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Best Banana Cream Pie in LA??

According to the NYT Magazine, the answer is PIE N BURGER, edging out runner up APPLE PAN.

See link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/mag...

I'm not so sure I agree - nor do I necessarily disagree. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy PIE N BURGER'S pie, but is it really the best?

What do the 'hounds think?

Best banana cream pie in LA ... where?

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  1. It's a bit out of the main stream bcp but the version at Bandera is really good....mmmmm - Banana Cream Pie (done in my best Homeric impression)

    1. APPLE PAN! Ya don't have to have the counter person scrape off the mediocre merangue and replace it with whipped cream like you do at Pie & Burger.

      1. Will be in LA next week - and I'm more of a Coconut Cream Pie fan. Any suggestions?

        6 Replies
        1. re: MadAboutParis

          For Coconut Cream Pie, you might also want to try PIE N BURGER. http://www.pienburger.com/

          Enjoy your visit.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            coconut cream pie is apple pan all the way, head and shoulders above it's very own b.c.p.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Pie N Burger actually features a coconut merangue (not cream) pie but it is amazing!!!

            2. re: MadAboutParis

              For years I've always replaced the meringue with the whipped cream. (I disagree with the poster that called the mergingue mediocre. It's light and toasted which is hard to find.) However, due to a server error I got both. Unbelievable! But it only works on the coconut cream pie. As for the banana cream. Heads above all else. But I will say because of this board I was introduced to Bake 'n Broil in Long Beach and I'd rate that second. To review:

              Pie 'n Burger
              Bake 'n Broil
              Apple Pan

              1. re: MadAboutParis

                Babbaloo on Montana St. in Santa Monica. Cocnut cream pie to die for!

                1. re: MadAboutParis

                  My reply is the same. Tender Greens. Call to find out which day they have it. Amazing.

                2. Personally I prefer the version at Clementine buy a long shot. Superior custard. Also, the homemade graham cracker crust makes all the difference. Sadly, the recipe wasn't included in the times.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JudiAU

                    I just bought a pie at Clementine last week for my wifes birthday. The filling was good but the crust had a slightly burnt taste. I expected a much better pie for $24.

                  2. Apple Pan....that should be your only choice.

                    1. Jar on Beverly has a great Banana Cream pie with carmel sauce drizzled on top.

                      1. Bake & Broil in Long Beach

                        1. At the risk of sounding common, I love the banana cream pie at Coco's ... yeah, Cocos!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: howard81

                            If we're going common, I prefer Marie Callendar's over Coco's or Baker's Square.

                          2. I vote for Apple Pan if you are looking for the traditional.

                            If you want Banana Cream Pie with a slight twist, Babalu in Santa Monica. Great Banana Cream Pie with a chocolate cookie bottom. It is crave worthy!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: ashlee

                              the pies at Babalu are always very heavy and not that great, pedestrian at best, but oh, they do look very enticing always in the display case.

                              1. re: ashlee

                                I agree with the Babalu vote. It's my personal fav in LA, but I say that with the disclaimer that I haven't tried Apple Pan's version yet. Seeing as how it's so highly praised by the Chow's and it's one of my all time favorite deserts, I'll have to finally give the Pan a shot.

                                1. re: ashlee

                                  I love Babalu's, same as Cafe Montana.

                                  1. re: ashlee

                                    Another interesting variation is the banana-coconut pie at Classic Thai in Eagle Rock. It's basically like a banana cream pie with crust made of toasted coconut.

                                    1. re: Chris O

                                      Yowza... I think when god handed out various talents, he gave a disproportionate share of talent for cuisine to the Thai people! They never cease to amaze me with their knack for hitting their dishes on all cylinders...

                                    1. Ok, I just put the PIE N' BURGER banana cream pie on my hit list to try. It is hard for me to imagine a meringue version beating the APPLE PAN version with its whipped cream top, but I am open to being blown away as the NYT author suggests.

                                      I love the CLEMENTINE and JAR versions. CAMPANILE used to do one at lunch sometimes. Perhaps they still do. I can't pick a favorite. All of the above are great.

