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Jan 19, 2009 12:45 PM

Biscuits and gravy

Anyplace in Los Angeles that serves good biscuits and gravy? I mean GOOD flaky biscuits smothered in savory sausage gravy, not an LA chef version. Ate at Nickel Diner this past week and tried theirs. Chicken and apple sausage(?WTF!) over what looked more like cornbread than biscuits. The apple made the gravy cloyingly sweet and almost inedible.

I went to college in the boonies in the South where local places made everything from scratch so I know of what I speak. Any recomendations would be appreciated, thanks.

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    1. re: Servorg

      Thanks for the prior thread, I did a search and that did not come up. And I guess Dommy and I have dissimilar tastes when it comes to Nickel Diner's B&G. I shall have to try Pann's since they are in vicinity. Not impressed with O'Groat's or Snug Harbor's either.

      The one part of that thread about adding nearly frozen butter chips to flour is so true; the flakiest layers ever.

    2. Pann's on La Tijera and La Cienega

      20 Replies
      1. re: mrshankly

        Pann's biscuits wouldn't be a serious threat to any Nashville establishment, but I think they're as good as you'll get in LA County. And their gravies - they do make several different ones, all from scratch - are very good. I happen to prefer a little color in my gravy (yes, a blasphemous view in much of the South), and the cream gravy I've had at Pann's has been just right.

        1. re: mrshankly

          Went to Pann's for first time this morning. Biscuits maybe a little dry/dense but maybe folks like em that way. The white sausage gravy great. real star of show was the chicken friend "steak" sunny side up eggs and shredded hashbrowns with more gravy. Pretty good place. I had no problem finishing the biscuit and gravy in addition to the rest. Friend had the waffles and wings which he said were better than at cjs where we usually go. i did see some mean looking fried chicken in this spot.

          1. re: jessejames

            Pann's biscuits are much better than average in Southern California, but they are a little dry. That's good for soaking up butter or gravy, but (sorry, Will and Jesse) I can't stand their white sausage gravy. Too many sharp off-flavors that, for some reason, remind me of the stale skin and seasonings in poor-quality hot dogs. I may have to resign myself to slathering butter and honey on those good biscuits.

            1. re: sbritchky

              Amen to the first part - I haven't tried Auntie Em's yet, but Acceptable is the most I've come to expect in these parts, biscuit-wise, and Pann's are certainly that. You are on your own viz. the gravy; those "sharp off-flavors" that seem stale and musty to you are to me reminiscent of the country-style pork products of Tennessee and Kentucky. I recall my first muslin-bagged 2-lb. log of smoked country sausage, and how the gentle reek made me wonder if it was gonna poison us all. It didn't, it was good, and a few hundred pounds of it later I'm still addicted.

              So you just stick with the honey, kid, and we'll take your share of the gravy.

              1. re: Will Owen

                heck im hungry, ill take one of each!

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Rebel Brother, I just wish I knew how a restaurant that doesn't understand the difference between country ham and sweet ham* produces those very good biscuits. They couldn't possibly have White Lily flour in the kitchen, could they? Why haven't I asked?? I've never seen good biscuits made from any all-purpose, unbleached, or higher-protein flour.

                  I also grew up on sausage gravy -- in Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas -- and this don't do it for me, for the reasons I gave. In fact, the Bob Evans chain throughout the Midwest and South has much-better gravy, IMHO, although their biscuits have begun descending into a dreaded breadiness in recent years.

                  Of course, I make both biscuits and sausage gravy at home, but this discussion has given me new resolve to find my kind of biscuits and gravy at some place where I can really stimulate the economy!

                  *Pann's advertises the latter as the former, and a waitress once gave me a disgusted you-gotta-be-kidding look when I described the lovely ham at the Loveless Cafe outside Nashville.

                  1. re: sbritchky

                    you know a place where you can get ham and biscuit or sausage and biscuit sandwiches (not mcdonalds)?

                    1. re: sbritchky

                      Doubt that they have White Lily, but I have read that every maker of flour uses lower-protein wheat in their self-rising formula than in their AP, and my own experience with the lowly Gold Medal SR seems to bear this out.

                      Got no explanation as to what your taste buds were telling you about the gravy. Could be I was just so glad to taste something besides gluey starch, or the tell-tale tang of "Country Gravy Mix (just add water!)", that I had a good part of my critical faculties turned off. Or, come to think of it, perhaps the fact that the sausage, the eggs, the hash browns and the gravy were all mangled into a glorious moosh (causing dear Brenda to make a face and walk briskly away) meant that any odd flavors just kinda got lost in the shuffle. I know this messy practice had that effect on the slop they gave us in Air Force mess halls...

