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May 18, 2012 08:13 AM

Who makes your favorite patty melt?

I know Pann's patty melt is a board favorite.

But my vote goes to Pie N Burger.


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  1. Pann's PATTY MELT, 2/3 LB with Melted American Cheese and Onions on Grilled Rye,,,so good. The Best in LA.

    42 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Having had a Pann's Patty Melt last night for the umpteenth time I can safely say my favorite (which I've written up at least 2 times on this board) is this one. Still looking for its equal in the greater L.A. area.

        1. re: Servorg

          I stopped ordering this animal because of its sheer size and my fear of Lipitor - but it is (or was for me?) the epitome of patty melts that I've enjoyed.

          1. re: Servorg

            I hope i can get it with cheddar cheese there.

            then i'll be set.

            can't really do american chz no more.

            1. re: Servorg

              OK Servorg, in the eating crow department, I had a bit of time to kill on way to LAX and more than a bit of an appetite so decided to give this another shot. I'm glad I did. American cheese, grilled onions, medium rare, rye. It was juicy but not soggy and I'll say I slept very well on the plane. At least it tasted better than crow.

              1. re: jessejames

                An honorable man in a land in need of them more than ever. Thanks for chiming back in with your report.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Forgot to mention it was so light I got a (free) side of beef gravy. Not foam. Not whatever. but gravy. Very nice.

              2. re: wienermobile


                The wonderful grilled rye, with that memorable buttery crunch, and the dark caramelized onions makes it hard to beat.
                My favorite.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  The mouth watered when I read about Pann's patty melt, couldn't wait for one.

                  Today, i was about 4 miles away and decided the time was now. Ordered it medium rare, which is how it came. Their was absolutely no taste to the meat. The cheese seems to have been brushed on, not a melted slice or two. The onions weren't browned, they were crunchy and didn't even taste like a onion (probably frozen, and quickly thrown on the grill). I added Red Rooster Hot Sauce, but that appeared to have been tampered with as it flowed out of the bottle like water. I liked the rye bread, nice and crispy.

                  Also ordered a chocolate malt. I remember malted's from the 50s. and I swear today's didn't have any in it

                  I'll never make that illegal u-turn again.

                  1. re: toitoi

                    Every Pann's patty melt I've ever had (probably up to around a dozen by this point) have looked exactly like this: (except this one is done a little more than I get mine - which is medium rare).

                    1. re: Servorg

                      What it looks like doesn't necessarily make it good - does it?

                      1. re: toitoi

                        Mine have all been stellar. From the quality and beefy taste of the meat to the browning of the onions to the cheese and last, and certainly not least, the grilled rye bread.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Mime had no beefy taste, so the quality of the meat is questionable. The onions weren't browned, but I'll agree on the grilled rye bread.

                          Where else have you eaten patty melts, besides your dozen at Pann's?

                          1. re: toitoi

                            I had one @ Pann's 2 days ago...

                            It's nothing like you've described. The onions are a dark brown and caramelized.

                            1. re: toitoi

                              "Where else have you eaten patty melts, besides your dozen at Pann's?"

                              The Kettle in Manhattan Beach, the old Nichols in the Marina, Langer's, Nate 'n Al's, Junior's Deli and Weiler's Deli. There are others but those have been the most recent places.

                          2. re: toitoi

                            "What it looks like doesn't necessarily make it good - does it?'

                            In this case....yes.
                            It's one of the richest, most delicious patty melts I've ever tasted.
                            Are you sure you were at Pann's?

                            1. re: latindancer

                              could it have been an off day? perhaps? ill give a try too hopefully its as good as you guys say.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Might have been an off day, as you say, but it's too far to drive to ever tempt me a second time.

                                1. re: toitoi

                                  You hit an off day at Pann's, I hit an off day at P'n'B. I have to believe the latter at least, unless I can somehow convince myself that all the testifiers here AND J. Gold are delusional.

                                  I used to go to Pann's frequently when I had business in that part of town. As I no longer do that business I get by there maybe twice a year, but if possible always stop in there. They have their flaws - the corn muffins are irredeemably bad - but there's so much good stuff on the menu it's always worth a stop. I would urge you to do likewise IF you're over that way anyhow.

