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“Excellent option for a good burger”
Review of Apple Pan

Apple Pan
Ranked #100 of 10,749 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: American, Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch
Neighborhood: Westside
Reviewed January 16, 2014

It is a simple place, well located but the focus is the food, they are excellent, in quality, size, speed of service, etc.

There is not tables, just a big counter where people rotates very fast, not long lines.

Be aware that you can use only cash.

Next time in LA I will go again...

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Thank Alberto M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 - 128 of 315 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2013

Simply one of the best burger and fries on the served in LA with no frills in an no nonsense just find a spot, sit down and eat atmosphere. oh and dont forget the pie ala mode!!!!

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Thank r r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

I moved from LA 20 years ago and always missed this burger.While visiting I dropped in and was treated to the quality and service that I so fondly remember.Simply the best burger and fries on the served with non frills in an oldcfashioned setting.Dont miss it!

Thank alohapeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Sometimes reviewers can be ruthless. I guess we all want to believe that ours is The Final Word on a subject rather than just one more drop in the endless stream of subjective opinions. We want what we want for the price tag we want it, and when we don't get our way, we can become pretty venomous. Sometimes I wish we'd just chill out a bit and roll with the experience.

Why am I mentioning any of this? Curious about prior feedback, I opted to read reviews about Apple Pan on another site. I was astounded at the numbers of diners who just didn't get the place. Like those weighing the dining experience in the Historic area of Colonial Williamsburg on a 21st Century scale of expectations, so many people seem to visit Apple Pan wearing blinders which simply prohibit full enjoyment of the experience. This isn't a fast food burger joint, nor is a haute cuisine burger. It's a slice of Americana, circa late 1940's. It's a habit. For the most part, it's the same menu, served in the same surroundings, presented in the same fashion as it was over sixty years ago. It's quirky. And it's also good.

This is a no-frills experience, starting with virtually no place to park. The tiny lot is usually full, and probably due to its location across the street from Westside Pavilion, street parking is generally non-existent. Once through the swinging doors, you'll find the place has no atmosphere and no tables: 26 naughahyde swivel stools line the horseshoe shaped counter, manned by a pair of no-nonsense servers clad in white aprons and paper hats. Your first decision will likely be whether you wish to sit on the left or the ride side of the counter-- and while this seems pretty basic to newcomers, here it isn't always a matter of grabbing a free seat. Regulars generally have preferences for a particular server, which is why someone may surrender an empty space even though he's been waiting longer. He isn't being unduly polite, nor is he necessarily waiting for the rest of his party-- he's simply waiting to enjoy his meal at the station of his favorite server. Those folks who are glaring at you, willing you to free up your seat and skip dessert are newbies; regulars will wait their turn.

For years, we were right-siders, simply because the guy on the left kind of scared us. Gordon aka Gordie on the right side wasn't exactly Mr. Personality to begin with either, but after one time we'd more or less learned his rhythm. And once you knew Gordie's rhythm, things ran like clockwork. Occasionally, he even grinned. We'd sit and reach for a menu while Gordie busied himself with the other patrons in his area; A preremptory glance in our direction was his equivalent of asking "have you decided?" and if we made eye contact, that was the signal for him to pull out his pencil. Exchanges were generally as brief as possible-- Gordie, we assumed, was saving his sentences for a rainy day. You didn't ask questions and you didn't rock the boat. My husband and I still laugh remembering a long-ago diner who was misguided enough to special order his burger (in this case, simply asking for them to hold the lettuce). Gordie had glanced up from his order pad just barely, muttered "No lettuce? Not much of a burger..." then was off to complete the rest of his duties.

Soft drinks normally arrive accompanied by nostalgic cone-shaped paper cups nestled into holders. The root beer they serve tastes like root beer did half a century ago. Ordering fries triggers the following chain of events: a greyed paper pulp plate will be slapped down before you onto which a generous helping of ketchup will be squeezed. Don't want ketchup? Keep it to yourself. Ketchup is part of the dance. Within seconds, a second pulp plate pill be set before you with an ample stack of fries, properly crisped, brown on the edges, and usually steaming hot. With or without ketchup, we think you'll like them. And if you run out of ketchup (unlikely) your server will likely squeeze out more before you have opportunity to ask.

I'm sure there are other things worth ordering, but for me Apple Pan is all about Hickory burgers, with just the right amount of of their smoky homemade sauce, a generous hunk of crisp iceberg lettuce and a juicy burger on a perfectly toasted bun which has a ring of crispness around the edges. Steak burgers are good as well, substituting ketchupy relish for hickory sauce. Either burger can be ordered with the addition of Tillamook cheddar which will be properly melted to embrace the meat. When hot and properly assembled, expect your burger to arrive sans plate, swaddled in white paper and a bag, planted decisively on end with the open end pointing toward the ceiling. Has a burger ever dared to tip over in the past 60 years? I think not. And frankly, after so many years of the same delivery, I'd be devastated if they ever even thought of changing their routine. This is classic Apple Pan stuff. Expect it. Enjoy it. Grin at it (probably not when your server is looking or he'll wonder if there's something wrong with you.)

In the many years we've patronized the Apple Pan, until recently we'd never sampled anything other than apple pie. It's good, not great, and you'll be brusquely asked if you want it with ice cream or not. I understand they make one heck of a banana cream pie, which I've yet to try. One night, many, many years ago (perhaps even our first time) we made the mistake of asking about other pies on a night when Gordie was even more economical with his conversation than usual. I suspect they were also low on pie. Our recollection is that the conversation ran something like this:

Gordie: Pie?
Us: What kind do you have?
G: This is the Apple Pan. We have apple pie.
U: We'll have apple pie, then.
G: Ice cream?
U: Uh, yeah. Sure.

It wasn't the best pie we'd ever had, but it was good and we left happy. We also exited chuckling about the conversation we'd just had.

And you know what? The next time we came back to Apple Pan, we waited for seats to open up on Gordie's side.

2  Thank Gail G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

The idiom 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' has never rang so true as it does with Apple Pan. There is nothing fancy about AP: not the decor, the food, nor the men working there. This no-frills place is a time capsule from an era when burgers were prepared with simple (and fresh) ingredients and if you want to know what going out for a burger in the 50s must have been like, look no further.

There's a reason this place hasn't had to change in over half a century and if you go there expecting some kind of burger epiphany based on its reputation, you're going to be disappointed. These aren't gourmet burgers, but they're my personal favourite in LA. The secret spice in the relish, the stack of crisp iceberg lettuce, juicy beef patties, and whatever else they put on the AP burger is all I need to get my fix. Well, maybe a slice of their home-made pie for dessert.

The AP formula is simple: good food, done right, every time. It's also proven -- why else would most Angelenos call AP their favourite burger spot in town?

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Thank P K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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