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Old Style Diners

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Does anyone know if there are any old-style diners still around. What I am looking for is what they call greasy spoon kind of food, good and cheap. I'm in SGV area but will travel.

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      1. re: taco

        I like the breakfast there. Pancakes, eggs and sausage are done right. I ask for my eggs up and basted and that is how they come. The shakes are not bad either -- old style. I wish they made a better burger and fries. Bun and Burger was once a chain in the LA area. (Locations in Santa Monica to Covina and more). Originally they offered a special complete dinner including soup, salad, bun and burger (that was the bread and meat portion of the dinner), fries, a drink, and a slice of pie. Those were the days. I asked the current owner about doing it again but back in reality.... At least this place still has the original counter and kitchen hood. One of the best in the LA / OC area. I really do not think the owners understand what they have there. If they offerd a great burger and fries this place would be on the map again becaused it has a natrual burger ambiance.. At least they are good for breakfast.

        Bun and Burger
        1000 E Main St
        Alhambra, California 91801
        (626) 281-6777

        1. re: JeetJet

          Speaking of Alhambra isn't there a diner there its kinda retro looking. I saw it on t.v. one time. what's the name of that place? thanks

          1. re: taco

            I think you are talking about Diner on Main. Googie style inside and out. The ceiling is really cool. The roof somehow reminds me of Pann's. I are their once. I recall a good salad but the dressing was all wrong. Burger -- not great but not bad.

            Diner on Main
            201 W. Main
            Alhambra, CA

    1. Pie & Burger, Pasadena. Rae's, Santa Monica. Apple Pan, WLA.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Kat

        IMHO Pie & Burger and the Apple Pan are expensive for small portions.

        @ P&B a slice of pie is not only very overpriced but they slice the pir into 8ths rather than the standard 6ths.

        1. re: Wes

          Huh? Small portions? Pie 'n' Burger? Maybe the pie cuts (although I think they do cut them into 6ths, not 8ths, but I'm not positive), but how is the burger small or the fries small?

          Most people I know only get a half-order of fries - a full order is enough for two.

          As for the burger, it doesn't cost any more than a similar-sized burger at any coffee shop (and is better). Does it cost more than a fast-food joint? Yes, but a steak at the Palm costs more than a steak at The Pantry, too.

          Now I'm going to have to get a slice of pie tonight just to see if its 1/6 or 1/8. The sacrifices we all must make for the sake of accuracy!

          1. re: Jack Flash

            Pie & Burger is my favorite burger, but I think they charge too much also. But I still order them

            1. re: Jack Flash

              Hi... I strongly agree with you, Jack Flash. We ate at Pie & Burger last week, and in addition to the generous portions, here's the generous service we were pleased to be provided: a) instead of the two full orders of fries we initially requested, the waitress accomodated us with one and a half orders, split onto two plates; c) a separate plate was provided just for ketchup and condiments, without being requested; c) we wanted a slice of coconut cream pie, but were informed by the waitress that, alas, the whole pie in the case was baked by the cook to be sold whole. We settled for a very good slice of lemon meringue, then lo and behold the waitress brought us a free full slice of the cocunut cream pie, after consulting with the cook... These three examples of the diner's very simple yet accomodating willingness to please, offered good naturedly and with no begging or prodding on our part, is amazing to we who have forgotten what it is like to actually be valued by an establishment. For their offer of gratis dessert and thoughtful service, they've earned our fealty and return patronage. The food is good, but the decency seals the deal, for us :-)

            2. re: Wes

              Diners are inherently expensive compared to fast food places. They cannot take advantage of cost-cutting techniques like bulk purchasing and slavery.

              1. re: Wes

                Rather than using subjective terms to describe the worthiness of meat, how about quantifying it so we can decide for ourselves?

                So how much does the burger at P&B cost? And the pie?

                1. re: JB

                  I think the burger is somewhere around $7-8 - but it is large (and good). Fries are great (get them well done with a side of Thousand) and served in large portions as well. I never really pay attention to the prices, so cannot be accurate on the price of the pie (only had the lemon meringue which was very good). However, where else would you find a place that would take personal checks to pay for a burger and fries?? I love Pie N'Burger.

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    I do believe the burger there is $7.00 w/cheese and fixings. And they mix the root beer from syrup, which is swell and old timey.

              2. re: Kat

                Apple Pan is more burger joint than diner.

                1. re: Kat

                  The Original Pantry in downtown Los Angeles on Figueroa.

                  1. re: ipse dixit

                    Yes but remember that while the pantry serves up huge portions, the food is not very good. great atmosphere though, really old school. I really, really want to like it but I just can't.

                    Mr. Taster

                2. LeRoy's in Monrovia on Huntington Drive.

                  Joe's in Redondo Beach on PCH

                  1. Snug Harbor on Wilshire in Santa Monica.

                    Cindy's on Colorado in Eagle Rock.

