Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chow Time: Pann's

We're always looking for great restaurants around Southern California.  We search high and low for places with interest, history and delicious food.  Sometimes it seems that there is just nowhere to go eat.  Truth be told, Southern California is just lousy with amazing places to go grab a bite and we're spoiled with epicurean richness.  In short, southern California has a glut of eateries to indulge one's gluttony.  Among LA's gastronomic crown jewels is Pann's.  Opened in 1958, Pann's is the perfect mixture of good food, good prices and good googie!

The architectural lines of Pann's are pure atomic age.

The handles on the doors are enough to draw you in.

Pann's is the perfect 50's diner without being a "50's Diner."  Hallmarks of mid-Century, googie diners are ever present without falling into a stereotypical trap of pink & aqua color schemes.  There are no costumed waitresses to reinforce some imagined nostalgia.  There are no roller skates, no Marilyn Monroe photos and no TV's playing episodes of Happy Days.  No, you won't find the Fonz here but you will find a Pann's almost identical to the one you would have found in 1958.  Fortunately, the owners have preserved Pann's in a way that honors its history and welcomes its delicious future.

Chrome barstools are upholstered in button-tufted, white vinyl
that highlights the terrazzo floor. ("Barf-errazzo," my favorite)

A view of the dropped ceiling above the counter.
A combination of materials including rock, vinyl, formica,
laminate, chrome, wood and cork create a dynamic interior.

A row of original pendant lamps light the booths.
How about those striped venetian blinds?

I've told you many times before, I'm obsessed with light fixtures.

Atomic map in the waiting area.

Some views of the dining room:

The counter at Pann's (not to mention every other available seat)
 is usually full of satisfied diners.

 I am not a "foodie."  I LOVE to eat. I LOVE food.  I LOVE good food.  I am not not, however, an adventurous eater.  wacky tacky does not search out haute cuisine and the mere mention of "small plates," is enough to send us hightailing it to the nearest diner.  When I go out to eat, I want something delicious - not something overly thought-out or self-conscious or small.  Because I am a fatty, not a foodie, I have often already eaten the better part of the food on my plate before it occurs to me that I should have taken photos of our selections.  In this case, and just about every other, you may assume that I ordered a hamburger; trust me it is the foundation of the wacky tacky food pyramid.  Pann's is famous for their fried chicken, waffles, biscuits and grits, but their burgers are delicious!

Mary peruses the menu

A "pie-l" of cakes and pies
Try the Sock-it-to-Me Cake
(a cinnamon-walnut coffee cake on steroids)

Really, the best part of Pann's is that the food is amazing and the service is great.  It is more than a greasy spoon with cool vibe and mediocre food.  It is more than the many L.A. landmarks that feel they don't have to provide superior product or service because they have been doing the same thing for more than 60 years.  Every time we go to Pann's, the servers are friendly (not overly), helpful (without having to be asked), and professional (without being impersonal).  If we lived closer, we determined that Pann's would be our regular place.  Until then, I'm glad that it is not too close because first, I would eat (read overeat) there all the time and second, it seems more special when we go there as a treat.

6710 La Tijera Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Sunday-Wednesday: 7:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday-Saturday: 7:00am - 11:00pm


Mr. Tiny


  1. This place is great!! I love it!! Next time I am getting Chicken!!

  2. I had the best fried chicken I've ever eaten at Pann's. So delicious. And the stucco sparkles! I miss L.A. restaurants.

    Have you been to the Apple Pan for a burger & pie? If not, go. Soon. Also Petrelli's, which is this fabulous steak house, has amazing burgers. So yummy.

  3. Sparkly stucco is a favorite of mine too! I have never been to Petrelli's, thanks for the recommendation. My brother and I used to watch the same documentary, "Burgertown," over and over again; it was about LA's best burgers and we made a commitment to try all of them. I have been to the Apple Pan. It was good and woderfully "old-timey" but the long wait always turns me off. I think the BEST pie & burger is found at Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena - truly one of the most delicious burgers I've ever eaten! Go there when you are in town, that's an order!!

  4. Mmmmm I want to go next time! I used to live 5 miles from this, and I have never been! Food!

  5. Emily, you are always welcome!!! Bute firste, Ye Olde Shippe!!!

  6. Pie 'n Burger is Fabulous. When I was living down there the last few years, I had a membership to the Huntington (thanks to some perfectly lovely friends who knew how much I loved gardens and art and books), so I would frequently drop by Pie 'n Burger for some pie or some burger or some both on my way to or from the Huntington. Yummy....

  7. Oh yeah--have you tried Bake 'n Broil in Long Beach? I've heard it's wonderful but haven't been yet. May have to rectify that when I'm home in July.

  8. Amy - keep 'em coming. We'll try them all! Isn't The Huntington the best? I could get lost there all day!

  9. Just a great restaurant, as my family were among the first to eat there, as we lived at 1428 La Tijera (NORTH Inglewood). And after all these years, it is still quality.