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What's the big deal about Dinah's?

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I had their chicken twice. I don't get it. And their green beans might as well have been canned.

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  1. I think their green beans are canned.

    The fried chicken used to be really good. It's now been a couple years since we've gone there as I really feel the quality has declined. In the area we either go to Smitty's or Honey's Kettle for takeout fried chicken. Pann's is very good, but the chicken isn't that great if you drive it home.

    4 Replies
    1. re: NAspy

      Their fried checken used to be really good...I like their dutch pancakes and their apple pancakes. Honey Kettle has the best biscuits that I have every had. You do have to wait a while for your order but it is really good there.

      1. re: NAspy

        Fried foods are never good if they're not served promptly. I too, don't "get" Dinah's. Their food is consistently mediocre.

        1. re: NAspy

          This has come up before: the trick to taking Pann's chicken home successfully is to let it get cold before boxing it up, or else the condensation destroys the crunchiness. I've tried that and it works, though of course nothing can restore that brilliance you get from a freshly cooked wing...

          1. re: Will Owen

            The real trick is eating them out of the box on the way home in the car. Just be careful as the steering wheel can get dangerously slippery.

        2. Wow! I grew up on top of the bluffs there, and even now I always considered it to be a very safe area. I have to wonder if the Howard Hughes Center tends to attract the cretins.

          I share everyone else's opinions about Dinah's. That's one restaurant that's strictly living off of their name and past glory. I gave up on them around the turn of the millennium. You probably still get the oldtimers jamming the place on weekend mornings who still swear by it though.

          1. Dinah's has been a local standard in this neck of the woods since the 50's. They use to be one of very few places that one could get fried chicken in this general area until KFC first appeared in Culver City on Sepulveda by Sawtelle back in the mid-60's. You can still see its mid-century googie interior when you walk into the restaurant. While they still have alot of the same menu items and some are quite tasty (mainly any of their oven pancakes), I think the quality of many of their menu items doesn't really compare well to alot of other places that have opened over the years. The bulk of their business is from local families who like its familiarity, while the remainder is probably made up of guests from the surrounding hotels. Given these two groups are the mainstay of Dinah's customer base, they probably feel no need to up their game. Business is plentiful as it always has been.

            I believe there was a change in ownership a few years back. This also might have something to do with their perceived decline. I noticed that the waitresses who had served us since my childhood were all gone a few years back - ladies who scolded my son's ill tableside manners as they did me when I was a kid are all gone. The new guard of waitresses are just as good in offering service, but the feel is different. They seem out of place in a setting where the frequent sonic booms from the Hughes Aircraft facilities, Bobby Darren songs and the Cuban missle crisis were the mainstay of conversation here in times past.

            If your past doesn't have a connection with Dinah's, you definitely won't be so forgiving of their food. If you do recall parts of your early years here, you may or may not be more willing to cut this old gal some slack, as she is a mere remnent of her glory days in some ways, but at the same time, I personally will always love Dinah's for the smiles she put on my grease-smeared face while yielding those delicious fried drumsticks at all those wonderful picnics at Westchester park and Toes beach...

            Pann's is less than five minutes to the east, and IMHO, is far superior to Dinah's. Give them a try and you'll see what Dinah's could be....

            1. I know what you mean! My in-laws drag our entire family down there whenever anyone visits from out-of-town for the apple pancake and, I swear, you do better at IHOP. Plus it smells. YUCK!