Attention SoCal'ers...there is hope.
About 18 months ago, a really great Chicago place, GIorgio's in Laguna Niguel, shut its doors despite a full page glowing review in the LA Times. There are 4 places I know of where you can still get the real thing, though I've only been to one of them and 3 of them are a ways out there...
Taste Chicago in Burbank...recently opened and owned by Chicagoans Joe and Arlene Mantegna (Joe stars in Joan of Arcadia). Hollywood Way and Verdugo. I'm actually going there for dinner tomorrow night for my first visit.
Anthony's Chicago Style in Redlands...supposed to be good...there is a review on www.letsdineout.com
WIndy C's Chicago Hot Dogs in Upland...I was looking forward to trying this place and have recommended it to others, but I got a nasty nasty note from the owner/manager who thought I had given it a bad review. Apparently he meant to send it to the person who replied to my note recommending it. Still, leaves a disappointing taste in my mouth and I'm less excited about venturing out there than I once was.
Taste of Chicago in Grover Beach...Grover Beach? Um, way up the 101 past Santa Maria, near Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, etc. Happened to do a drive by the place on the way home last summer and got a beef to go not thinking it would be much. I started eating it about 30 miles later and I was almost tempted to go back. Good stuff!
2 other places I know of but I don't know if they have it or not. Ruben's in Encino/Sherman Oaks (Sepulveda and Ventura Blvd) is a Chicago-type place; also Mustard's in Los Alamitos has some good Chicago-style sandwiches and decor, but I didn't think the italian beef was all that great.
Hope the info helps...
Bob in RSM