                                      1. Dude, I had a slice from Dupar's this weekend, and it was friggin great. Pastry crust, really nice custard, nice chunks of banana. Mmmmmm!

                                        1. No one has mentioned Susina Bakery! Definitely my favorite... a dense shortbread crust lined with thin layers of chocolate & caramel; filled with fresh bananas and custard; topped with nice, thick whipped cream & chocolate shavings. Yum.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: choysauce

                                            I've never seen it at Susina but am so excited to hear that!! Do you know if they have it on particular days???

                                            1. re: LoveCulverCity

                                              I think they have it everyday, but it probably sells out toward the end of the day. I believe you can also order it in a larger size (possibly 9").

                                          2. I concur with the people who say APPLE PAN!!!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Diana

                                              Pardon my ignorance about good meringue. What's the texture of the meringue like at Apple Pan? I noticed how pretty it was last time, but was afraid to order it for fear that it would be a dry foamy chunk like what you'd get if you got banana cream pie with meringue instead of whipped cream at some place like Marie Callendar's (where I love the banana cream pie, but with whipped cream).

                                              1. re: Pei

                                                not crisp or dry at all. Very creamy and good. Traditionally, banana cream should not have meranguer that is crisp..if it has merangue, it would be more like a lemon merangue pie.

                                                1. re: Diana

                                                  Thanks! If it's creamy I'll try it.

                                                  I didn't mean to say the chain restaurant pie places have crisp meringues, but they have that dry foamy meringue that is just awful. I can't describe it, I just know it when I see it: giant holes in the meringue, kind of chewy on top, doesn't really melt in your mouth. Bleh.

                                                2. re: Pei

                                                  Apple Pan does NOT have meringue on their cream pies. Their cream pies (as a CREAM pie should) have real whipped cream on top.

                                                  I'm in the camp that believes that the banana cream pie from the Apple Pan rocks. I've never tasted another banana cream pie that could beat it.

                                              2. i've never understood merngue for the most part, i really don't care for it, maybe because of the gross texture.

                                                but the pie n burger variety is actually good.

                                                and their butterscotch with meringue is really good.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  Yep, the banana, butterscotch, and coconut cream pies there are all really good. I'm not a huge meringue fan, but I like the Pie n Burger pies so much, I've learned to dig banana cream pie with meringue.

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    The custard pie filling at Pie N Burger is very rich. I think adding whipped cream, versus meringue would be way too over the top. I love the lightness of the meringue, with toasted coconut on top to contrast with the richness of the custard.

                                                  2. apple pan is the way i'd imagine a pie would taste in the midwest even though i've never been there.

                                                    which is a high compliment.

                                                    the namesake apple pie is beyond terrible and bears no relation to the cream pies.

                                                    1. boy, i've got to disagree. i've eaten at both apple pan and pie 'n' burger multiple times ... enough to decide that i just don't get the appeal. for me, the absolute best banana cream pie is at bake 'n' broil in long beach. for a cheap thrill, the one at phillipe's is pretty good, too. and the previous poster is right, cream pies should have whipped cream on top--meringue pies have meringue. never the twain should meet.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: FED

                                                        I agree, Bake & Broil totally blows them away, plus they make all their stuff in-house. Apple Pan and Pie 'n Burger are two of the most overrated places to grace this board.

                                                        1. re: Ernie

                                                          The Apple Pan is a sacred and storied institution when it comes to LA food... even if they don't have the best this or that - we could pick apart any place for days - they do have what alot of people go there for: a counter that makes you cozy with your neighbor - one chowhounder mentioned he had a long conversation with an elder gentleman he was sitting next to, only to find out later from his starstruck friend that he was talking with Gregory Peck (I've had similar experiences) - and memories that stretch back to the 1940s. 60 years of slinging pie and burger culture is no easy feat. I used to go often as a teenager - maybe two to three times a month, but now I only go maybe once or twice a year now because it does get outrageously crowded. I get the steak burger with tillamook cheese, fries, and a coke in those wierd but nostalgic cone cups, and finish it off with their apple pie. I know this is a post for banana cream pie, but I was a little struck when I read your entry. C'mon Ernie, cut the "old man" some slack...

