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Old Style Diners

Leslie Jan 19, 2005 01:36 PM

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. b
    Bruce RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 01:49 PM

    Bun N Burger

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bruce
      taco RE: Bruce May 10, 2007 02:34 PM

      where is Bun N Burger?

      1. re: taco
        JeetJet RE: taco Jun 5, 2007 08:23 PM

        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
          taco RE: JeetJet Jun 6, 2007 11:14 AM

          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
            JeetJet RE: taco Jun 6, 2007 03:54 PM

            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

    2. k
      Kat RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 03:08 PM

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

      11 Replies
      1. re: Kat
        Wes RE: Kat Jan 19, 2005 04:20 PM

        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
          Jack Flash RE: Wes Jan 19, 2005 06:38 PM

          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
            martyR RE: Jack Flash Jan 19, 2005 06:42 PM

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

            1. re: Jack Flash
              silence9 RE: Jack Flash Jan 19, 2005 07:50 PM

              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
              Hal RE: Wes Jan 19, 2005 11:39 PM

              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
                JB RE: Wes Jan 20, 2005 01:56 AM

                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
                  WildSwede RE: JB Jan 20, 2005 01:58 PM

                  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
                    silence9 RE: WildSwede Jan 20, 2005 03:29 PM

                    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
                Jon RE: Kat Jan 19, 2005 04:32 PM

                Apple Pan is more burger joint than diner.

                1. re: Kat
                  ipse dixit RE: Kat Jan 19, 2005 05:08 PM

                  The Original Pantry in downtown Los Angeles on Figueroa.

                  1. re: ipse dixit
                    Mr. Taster RE: ipse dixit Jan 19, 2005 05:50 PM

                    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. m
                  martyR RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 03:15 PM

                  LeRoy's in Monrovia on Huntington Drive.

                  Joe's in Redondo Beach on PCH

                  1. s
                    Sam D. RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 05:42 PM

                    Snug Harbor on Wilshire in Santa Monica.

                    Cindy's on Colorado in Eagle Rock.

                    1. r
                      rich walther RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 06:24 PM

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

                      1. l
                        Leslie RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 07:31 PM

                        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
                          Jack Flash RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 08:00 PM

                          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
                            Woody RE: Jack Flash Jan 20, 2005 12:58 AM

                            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
                              Jack Flash RE: Woody Jan 20, 2005 01:39 AM

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

                              1. re: Woody
                                Leslie RE: Woody Jan 20, 2005 12:25 PM

                                Do you have an address for Rae's?

                                1. re: Leslie
                                  Sam RE: Leslie Jan 20, 2005 12:51 PM

                                  Here ya go.

                                  Link: http://www.google.com

                                  1. re: Sam
                                    Leslie RE: Sam Jan 20, 2005 04:18 PM

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

                                    1. re: Leslie
                                      rabo encendido RE: Leslie Jan 20, 2005 04:33 PM

                                      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: Leslie
                                        WLA RE: Leslie Jan 20, 2005 04:42 PM

                                        first hit off of rae's santa monica

                                        Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                        1. re: WLA
                                          Sam RE: WLA Jan 20, 2005 04:51 PM

                                          First ten hits, looks like.

                                  2. re: Woody
                                    maudies5 RE: Woody Jun 5, 2007 10:39 PM

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

                                2. re: Leslie
                                  keaton RE: Leslie Jun 6, 2007 01:43 PM

                                  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?

                                3. w
                                  westsidegal RE: Leslie Jan 19, 2005 11:13 PM

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

                                  1. j
                                    Jimbo RE: Leslie Jan 20, 2005 02:22 AM

                                    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. re: Jimbo
                                      me RE: Jimbo Jan 20, 2005 02:33 AM


                                    2. m
                                      Mr Grub RE: Leslie Jan 20, 2005 11:28 AM

                                      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
                                        WLA RE: Mr Grub Jan 20, 2005 11:44 AM

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

                                      2. d
                                        Diana RE: Leslie May 10, 2007 03:06 PM

                                        Bobby's in Canoga Park

                                        1. Emme RE: Leslie Jun 5, 2007 09:09 PM


                                          Bake & Broil maybe?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Emme
                                            Oh Robin RE: Emme Jun 6, 2007 01:31 PM

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

                                            1. re: Oh Robin
                                              Emme RE: Oh Robin Jun 6, 2007 07:26 PM

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

                                          2. c
                                            CinnamonKitten RE: Leslie Jun 6, 2007 04:09 AM

                                            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. ozbuc RE: Leslie Jun 6, 2007 10:52 AM

                                              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
                                                Oh Robin RE: ozbuc Jun 6, 2007 01:32 PM

                                                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
                                                  sel RE: Oh Robin Jun 6, 2007 08:27 PM

                                                  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
                                                    Oh Robin RE: sel Jun 7, 2007 09:12 AM

                                                    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. Carrie 218 RE: Leslie Jun 6, 2007 11:17 AM

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

                                                1. r
                                                  rrunolfson RE: Leslie Jun 6, 2007 09:10 PM

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

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

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