The Apple Pan

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West L.A.’s venerable Apple Pan was mentioned in my column last Wednesday and I thought I’d post about it here as well. After all, as it’s been around since 1947, surely some of you have eaten there. It’s in the shadow of the Westside Pavilion mall. “Quality Forever” is their motto, and like In-N-Out, they do only a few things but do them exceedingly well.

Burgers, fries and pies are the main items, although they have a few other sandwiches, including what’s said to be an amazing egg salad. (I’d try it, but as I eat there about once every five years, I stick to the burgers.) The weird name must have to do with their apple pie. Well, the name is memorable.

Everything about the place is vintage, including the staff, who wear paper hats and aprons, and the cash registers, which ring you up in pre-electronic style.

I had a steakburger with cheese, Coke (with a paper cone of ice in a stainless steel holder) and banana cream pie. The bill came to $17.10, but was well worth it. Check out the pie: Unusually, the bananas have their own layer, with the cream part above and below. Delicious.

As I headed back to the 10 Freeway on Overland, I saw a portion of the Expo Line under construction. If it’s a station, as I think it is (the map is here), that will put the Apple Pan within walking distance of a transit stop, and after its 2015 opening I’ll probably go more often.

You can read more about the restaurant on its Wikipedia page, and for the definitive take, read Charles Perry’s lengthy 60th-anniversary piece from the Times.

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  • DebB

    I figured surely Huell Howser would have visited here. Sure enough:
    Part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XKi9_haJU0
    Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVDz-bycF-o

    Made me hungry….

    • SAWZ

      Just wanted to make me cry, didn’t you.

  • Lois Robbins

    Your book looks like it’s from the Pomona Public Library. Am I right?

    • davidallen909

      Leave it a Pomona librarian to home in on the most important detail in the photo! The answer is yes.

  • Ramona

    Am I the only one who can’t think “Apple Pan” with out mentally adding “Dowdy”.?

    Ate there several years ago as part of the process of showing a New Yorker the highlights of SoCal. Yum!!

    • davidallen909

      Might be Dowdy was implied and the reason for the unusual moniker. I’ve never had pan dowdy.

  • Kevin

    The Hickory Burger! You have to get the Hickory Burger! I love this place

    • davidallen909

      A few days after my visit, Jonathan Gold’s 10 Best Burgers list came out, and he recommended the Pan’s Hickory Burger. I know I’ve had it, and I don’t remember being impressed, but perhaps my taste buds have matured since then.

  • Bob House

    Next time you’re that ‘hood, a short trip down Overland and west on Venice will take you to Howard’s Famous Avocado and Bacon Burger (it’s name and specialty). I had many delicious burgers there when working in Culver City in late70s/early 80s. It’s still there. Also, nearby is El Nopal, “Home of the Pregnant Burrito” – a football-size treat.

    • davidallen909

      Wow, I’d not heard of either, but they sound worthy of investigation. Howard’s has a funny name!

  • John Clifford

    Been there several times and agree with all comments. A delightful experience.

  • SAWZ

    If any picture of a food item could make one’s mouth water, that pie sure does! If I ever get some reserve W/W points I’m going to celebrate with that pie–after I learn how to get to that Apple Pan by public transit.

    • davidallen909

      Could be the Expo Line will be open by the time you save up the points, but if not, the current end of the line is a couple of miles, and one bus ride, from the restaurant.

      • SAWZ

        Its hard to tell for sure–is that real egg-white meringue?

        • davidallen909

          I believe so…but I was more focused on the bananas.