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Is there a chowhound-ish reason to go to Dinah's over Panns?

I ask this because I sometimes drive past Dinah's (on Sepulveda) to get to Pann's. I think I was in Dinah's many eons ago (once). The only thing I see at Dinah's that gets some praise is the Dutch Baby pancakes. I'm used to the staff and know the menu at Pann's so it easy, but in case I'm missing something I'd love to know. Thanks!

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  1. I think alot of the "love" on these boards for Panns comes from their "Pattie Melt" which I do not believe Dinah's has.

    Plus, I think the food just sort of tastes better at Panns.

    1. When we first moved into the area a few years ago, we tried both places a few times. We now only go to Pann's and have to drive past Dinah's to go there.

      I think the food, quality, quantity and pricing is much better at Pann's. The service is warmer too. When it comes to the fried chicken, I think Pann's is the winner easily.

      1. the few items i tasted at pann's were awful.

        i used to be a regular at dinah's, but their food has seriously gone downhill the last few years.

        i'd suspect that the german pancake, though, is probably still good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: westsidegal

          Shrug you're the outlier. Plenty of people on this board like Pann's. You don't care for it, not everyone has to like the same thing.

        2. Isn't Dinah's known for their Fried Chicken?

          3 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            Thanks for the feedback. I ate at Dinah's once probably 10 years ago or more. I believe I ate the fried chicken (but couldn't swear to it) and it was as I recall greasy and didn't seem all that fresh. Heat lamp fatigue. I'll keep an eye on the posts, but other than those specialty pancakes it doesn't appear Dinah's isn't worth stopping for. Ipsedixit, Isn't that hamburger steak the same hunk of meat that's in the pattie melt minus the mushrooms? It says 11oz. on the menu.

            1. re: fourunder

              It is actually broasted rather than fried and, if it was ever truly there, the renown is now based more on legend than fact.

              1. re: New Trial


                btw *broasted* is a trademarked name by a company that manufactured pressurized deep fryers that use oil.....it's still fried chicken. It's only broasted if you use the proprietary equipment and paid the fee and royalties to advertise the fact..

            2. Only for the deep-dish pancakes. The apple is still great and I also like the banana-walnut.

              1 Reply
              1. re: New Trial

                used to love the apple pancake at Dina's....had it for the first time in a decade several months ago and it was disappointing Didn't live up to my food memory unfortunately

              2. Just for the three "thick" style oven pancakes that have already been mentioned.

                1. I stopped going to Dinah's for years after their fried chicken went down hill. In the last two months, I've tried their fried chicken, once in take-out and once at sit down. Pretty good. I'd give it a B. It was fresh, not very crispy, but tasty enough. An improvement. Satisfied my craving for about a week.

                  1. I've never been to Dinah's, but I have a question with regards to the Fried Chicken. It seems others are saying it's not as good as it used to be...many citing the way the chicken is presented and held until orders.....which I surmise means the chicken is either over-cooked, dried out from long holding times...or a combination of both. This could be cited as a problem in any fast food fried chicken operation....though some are definitely better than others.

                    Whenever I go to my beloved PopEye's, I first give it a visual inspection to see what's up in the window.....if the selection is low or appears unappetizing, I simply ask how long before the next batch comes out or I request have a new batch made for me.....They always accommodate my wishes

                    So the question is...is the chicken any good when it's fresh?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: fourunder

                      I have always enjoyed Pann's fried chicken, it has never been dry or overcooked for me. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that every order is cooked to order.

                      1. re: wienermobile

                        Panns' fried chicken is cooked to order. That's why you have to be patient if you order it.

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          Lots of things at Pann's are cooked to order, and if they aren't (like the "Chef's vegetables") they are cooked from fresh, never canned or frozen. I find the vegetables boring - they're entirely too worried about us geezers' sodium levels, I think - and order the spinach instead. And I hate the corn muffins. Everything else I've had is good. Again, that's my taste, but from an objective angle it appears that "fresh" and "cooked to order" are not high on the agenda at Dinah's. Too bad; it's got the looks of a place I'd be a sucker for.

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            I checked on broasted chicken and like fourunder says you have to have the proper equipment and use the supplied materials from the specific broaster equipment company to declare you sell broasted chicken. I checked the company's locater form and strangely enough the closest broasted chicken place near me is Don Felix, the carniceria on Sawtelle. I had no idea they sold broasted chicken (or if they still do). Dinah's does not show up on the locater. As far as Will Owen's comment about "they're entirely too worried about us geezer's sodium levels." When I got the steak burger I got the mashed potatoes and gravy + pickled beets for my 2 sides. My sister thinks "you get plenty of salt in whatever else you eat so I don't add any." Once she came by and told me when I got home, "I made you and mom a pork roast." Yum thinks I, but I get several well-cooked but unseasoned slabs of pork. "Umm....is there gravy?" My sister (in a clearly irritated tone), "You're just like mom!"

                            1. re: Feed_me

                              Don Felix Did. I'm not sure they do now since the cafe has been redone.

                              1. re: Feed_me

                                Don Felix no longer carries the broasted chicken under the new ownership.

                                There is a "broaster" chicken in Ocean Park Pizza in Santa Monica on Ocean Park, a block west of The Counter. I've had it fresh and it's not bad. They brine the chicken and the crust is crispy, not greasy, seasoning is average. They pack it in boxes with vents so it stays crispy.


                                1. re: Jase

                                  You guys are amazing. Thanks MattP and Jase. I see that pizza place Jase refers to is the second closest broaster place near me, now that Don Felix is out of the equation. From the list I get it doesn't look too promising. Mostly pizza and taco joints or places that don't seem like the chicken might be their priority. I know I've eaten "broasted" chicken a few times in the past, but I'm wondering how accurately or carefully it was made. It sounds like it might not be too bad if it was prepared properly and freshly made. Here is the website locator page and you can find out what you need to know. http://www.broaster.com/slocator.htm

                                  1. re: Feed_me

                                    Wow! 32 different locations within 30 miles of Pasadena! Now all I have to do is figure out how nostalgic I actually am for "broasted" chicken …

                                    There used to be several different patented and licensed ways of cooking chicken. The biggie back when I was a kid was "Chicken In the Rough." The logo was an annoyed chicken with a golf club, but I recall that the "rough" was its crunchy batter. To be perfectly honest, though, the only kind I am truly nostalgic for and deeply miss is KFC's Hot'n'Spicy Extra Crispy … and No, Popeye's isn't even close.