my nephew there and he was so happy when he got to meet Spiderman. Hopefully Disney can make something similar but with better food at Disneyland.

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