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Rihanna At Haunted Spanish Kitchen Restaurant In Los Angeles

I just noticed a news item and matching video on UTube which showed Rihanna entering the Spanish Kitchen Restaurant in Los Angeles last evening with her entire entourage.

According to reports, the restaurant closed just for the star to dine in private.

(Image of Spanish Kitchen Restaurant in Los Angeles, California - Photo taken by Karen Marie Shelton & Edan Kencayd - in 2009 - All Rights Reserved)

Not only have I been to Spanish Kitchen, I make it a point to eat there every time I visit Los Angeles.

In both April and September of 2009 I made several memorable visits to the iconic restaurant with's Edan Kencayd.  The dining establishment has a long and interesting history dating back to the 1940s and the glamour days of Old Hollywood.

Yes, the wide spread rumor is that the famous eatery is haunted.  I wonder if Rihanna knew that before she decided to visit?

Past Hang Out For Lauren Conrad

The restaurant was a hang out for Lauren Conrad and her posse when Ms. Conrad was still actively filming "The Hills".  This fact was confirmed by various servers we asked when we were dining at the restaurant.

Although we didn't spot Lauren or any of the other Hills cast members, our goal originally was to check out the authentic Hacienda's ambiance and the food.

If we'd spotted some Hills residents, that would have just been a side benefit of our visit.

Who knows if Ms. Conrad still stops by?  At this point, I love the entire Spanish Kitchen experience so much, I really don't care.

(Image of's Edan Kencayd wearing Michele Roy flower hair clip at Spanish Kitchen Restaurant in Los Angeles in September 2009 - Image by Karen Marie Shelton- - All Rights Reserved)

Great Atmosphere, Service & Food

Not only did Edan and I love the restaurant's atmosphere, which is warm and inviting, we loved the Mexican food.  Keep in mind we're from Dallas where all variations of Spanish, Mexican (TexMex, Mex, New Mex, MexMex) and other various hybrids are in abundance.  For us to love any variation of Spanish food anywhere else is saying a lot.  At The Spanish Kitchen the focus is on Southern Mexico dishes which are spectacular.

The service is laid back but pleasantly efficient.  You can eat inside in one of the lush dark leather circular booths or you can sit outside and enjoy the excellent California weather while doing some people watching.

After politely asking if we could take photos inside the eatery, which is frowned upon by some restaurants in LA, the accommodating staff offered to show us around so we could get the very best shots.

They were truly lovely and so helpful.

Did The Ghost Lock Us Out?

During one attempted lunch visit we had a very interesting experience.

We arrived at opening time hoping to grab lunch before heading off to visit with Celebrity Hairstylist Robert Hallowell on the set at CSI (Las Vegas) where he was doing hair for the series.

(Image of front entrance to Spanish Kitchen restaurant in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton & Edan Kencayd - - All Rights Reserved)

Even though the open sign was clearly posted and we were at the front doors 15 minutes after the opening time, the famous restaurant doors were shut tight and locked.

Puzzled, Edan called the restaurant on her cell.  She asked what time they were going to open for lunch.  Oddly, she was told they "were officially open for lunch."   Edan politely explained that we were at the front door but the "door was still locked."

The Spanish Kitchen staff member said "yes, we know.  Even though we unlocked the doors, they won't open, but they'll eventually open."  Huh?  After hanging around for 30 minutes to see if the doors magically opened as promised, we finally left and had lunch elsewhere.  I will confess I was a little annoyed at the odd door experience because Edan and I were on a tight time schedule.

However, I got over my irritation and we returned the very next day about one hour later than the previous day.  This time the restaurant's big wooden double doors were actually unlocked and open.  Delighted, we made our way to our favorite booth in the back.

We explained our unusual experience the day before, with the locked front doors, to the waitress.

She didn't seem at all surprised.  In fact, she told us the restaurant has a reputation for "being haunted" and that sometimes even though the staff unlocks the front doors, they will not open.

Then, she said, at some point they just mysteriously pop open.

(Image of inside the Spanish Kitchen restaurant in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton & Edan Kencayd - - All Rights Reserved)

Was she pulling our leg? Maybe, but she seemed dead serious when she told us about the door.  She also said it happens randomly.

For me the food is good enough (at least it was in 2009) to ignore any craziness at the famed location.  At least that's our opinion.  And yes, the next time I'm in LA it will be one of my first stops for lunch.  I have a favorite booth and I love several of their signature dishes.

Fascinating History Of Restaurant

The same waitress who told us the story of the front doors being controlled by a possible ghost also told us that some of the staff would not work after dark because of a history of interesting encounters in the restaurant.

Apparently the original owner and founder of the iconic location was murdered in a very sad and tragic way.  The owner's ghost is said to still be seen in the restaurant on occasion.

I for one am used to ghosts having lived in a certified haunted house in St. Louis for two years.  I should write a book about that experience.

Luckily I had several witnesses to the craziness at my former house in Compton Hills which is another blog for another day.

(Image of inside the Spanish Kitchen restaurant in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton & Edan Kencayd - - All Rights Reserved)

I'm guessing that Rihanna and her posse probably didn't see the famous Spanish Kitchen ghost when she was there last night but I'm impressed at her selection.

Whether she selected it or not, it's very cool she stopped by to sample the excellent cuisine and that Spanish Kitchen made it comfortable for her visit away from the paps and tourists.

Yes, if you get to LA, check it out but if you're afraid of ghosts, only go during the daylight hours.  If you arrive and the doors are mysteriously locked when they should be open, never fear, the experience is worth the wait.

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