Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 18, 2006 07:30 PM

Cafe 50's Diner - Worst Diner in L.A.; What is the best L.A. Diner?

Being a midwestern boy, I'm a bit of a diner afficianado. While I understand that the chances of having a matronly blue-haired waitress scream out the order "Adam and Eve on a raft & make it snappy" is not likely to be heard in a traditional diner here in L.A., I do expect the food to comfort and the service to be at least decent.

Fasten your seatbelts, when you visit Cafe 50's Diner on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice you will experience non of the charm one associates with the classic diner experience. Other than the decor, you will leave angry and disappointed.

Upon being seated, we waited nearly 10 minutes before being offered coffee or water. Finally, after placing our order, the food came before the coffee did. My O.J. never arrived. Not once during the rest of the meal did the waitress or table staff ever refresh our drinks or inquire as to the quality of the food.

The food, breakfast in this case, was worse than the slop I was served in Army boot camp.

* I ordered a bacon, mushroom, onion, and cheese omellette. The "guts" of my omellette were grilled together,mixed with cheese, then plated with the egg covering the "guts" of the omellette that were stuck to the plate. The "guts" were whipped together so fast that the onion wasn't even marginally carmalized and the bacon was the charred remains of meat. The home fries were so tasteless that ketchep and tabasco couldn't allow me to tolerate more than one bite.

* My friend ordered steak and eggs. Upon looking at the gray, thin flesh of what was supposed to be steak, I know he was having a similarly miserable experience. I was really embarrassed that I had suggested we eat breakfast here.

Finally, the meal was over, we had to hunt down the waitress who needed to adjust the bill for the missing O.J., but never offered an apology for the shoddy food and service. Denny's may be awful, but if you compared the two restaurants side by side, Denny's would be like dining at The Ivy in comparison.

For L.A. diner food, I will simply have to truck up to the valley and visit my old haunts such as Coral Cafe in Burbank, DuPar's in Studio City, and Mel's.

I would love to hear everyone's favorite L.A. Diner.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Wes

      Ya, I agree that what PorterhousePatick might be looking for is a cafe like Pann's.
      A great menu and Googie style. But LA has no more true Diners. Diner 's are found in MA, to NJ, to VA., to ..., but not Los Angeles. Developers killed them all. But L.A. has a number of great Cafe's. Begin with Pann's

      6710 La Tijera Blvd (Cross Street: La Cienega Boulevard)
      Los Angeles, CA
      (323) 776-3770

    2. Rae's, on Pico blvd. in Santa Monica (just west of McCabe's Guitar Shop). Looks and feels the part. Generous breakfasts (and very busy on weekends) and inexpensive diner grub... Also, just barely a 'diner', but Swingers (also in Santa Monica, but to the north) puts a spin on the experience. Good burgers, salads, and fried stuff, and I bel;ieve its open 24/7.

      3 Replies
      1. re: silence9

        I must agree - I love Rae's! Good portions, good food and super casual atmosphere!

        1. re: redglowh

          im going to triple that. I love Rae's. its a 50's style diner, because it was actually FROM THE 50'S. can't go wrong with their portions and their prices. blows most places away.

          1. re: Brown Dolphin

            Add me to the list of Rae's lovers! It's a real diner and the prices can't be beat. I had an amazing patty melt there awhile back with fries, cole slaw, and iced tea for under 10 bucks!!

      2. Try Ocean Diner on Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach - I've never been disappointed by the food there. Also, Cozy Cafe on PCH in Redondo Beach is a great dive, er, diner. Sorry, neither of these reside in a classic diner 'building'.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I love Bob's as well! I also like Dupar's in Studio City and at the Farmer's Market. Although it's not a diner, I love Musso and Frank for things you don't see these days on any menu. Aspic anyone?

          2. Dale's Diner in Lakewood.
            Shorehouse - Belmont Shore and Seal Beach
            Harbor House - Sunset Beach and Dana Point
            Woody's - Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and Huntington Beach
            Ruby's - okay, it's a chain, but their breakfasts are pretty good, if that's what you're after

            4 Replies
            1. re: CynD

              Love Dale's! Been going since high school. Great omelettes, heavenly apple pancakes, sinful chili cheese fries. My sister gets her hash browns well done then eats them with their buttermilky ranch. Evil. Great biscuits & gravy and hand formed burgers also.

              1. re: Oh Robin

                Dale's Cajun burger with swiss cheese and avocado with a side of onion rings is on my short "bucket" list. Once a month!

                1. re: torty

                  Could you tell us where Dales' is located? Thanx

                  1. re: Neta

                    Linked ...

                    Dale's Diner
                    4339 E Carson St, Long Beach, CA 90808