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Feb 25, 2008 08:01 AM

where can i find a new jersey style diner in so cal


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  1. There aren't any. I grew up in New Jersey and there are no real diners in LA. There are places you can get the food -- Tallyrand in Burbank, for instance -- but not a real diner. And Kate Mantilini, which was the suggestion the last time I asked, is most definitely NOT a real diner.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      whenever I visit my parents in Toms River I go to those places for breakfast... they have the largest display of desserts in those cases that turn around Hmm cheesecake for breakfast anyone??

      1. re: Foodandwine

        Yeah... the other night at Katella Grill I thought, "God, all they need is the jukeboxes in the booths and a revolving display case..." What a shame the food was meh.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          The food was "meh"? Wow - you need to go back! Maybe they had an off night or something because I have been going there for years with my family and the food is tremendous - especially anything BBQ! They also have really great breakfast skillets and omelettes that you can create yourself. I suggest you try the place again.

          1. re: HikerGrl63

            I've since been back (and not by my own choice). The service was atrocious -- they were horribly understaffed -- and I stand by my original opinion of "meh".

            You're not thinking of the Katella Deli in Los Alamitos? I like that place... the Katella Grill near the Honda Center, no, not so much.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I'm guessing you must go when they are packed before a concert or Ducks game then. Like I said, I've been going there for years with my family before Angel games and have never had terrible service - you must be one unlucky guy! That's too bad - you're missing out on some great food.

      2. re: Das Ubergeek

        You want a dive diner? The Original Pantry downtown.

      3. What makes a diner "new jersey style"? I, of course, could make all sorts of allusions to Bon Jovi, big hair, and that type of stuff, but I suspect that you're describing something a bit less stereotypical than that...

        10 Replies
        1. re: glutton

          NJ-style diners are typically open 24 hours, feature a mix of booth and counter seating, have mile-high cakes and meringue pies in a prominently located display case (which might or might not feature revolving racks), have menus with a dizzying array of options (any ethnic emphasis tends to be Italian and/or Greek) that always include several burgers and club sandwiches, serve everything on the menu at any hour (except for noted lunch and dinner specials), have a senior-citizen menu on the back page of the "real" menu, occasionally feature small jukeboxes in each booth, have middle-aged-and-older waitresses who do indeed call you "Hon," serve strong coffee with unlimited refills, and are almost always located on busy highways. Let's see, I'm sure I'm forgetting something. But those are the basics.

            1. re: sku

              Negative. Dupar's is way more expensive, not very good, and their menu is about one-fourth the size. Jersey Diner menus are much more akin to something like Canter's, just minus all the Jewish Deli stuff.

              1. re: wutzizname

                Ah yes, I forgot to mention prices: cheap.

                1. re: wutzizname

                  As someone else in this thread already recommended, (irishkevbo) the Harbor House Cafe in Dana Point and Sunset Beach in the OC are probably going to be as close as one can come out on this coast.


                    1. re: Servorg

                      Yeah... it's diner food but not in a diner atmosphere. I like it though.

                2. re: katydid13

                  Not the best food in the world, but it seems to me Astro's in Silver Lake
                  - is open 24 hours
                  - has the revolving desserts case
                  - has a big menu with some Greek options
                  - serves everything at every hour
                  - not sure about the senior citizen's men
                  -No jukeboxes,
                  - Coffee is eh.
                  -Located just off the 5 and the 2.
                  Pretty close?

                  1. re: Chowpatty

                    I used to really like Astro's and its sister diner Jan's, but I feel like they've declined a lot over the last few years.

                  2. re: katydid13

                    They have sensational rice pudding!

                3. There really isn't anything identical to a Jersey-style diner in Los Angeles. Your best bet to find something similar would be to check out one of the old-time coffee shops, like Pann's.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: DanaB

                    Earlier posts are correct in that you won't find any "authentic" NJ diners in LA, but you can find coffee shop type diners that come very close. My favorite is Nick's Coffee shop on Pico, just west of La Cienega. They have counter seats, great servers and the best bacon/egg/cheese sandwich in town. Feels like home to me.

                    1. re: PepeOB

                      And the menu at NIck's is ridiculously long. It's like a historical document featuring food trends through the years.

                      1. re: PepeOB

                        Nicks is in fact Awesome, though I can't say much for anything other than breakfast. I can say, this is THE FRIENDLIEST DINER EVER! No kidding the employees are all so kind and many of them "family"

                    2. where can you find them? jersey. they don't even call them diners out here. it's "coffee shops". i'm from jersey and i tried when i moved here 11 years ago to find a diner, a pizza joint, deli and normal east coast egg rolls. it's a no-go.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: woofer

                        The diner is a no-go, but the others are absolutely findable. Brent's for the deli, Vito's for the pizza, and a few places (search for "NY egg rolls") for the egg rolls. You can even get pork roll (Taylor ham).

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          i have to disagree. brent's and vito's don't rate very highly with me.

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