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The Pantry - What to get?

Will be going to The Pantry for the first time tomorrow for dinner. I am definitely not expecting to be blown away by any means, but wanted to know if there is anything that I should definitely try or avoid? Thank you!

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  1. The steaks at the Pantry are pretty good. They usually come with rather anemic hash-browns so I ask to get their mashed potatoes, which are much better, instead. I also like their roast beef platters. Stick with the simple stuff.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hackenbush

      THANK YOU everyone! Some great recs. Will post tomorrow. Thanks again!

      1. re: Hackenbush

        Good? Well I used to go fairly regularly and largely because the place has such a retro vide. The food is retro too and by that I mean it achieves standards of yesteryear - which is not good. In fact since Riordan took over the joint it seems that the quality has crashed. Then again, I'm basing it on my last steak there which a year or two ago - and it had that below choice livery quality to it. And was chewy. It was, without question, by leaps and bounds, the worst steak I'd ever had in my life.

        I do like their homestyle, fried on the plancha potatoes. And their bread is pretty good. And I like their slaw too. A lot.

        But their steaks? The sort of thing you'd get at Denny's. And from my last experience - worse. Like prison food.

      2. Anything with their Hashbrowns... it's the ULTIMATE greasy spoon...

        --Dommy!

        1. Mashed potatoes and rib roast.

          Stick-to-the-bones kind of goodness.

          Also, try a side order of their garlic bread.

          1. Standing rib roast (they often run out), plenty of their great sourdough bread, and their coleslaw.

            1. I'm only there either working on or working off a hangover. I recommend any of their breakfast specialties, although be forewarned that the buckwheat pancakes are quite tough. I prefer to stay within the realm of ham, eggs and bacon.

              Bring an appetite.

              1. Their hamburgers used to be great grilled and covered with grilled onions on french bread or roll. I would go early on Sunday morning for ham steak and eggs with hashbrowns when I lived nearby,

                1. The cole slaw, the short ribs. Pretty much anything with gravy to sop up with the sourdough.

                  1. The Pantry seems to taste better after 2am after a long night of drinkin. Bring Zantac.

                    1. The steaks are very good. Don't order anything off of the specials board that sounds too weird (I once got rotisserie chicken - - don't even ask). And ask them to bring you the raw vegetables plate at the start of the meal. Everything comes with cole slaw. And for me the hashbrowns are far superior to the mashed potatoes, so make sure you're getting those with your meal. And say hi to the cashier Minh for me!

                      1. As much as I love the Pantry and I'm their biggest fan, I find the steaks to be a big disappointment. Got a feeling their choice grade if that.

                        Stick with something like one of their board specials like rib roast or short ribs or you can get ham steak and eggs any time of the day. I said ham steak not ham and eggs....difference is the ham steak practically covers the plate. The hamburger steak is decent.

                        http://www.pantrycafe.com/

                        1. I love the hamburger steak. Yum.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Tom P

                            Tom P is on the money: The hamburger steak with a side of eggs and hash browns(request them extra crispy) sluiced(the Jonathan Gold influence permeates)with a side of brown gravy is the early morning ticket.

                            I recall the days when my pop took me there as a wee tot and a full relish tray greeted you as you were seated. I understand that tray -- along with hearty sourdough loaf, toasted -- are still available by request.

                          2. steak and eggs (over easy to make the most perfect breakfast sandwhiches ever)

                            the grease-drenched sourdough bread

                            1. They also have a homemade lemon cake with lemon frosting that is unbelievable. Looks like someone's mom made it, a little lopsided, really good frosting. Don't always have it, but if it's on the board get it.

                              1. Do they have meatloaf?

                                Do they have meatloaf worth ordering?

                                How about the other diner fav, turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing/dressing?

                                1. I usually get the short ribs and I like their grilled toast... normally during dinner the bread is not grilled but they can grill it for you.

                                  1. I like the short ribs. The sauce is a bit generic heavy bland brown sauce, but somehow it all works. Your best bet is probably either the roast chicken, which can be very good or breakfast stuff.

                                    1. I'll tell you what to get - GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!

                                      There are so many really great restaurants in L.A. and hundreds of very good ones. The Pantry, by leaps and bounds is the worse place in town for steaks.

                                      If you have to eat there - get the coleslaw.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                        You go once to experience an LA legend. Get a breakfast. Keep standards low. Now you can say you've been there. Good for you. Now you never have to eat there again.

                                        There is nothing even remotely good here.

                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                          Cole slaw is good, but its loaded with sugar. Nothing like the grilled sour dough toast for breakfast-you can't get that anywhere else.

                                          1. re: monku

                                            No place in LA would serve bread that's been dipped in the grease tray of the griddle. This is true.

                                        2. this is what i'd try:

                                          i'd try to skip the entire experience entirely.
                                          if you do this, and go to a good restaurant instead, you will be ahead of the game, unless, that is, you LIKE spending money on lousy food.