                    1. rods grill in arcadia, goodys in san gabriel, thoweys in alhambra

                      1. What I am looking specifically is the old type of diner which had booths and stools. I believe they were called dining cars. They still have some in the Northeast. Most were made in Worcester MA. Or if anyone knows of a good truck stop restaurant let me know.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: Leslie

                          Ah. Then the only thing even remotely close is Pacific Dining Car (downtown L.A. branch), which is indeed housed in an old dining car, but is decidedly NOT a diner (to the contrary, it's a place for a VERY expensive steak, or a more reasonably-priced-but-not-cheap breakfast). The stainless steel-type roadside diner does not exist in SoCal (or anywhere else in California, as far as I know). Cruise the highways of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and you're bound to find what you seek.

                          Once upon a time, there was a place called Phil's Diner which was in a true diner; however, it now sits empty, killed by subway construction.

                          Link: http://www.dinercity.com/caDiner/caDi...

                          1. re: Jack Flash

                            I think Rae's in Santa Monica comes pretty damn close. It does not have the chrome airstream trailer exterior, but once inside it looks just like a diner. And there is a trailer park right down the block(stewart). The menu, the stools, the booths, the grills...it has the feel of one. It's doubled for a diner in countless movies and tv shows.

                            1. re: Woody

                              And to top it off, the food is good and incredibly inexpensive.

                              1. re: Woody

                                Do you have an address for Rae's?

                                  1. re: Sam

                                    Tried google and didnt come up with anything. Would be thankful if you just posted the street address.

                                    1. re: Leslie
                                      rabo encendido

                                      I think this is it...

                                      Rae's Restaurant
                                      (310) 828-7937
                                      2901 Pico Blvd
                                      Santa Monica, CA 90405
                                      1.8 mi E - Directions

                                        1. re: WLA

                                          First ten hits, looks like.

                                  2. re: Woody

                                    Agree that Rae's is the quintessential diner/greasy spoon.

                                1. re: Leslie

                                  Jan's Coffee Shop has a pretty good diner ambiance. There's one on Beverly Boulevard near the Beverly Center and one...in Silver Lake?

                                2. not the kind of room you want, but probably is the kind of food you want:
                                  Dinahs Family Restaurant on Sepulveda

                                  1. If you are looking dining cars then Phil's on Chandler (and I belive now defunct) was the only one I knew. Most diners in LA were of the google school. My fav is Pann's on La Cienaga

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. There are no classic NE diners in southern California. No Moody's, Miss Portland, Tick Tock, or Bendix to be found anywhere.

                                      Edie's Diner in MDR offers a faux-diner experience, w decent diner chow at a slight cost premium for being able to sit on the terrace overlooking the marina.

                                      Rae's on Ocean Park in SM does have the diner vibe w/o the bldg, as does Nick's Coffee Shop (Pico, just west of La Cienega) -- counter, stools, booths, grease.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Mr Grub

                                        And Carney's on Sunset is in an old RR car but the food is not classic diner food.

                                      2. Bobby's in Canoga Park

                                          1. re: Emme

                                            Bake & Broil is not a diner. I'd call it a homestyle coffee shop.

                                            1. re: Oh Robin

                                              Yes you're right. I just like that place so much... I get overzealous in recommending it ;)

                                          2. If you don't mind coming to Van Nuys, there is a great diner we love for breakfasts and cheap filling dinners: Nat's Early Bite. Yum!

                                            1. in the lakwood area, Dales Diner at 4339 Carson Long Beach,old style booths and the old dome type jukeboxes at each booth, great burgurs and shakes, no beer or wine. dalesdiner.com

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: ozbuc

                                                Dale's is the best. I usually go for breakfast but the bacon cheeseburgers are delish. I recommend you go with someone who will order the apple pancakes. Then you order an omelet with hash browns well done with biscuits and gravy for your toast and switch plates halfway through. Yum. Black cow for dessert...

                                                1. re: Oh Robin

                                                  The owner of Dale's Diner used to have Santa Fe Sta. a block or so away. I only made it there once for some great New Mexican chow, it closed a few days later. I was the only customer and was able to chat at length with the owner. NM chow just wouldn't catch on in L.A. He told me about Dale's and I feel bad that I haven't tried it. I'll have to go soon!

                                                  1. re: sel

                                                    I gave Santa Fe Station a couple of tries since I used to live in Lakewood. I really wanted to like it but... they just couldn't get the menu right. The first time I went there I was all excited about queso fundido but by the time it got to my table the cheese wasn't even melty anymore. It really needed a tealight under the dish. Dale's is always great though, you really should go.

                                              2. Joe's on PCH in Redondo Beach qualifies, I believe...

                                                1. The Pantry
                                                  877 S Figueroa St
                                                  Los Angeles, CA
                                                  Phone: (213) 972-9279

                                                  There is NO better "greasy spoon" classic diner than this!!