                                2. re: kevin

                                  Kevin. Go. What do you have to lose? :).
                                  At the very least you'll say you've had better.
                                  At the very most you'll wish you'd never heard of the thing, like me, who has a craving at least once a week, and have to drive through heavy traffic down the 405 to get it.

                                3. re: latindancer

                                  I'm pleased that you had a satisfying melt., but pictures don't tell the whole story - it's the tastebuds in one's mouth.

                                  1. re: toitoi

                                    Did you, by any chance, talk to someone there who could have explained why your patty melt was completely different than the one you'd read/heard about?
                                    I'm seriously baffled.
                                    Their patty melts have been consistently stellar for a long, long time....they're known for them.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      Talk to someone?

                                      I'm confused. i go to a recommended place and order the recommended dish. What I'm served doesn't compare to what I've read about it, so I'm distressed.

                                      I've gotten beefy flavor in a reply - mine had none.

                                      Another reply had browned onions - mine were white and crunchy, not thoroughly cooked.

                                      Something I didn't write in my original post was that the menu stated it was 2/3rds of a pound. I buy freshly chopped beef - 1/2 a pound, which because butchers don't usually under weigh, it's always over the 1/2 pound. At home, I flatten it and cook it and believe me it's a lot larger than what I had today. So I'm now adding that to the already burnt kettle.

                                      If it was rotten, I would have talked to someone, but it was eatable, but thoroughly undistinguished.

                                      1. re: toitoi

                                        Since you asked me where else I've eaten patty melts (and I dredged up the list) I'll do the same. Where do you like for a great PM? As I said, I keep trying to find the equal of the one "I" keep having at Pann's. I'll be grateful if you can point me to one that is equal or better, especially if it's in the greater West L.A. area.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          I rarely eat any type of beef out, especially avoiding hamburgers. However, when I read about something that is so tempting and mouth-watering, I will drive to where it's being served. That was the case with Pann's patty melt.

                                          It disappointed me based on all the raves on this thread, and I'm afraid that I can't point you to another place, as unfortunately I simply can't recall when I ate my last one.

                                          Thanks for you list. But if I go to Nate 'n Al's or Junior's or Langers, it's not for a patty melt, but for - my arteries are getting angry - a ruben - and there, we have a whole other debate.

                                          While typing this, I seem to recall a decent patty melt at The French Market (Quarter?) on Santa Monica in WeHo - but that was years ago.

                                          1. re: toitoi

                                            I will say that the only time I have a patty melt at Pann's is for dinner. I don't know if you got a new cook or what the issue might have been when you were there, but anyplace can miss once in a while for whatever reason. Sorry it had to be on your visit to Pann's.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              I've only been there during the day.
                                              Two days ago....I ordered to take out, from the hostess, waited, and she brought it to me after she double - checked to make sure everything was as ordered.

                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                Good to know that the "daylight" patty melt lives up to my "after dark" samplings over the years... ;-D>

                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                  Done, end of story. I will hit it up today too.

                                                  Should I just get it with the american cheese or you think it would still be ok to substitute for cheddar ????

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    I am unsure of availability of cheddar at Pann's. If they have it I am certain they would make the sub for you, but they may well not have it.

                                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                                        Now would it still taste as good with the cheddar because the beef and carmelized onions give the necessary punch ?

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          Make certain you ask for the onions to be carmelized.

                                                          Regarding the ceddar, unless it's extra sharp and a quality brand I don't think you notice the difference. Mine, with American Cheese, was more like someone had brushed a bit of Cheese Whiz on the burger, not put a slice on top.

                                                          The rye bread was outstanding.

                                                    1. re: kevin


                                                      I've always ordered mine "medium" when asked my preference and leave it up to them to prepare it. I just can't imagine the cheese, of your choice, making any difference.
                                                      I hope you like it as much as you've read from the posters here and it'll be good to hear your feedback.

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        I had it with cheddar last night so that will not be an issue.

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          @Kevin - 2 days have passed since you said you were hitting Pann's.

                                                          What happened? Everyone, well as least me, is awaiting your taste buds report.

