This Vegetarian Soup Was John Belushi's Last Meal

The only wild thing about lentil soup is how wildly unexpected a last meal it is for the star whose name has become at least as synonymous with his legendary comedy career as his hedonistic decline. John Belushi's friend and "Blues Brothers" co-star, Dan Akyroyd, told Vanity Fair the 1980 film had a designated cocaine budget for night shoots. But, for as chaotic as his life sometimes got, according to legendary actor and comedian Belushi's autopsy report, he had more in his stomach than piles of blow and speed when he died. He also had lentil soup — specifically a bowlful from the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Boulevard.

During his stay at the Chateau Marmont (where he would spend his final moments in bungalow No. 3 on Friday, March 5, 1982, at the age of 33 after a fatal speedball injection) Belushi was bopping around the Los Angeles nightclub scene, hitting guitar shops, bathhouses, and (of course) restaurants. Although, it's unknown exactly when Belushi hit the Rainbow for his final meal. Per the comprehensive biography, "The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont" by Shawn Levy, during Belushi's final night on Earth, the late comedian was reportedly encouraged by friends Robert De Niro and Robin Williams to hang out in downtown Los Angeles. The proposed destinations were the Hollywood-haunt-slash-Italian restaurant Dan Tana's and On the Rox nightclub. That night, Belushi declined their invitations and stayed in his bungalow at the Chateau.

The Rainbow Room's deep roots in L.A.

Secondary to his comedy career, Belushi was a gourmand. He was the son of a restaurateur in Chicago, and after receiving recognition for "Animal House" and "Saturday Night Live," he gushed, "I owe it all to little chocolate donuts," via The Telegraph.

The Rainbow Bar and Grill similarly enjoyed an interesting history of its own. Before it was the Rainbow, it was called the Mermaid Club Cafe when it first opened in the 1940s. Later, it was renamed Villa Nova, where Nova co-owner Vincente Minelli proposed to Judy Garland, before becoming the Rainbow in 1972. The joint quickly emerged as a prime rocker hangout thanks to its location down the street from the iconic rock clubs Whiskey a Go Go and the Roxy. Also on the Sunset Strip was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite restaurant, Chasen's, where the director was known to regularly fall asleep at the table. The Rainbow was also, incidentally, down the street from the Chateau Marmont.

Today, the Rainbow Bar and Grill remains a Los Angeles icon of rock 'n roll history. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, and it's still open seven days a week. Live nearby? The Rainbow works with Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash, and UberEats. Nowadays, Belushi's lentil soup is markedly absent from the Rainbow's menu, but the club is still serving minestrone, clam chowder, chili, and chicken soup.