                2. re: jessejames

                  Tell me about the chicken fried steak. I remember having it and thinking it was a ground beef patty with breading and vowed never to order it there again. Was it a round steak or a ground beef patty?

                  1. re: monku

                    it was either ground beef or "tenderized" beef, but not perfectly round like burger. whatever it was it was damn good. cutting it with a fork with the rest of the stuff was a plus. it wasn't huge huge maybe 5 inches width at most but still a formidable compliment to the sunny side up eggs and shredded hashbrowns and gravy and biscuits and gravy. ive had the full on deep fried steaks that you were probably craving, which i fully enjoy - id just call this a different -- tender inside/crispy and well seasoned outside -- species, and a compliment to eggs like bacon or sausage. worst case what it is i guess i like ground beef patty with breading if it is well cooked like that one.

                    1. re: jessejames

                      It's was years ago I had the CFS and it wasn't memorable from my first bite.
                      I asked because there have been numerous threads about Pann's being a place to go for great CFS and it always makes me wonder what they saw in it.

                      1. re: monku

                        maybe give it another chance? i can see the same ingredients not adding up on another occasion. the thing i liked about panns was everything on my huge plate(s) was good and not one thing really dominated. the chicken fried steak was juicy and crispy both, and went great with the gravy eggs. taters etc. in essence, balanced hossing down of many things together... where do you like for chicken fried steak, and do you like it for breakfast?

                        1. re: jessejames

                          Don't laugh, but I think one of the best CFS I've had in LA is at Claim Jumpers and I've eaten plenty of them in Texas. Believe me the first thing I'm going to think of ordering for breakfast is CFS and eggs if they got it.

                          Anytime I order CFS and get that ground patty thing, it reminds me of elementary school when they tried to pass it off as veal parmigiana.

                          1. re: monku

                            ill give that a whirl. the one at panns was no cafeterial chow from school, not that i don't get a craving for chicken puck from time to time

                            1. re: jessejames

                              Like everything else at CJ's it's as big as your head. You get 2 big CFS's.
                              It's OK, the waffles and wings is my go to dish at Pann's.

                              1. re: monku

                                those looked good. i'll probably go for that or some other yardbird next time. better yet, that and chicken fried steak biscuits and gravy, and a shake, and back to bed!

                                1. re: monku

                                  Hey monku, we do eart the same. When at Pan's it is either wings and waffles for me or the whole fried chicken dinner. For me there is only one place I will order a CFS. I swear, I tried them all in LA and now that I have the one Ii was looking for I stopped looking. I get my CFS at Pacific Diner -- not hand hammered but fresh tenderized steak and hand made on site, large, tender, crispy, flavorful. The biscuits and gravy are good but I get the toast. Have you tried this one?

                                  Pacific Diner (Best Chicken Fried Steak and eggs in L.A.)
                                  3821 S. Pacific Avenue
                                  San Pedro, CA 90731

                                  1. re: JeetJet

                                    Never been to or heard anyone rec'd the CFS at Pacific Diner....will put it on my iPhone to do list when I'm down there.

                                    1. re: JeetJet

                                      wow, i haven't heard of this joint either. anything else good to eat on the menu there?

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        In addition to the CFS, i have have tried the John Wayne Special which is the same as the one at Gaffy Street Dner and Eat at Joe's. Corn tortillas topped with home style potatoes, cheese and eggs and all that toppted with a ranchera sauce -- some sausage around the sides. Pretty good. I found the pork chops (and eggs) to be on the thin side but good. There are many special breakfast dishes like the John Wayne but I have not tried them. Ever since I tried the CFS that is what I order when I make the drive from the SGV to San Pedro for breakfast. My son tried one other breakfast that is made in the "chicken fried" style but I can't recall what meat it is. My son has ordered it twice and likes it. From my table I can see many people order it. Just like the CFS it comes on-top of some gravy.

                  2. Good luck on your search. I have been living in LA for almost 9 years and have yet to find some good biscuits and gravy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tari

                      I hear ya, Tari, nothing soaks up the previous evening's imbibing/fillls you up better than some B&G and hot sauce. That's how I came to love them in college

                    2. I like Jenny's Country Kitchen in Santa Fe Springs for B&G. It's not sausage gravy - they use country ham - but it's my favorite in Los Angeles.

                      For good sausage gravy (and biscuits) go to any Johnny Rebs location.

                      1. For sausage gravy and decent biscuits, I like Johnny Rebs (Orange, Long Beach, or Bellflower).

                        My favorite B&G is Jenny's Country Kitchen which uses country ham in their gravy. They are on Telegraph x Carmenita in Santa Fe Springs.