Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

No great shakes, but a fun local tidbit … the origin of Shakers Restaurant’s name.

Shakers Restaurant, on Fair Oaks in South Pasadena, across from Bristol Farms (there’s another in Glendale), has pretty good food at reasonable prices. Service is usually fast and friendly, and I can’t name another place that serves Portuguese sausage for breakfast.

I never thought about the name “Shakers” until Thursday, when I looked up at the sign in the vast parking lot behind the restaurant.

“Salt Shaker.” Hmmm.

It's certainly not as questionable a name as Sambo’s -- unless you go to UCSD, I guess -- but a waitress told me that around thirty years ago, Shakers changed the name to make it seem more health conscious. (They ARE always happy to substitute fruit for hash browns.) And Larry Mantle confirms that he remembers it being the Salt Shaker c.1980.

The real question is: Who made the sign in the parking lot? Since the restaurant was opened in 1971, that sign is between 30 and 39 years old, but it doesn’t look a day over five. That’s workmanship!

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)