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El Pollo del Mar from “L.A. Story”

Jan 9th, 2013 | By | Category: Movie Locations

Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (8 of 9)

One location that I had been dying to find for years was El Pollo del Mar (yes, that translates to The Chicken of the Sea LOL), aka the supposed Santa Barbara-area resort featured in the 1991 flick L.A. Story.  Try as I might, though, I just could not seem to track the place down.  So, when a fellow stalker named Scott wrote a comment on my L.A. Story gas station post informing me of the site’s location, my head just about exploded from excitement!  In reality, the Mediterranean-style hotel is an absolutely gargantuan private residence that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that El Pollo del Mar was a) someone’s home (!!!) and b) located in the LBC.  I honestly would have bet money on the fact that it was an actual hotel in Santa Barbara.  Mind officially blown!  And while I was chomping at the bit to stalk the locale just as soon as Scott told me about it, because I do not get down to the Long Beach area very often, I was not able to do so until this past December.

Sadly, the El Pollo del Mar house is located on a gated street, so only a small portion of it is visible to the public.  Man, what I wouldn’t give to see the inside of that thing!

Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (3 of 9)

In real life, the gargantuan residence, which was originally built in 1926 and is named Casa Oceana, boasts three bedrooms, five baths, 7,576 square feet of living space, and a 1.28-acre plot of seaside land.

Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (4 of 9)

El Pollo del Mar pops up towards the end of L.A. Story as the charming resort where disgruntled weatherman Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) takes his girlfriend SanDeE* (my girl Sarah Jessica Parker) for the weekend.  While there he runs into his dream girl, Sara McDowel (Victoria Tennant), who is on a reconciliation trip with her ex-husband, Roland Mackey (Richard E. Grant).  Drama, of course, ensues.  As you can see below, the property is absolutely huge and can easily masquerade as a hotel.  In fact, I am surprised that it hasn’t been used more frequently in productions.



And, as I mentioned, while the majority of the residence cannot be seen from the road, I was BEYOND floored to discover that the front gate . . .


Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (6 of 9)

. . . and archway that appeared in the movie were visible.  Yay!


Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (7 of 9)

And for the rest, there’s always Bing Aerial Views!  I still can’t believe the place is a private house!  I mean, look at that thing!



I am kicking myself for not having walked down to the beachside of the property while we were there because it, too, appeared in L.A. Story, in the scene in which Harris and Sara get into a fight over their respective significant others.



All of the interior El Pollo del Mar scenes were filmed (I believe) twenty miles north of Long Beach at the now-defunct Ambassador Hotel, which used to stand at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown.



You can find me on Facebook here and on Twitter at @IAMNOTASTALKER.  And be sure to check out my other blog, The Well-Heeled Diabetic.

Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Scott for finding this location!  Smile

Santa Barbara Motel L.A. Story (4 of 9)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: The El Pollo del Mar hotel from L.A. Story is actually a private home located at 20 37th Place in Long Beach.



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  1. Scott Gambill says:

    I just got to the El Pollo del Mar scene and wondered where that place was. I have probably seen this movie over 50 times.

  2. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve watched it so many times and have So many favorite scenes. It has some of the best lines and the cleverest writing I’ve ever enjoyed. Harris’s campaign to win back Sara, and the airplane/storm/Enya sequence were wonderful. The whole film had a dreamy, magical feel to it, and I hope that whoever came up with the talking sign got a Huge bonus. Oh, I wish I could have been with you. I’d been thinking about LA Story and had Googled ‘El Pollo del Mar’, where I found your post. Absolutely loved it, and all the great pictures.

  3. Lavonna says:

    I have on DVD…but haven’t watched it…

  4. molly says:

    ugh! when i saw the link i already had decided id make it a point to go stay there!
    love that movie so much!

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