Panos Charbroiler-Best Gyros
I love gyros, and I've tried many throughout the Valley (friends and I really like Firehouse), but I've absolutely settled on a favorite. Panos on Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys is a drab, faded dive, and serves the best gyros sandwich I've had, period. A huge amount of well-seasoned meat (beef and lamb mixture) slathered in fantastic dill-cucumber tzatziki, wrapped in a grill-toasted pita. I order w/o onions. It's sloppy, a bit greasy, and explodes with flavor. The toasted pita tastes like pita chips, and I mean that in a good way. It comes double-wrapped in foil and paper, but you have to eat it at a table, because there will be drippage. Delicious drippage.
And it's only $5.25.
As much as I don't want to start standing in huge lines, they deserve the business. If you're in the Valley, go there. Your mouth will be happy. One caveat: there are no posted hours. They're always open Mon.-Sat. for lunch, and closed Sundays. I think they close in the evening when business starts tapering off, so you have to call and make sure they're open. I've walked up to a locked door in the 8:00 hour.
Panos Char Broiler
16045 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Went there today and realized I was wrong about the dill. It's a cucumber-yogurt tzatziki with a bit of garlic. And it comes with fresh tomatoes. The meat is the seasoned, ground meatloaf-style "log," which I prefer to the stacked tri-tip style I've had elsewhere. This is not an authentic tour of Greece. It's a dive in the Valley that happens to have an awesome gyros sandwich.
oh dear. when i was at a conference in chicago i ordered a gyro at a small cafe and was served with a dull log of horrifying ground meat unlike anything i had ever seen before. But since I ordered it, I ate it (at the disbelief of my tablemates). Admittedly tasty, but I was a little uneasy about what in the world I had just put into my body. Thanks for clarifying that in some places gyro meat is supposed to be an unappetizing-looking log... and I'll be sure to ask the waiter next time I order a gyro anywhere.
I can attest to the quality of Panos as well. They also do a mean charbroiled burger, very tasty. I think they close at sundown, when I'm on my way home from the dogpark around 6-7 I pass it and the lights are generally out.
Went there this afternoon. It's been so long since I had a gyro that it was like starting from scratch, and my cognitive recognition factor as applies to gyros is now fully established. To say that I was pleased with what I had is putting it mildly. I loved it! No question about the lamb-beef garlicky taste. I also recognized the cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, yoghurt and finely chopped parsley. The aroma was most pleasing, and like BearCity posted, it was HUGE. No way could a pita enclose it all, and it didn't. Thanks for the post, BearCity, I now have a new whim place to go to.
Wow, finally something about Panos. I have been going there since high school (right down the street)...that would be 13 years.
I have ALWAYS ordered the hamburger, which is definitely my favorite burger in Los Angeles. This is specific to the "Charbroiled Dive" genre of Hamburgers.
I live in the city now, but every chance I get, I go to Van Nuys for that Hamburger. The gyros are good and some people like the chicken souvlaki, but I have rarely been able to make the drive there and not have the hamburger. (Greek sauce is awesome).