                                                2. re: toitoi

                                                  Several food items have been mentioned on CH that i, previously, had never heard of or tasted. Many posters are highly regarded for their experiences/taste/expertise.
                                                  The OP, in this case, and Servong happen to be some of them. If they mention something that they find exemplary then somewhere down the line I'll be trying it.
                                                  I'm a huge fan of fish and will drive many miles to a place I've read or heard about that serves something that sounds good to me.
                                                  If I arrived only to be served something that was the opposite of what I'd read on one of these boards....
                                                  You can be sure i'd bring it to the attention of the my server or the manager and explain why I came and what was wrong.
                                                  That's just me.

                                    2. re: wienermobile

                                      I never tried it but will now, in case I go there for the corned beef hash again or am not feelling the fried chicken wings and waffle for the day.

                                    3. The John Henry patty melt with american cheese, grilled onion, pickle, creole mojo, on sourdough is pretty good at North End Cafe in Manhattan Beach.

                                      1. I really enjoyed the one at Boneyard Bistro. Expensive though it is.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                          Expensive but awesome. My absolute favorite. It's so rich however, I can only rarely eat them.

                                          1. re: kingpinjava

                                            Southwest Patty Melt” * Grilled Rye Bread * Gruyere & Cheddar Cheeses * Sautéed Onions, Anaheim Chilies, & Bacon * Trio of Dipping Sauces (Avocado-Cilantro Ranch *1000 Island * Chipotle Aioli)

                                            Sounds awesome, next stop Sherman Oaks!

                                            1. re: toitoi

                                              Forgot to respond.

                                              I liked the Patty Melt at Pann's though it was not amazing nor earth shattering. But I do have to say the burger was dripping beef juices, the american cheese worked (though it didn't make it's presence felt to richly and saltely so a cheddar would have worked in this case too). I do have to say the burger was beefy. And it was good.

                                              Now if memory does not escape me, one of the best patty melts in memory is the one they make at Hamburger Hamlet. Though there aren't too many locations left so I'll have to check which ones are open and report back.

                                              One thing that bugged me about Pann's is when I ordered fresh fruit, it came with a tiny slice of melon. Not what I was expecting at all. Anyhow I demolished the whole sandwich in a matter of minutes and then afterwards felt heavy though not terribly heavy.

                                              Definitely a once in a blue moon sandwich for me.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                Thanks Kevin - I'm on my way to Boneyard Bistro some Saturday lunch.

                                                1. re: kevin


                                                  I agree with you that my all time favorite Patty Melt was at HH. However, upon a recent visit to one of the few remaining HH's, it was a shadow of the former restaurant and we will not be going back, for anything.

                                                  1. re: LesThePress

                                                    Les, so true. I must have had dozens of the open-faced beauties, even after Harry and Marilyn sold to (I think) Koo Koo Roo. Not sure who owns it now, but not worth a visit.

                                                    1. re: BubblyOne

                                                      Exactly, it was served open face at HH and then it was easy to fold over and make into a sandwich.

                                                      Come to think of it, it was way way way better than Pann's in my humble opinion.

                                                      And pair it with perhaps a small cup of lobster bisque and you have a great coffee shop dinner.

                                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                                        According to their web site they have only 4 locations and are owned by the 'Hamlet Group', whoever that is.

                                                        1. re: LesThePress

                                                          They have only two remaining West Coast locations: Pasadena and Sherman Oaks. The patty melt ($12.50) is still on the (online) menu at both locations.

                                                          Nothing I've read on Chowhound has persuaded me it was worth trying HH, even when the Sunset Strip location was still open.

                                            2. So far, Pann's. I tried one at P'n'B, and while I'm sure I just hit them on a bad day it was the antithesis of what J. Gold described: small patty, two tiny slivers of cheese NOT melted. I probably owe them another chance … honestly, the sacrifices I make for art!

                                              I must say that my favorite within a morning's drive is at the Busy Bee Café in Ventura. Not quite as gigantic as Pann's, but I thought the flavor balance was tops. Harry's Family Restaurant on San Fernando in Burbank has a very nice (and big!) one as well.

                                              I have to qualify all of this by saying that I don't care at all for grilled rye bread, and always get mine on grilled sourdough, which I adore above all other grilled breads.

                                              1. Pie N Burger is my favourite as well. I can get a serviceable one at The Original Tops, and I remember when I worked at JPL there was a super-cheap one in the cafeteria that wasn't bad at all, given the price (but you can't go there unless you work there, IIRC).