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                            I get my nostalgia kicks at older places like Musso & Frank or Phillipes, so Apple Pan for me loses out on that front too.

                                                            1. re: Ernie

                                                              Sorry you feel that way... I pretty much put all of these in the same pack... I can knock your two choices from here to downtown and back but I revere all three too much...

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                You might have a point if Musso was nominated for best steak in LA or Phillipes for best French dip, but I haven't seen that in this thread so you don't. This thread is about best banana cream pie which is simply not and often overrated at Apple Pan.

                                                                1. re: Ernie

                                                                  Well, at least you are able to admit that, which does put all three in the same boat... sorry to have gotten your goat up... chill bro...

                                                      2. The best banana cream pie is at URTH CAFE - so DELISH. The crust is the same one they use in the pumpkin - kinda like a toffee graham cracker crust. I highly recommend it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: LuluBleu

                                                          Oh, yeah. That's one of my favs too. I haven't had it in a couple of years, but I thought they made it with an oreo crust....?

                                                        2. Susina hands down. Individual pies packed full of bananas with a fresh creamy top and a thin layer of chocolate between the the creamy center and the crisp pastry shell. Drooooool.

                                                          1. Oh the Apple Pan for sure! I wouldn't touch Banana Cream Pie until I tried the Apple Pans...and i've been hooked for 20 years! I've tried others, but I couldn't even manage a second bite they were so bad. Don't waste your time with anything else!!!!

                                                            1. No question, Pie n Burger!!!

                                                              1. Jiraffe- carmelized thinly sliced bananas on top- need I say more?

                                                                1. This will be my first post to Chowhound. I'm an LA native and kind of a Foodie novice but I do love Banana Cream Pie. I cannot vouch for Apple Pan or Pie n' Burger since I have not had them (forgive me LA but I am a novice). I will try the Apple Pan though because all the banana creme pie I've had across the country has had whipped cream (I'm one of those Jan & Michael Stern 'Roadfood' types that take the book on those rare times when I can afford to travel; the Fairview Cafe in Wahoo Nebraska rocks for pie or at least it used to and they didn't even know they were in the book which was even better). In the past the best banana cream I've had in LA is at Dinah's at the intersection of Centinela and Sepulveda near LAX. It really reminded me of great pies I've had in diners in the South & Midwest. Unfortunately it's gone downhill since they no longer put whipped cream on top unless you ask for it and generally the quality is just less than before (it's lacked freshness). I've tried Susina recently and loved their pie, agree with other poster and would recommend it but it is not really traditional. Jongerrvards (sp?) Bake & Broil on Atlantic in N.Long Beach is another place that might be good since I have had their other pies (their fresh fruit pies are never very sweet though). The real plus there are their cakes which are excellent (and I'm not a cake guy). Be sure to try the Red Velvet sometime.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: angelatmytable

                                                                    Welcome to CH's LA board AatmyT. We hope you feel comfortable to share more of your favorites since you have broken the posting barrier.

                                                                    Jongewaard Bake N Broil in Long Beach gets a lot of good comments here.

                                                                    1. re: tony michaels

                                                                      Thanks. Also nice tip for the "Best Burger" post though I thought only I knew about B&R. I guess Chowhound will be teaching me that no place is a secret. They do have the best turkey burgers in my opinion though the service can be measured using tree rings (the fries weren't bad either they day I went).

                                                                  2. I had the Jar banana cream pie late last week and was blown away. I love Jar, but had always had the butterscotch pudding. Actually, I usually can't handle dessert there after a gigantic pot roast or steak...but now I might just skip dinner for that banana cream pie.

                                                                    They also had a great, hard to find Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc half-bottle.


                                                                    1. Jar - 8225 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                                      1. Tender Greens. Locations throughout LA. Not an everyday item. Call to find out which day a week it is served.

                                                                        1. apple pan or jonegward's bake n broil.

                                                                          1. tried the one from whole foods a couple of weeks ago and it was incredibly delicious

                                                                            1. Surprised to find only one vote for SUSINA

                                                                              1. I don't even like pie....but the banana cream pie at the Apple Pan is outstanding! You can taste the quality ingredients, sweet and plenty of bananas, the cream not overly sweet but rich...