Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pann's - fried chicken in a classic diner

Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop has been in business at the intersection of La Tijera and La Cienega for over 50 years, since 1958 to be precise. It has been used for filming scenes in numerous movies, most memorably Pulp Fiction. It has the classic Googie look of a 50s California diner and made me miss the late lamented Ships on Wilshire Blvd in Westwood of my childhood.

There is a large black and white photograph of the interior of Pann's taken in the 50s up on a wall. The inside looks exactly the same except the customers were wearing hats and there was even a construction worker in a hardhat at the counter. Back then it also appears that the clientèle and staff were all white. The same terrazzo floors, booths and long counter. Amazing to see a classic still in business and still looking the same.

But what brought me to Pann's recently was their fried chicken. I had heard it reported that Pann's serves some of the best fried chicken in town and I have been continually craving fried chicken lately - I blame you for that Ludo! Monday - Friday they offer a 2 piece (light or dark) fried chicken meal with sides for only $6. That is an outstanding deal. We were there on a weekend so got 2 half chicken meals for the 3 of us, at $12 for each order. Each order came with two sides plus a biscuit (there were other bread options but once we heard biscuit we knew what we wanted).

Sides available were: Chef's Vegetables, Real Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Herb Rice, Sautéed Fresh Spinach, Macaroni & Cheese, French Fries, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad or Pickled Beets. We tried the spinach, mac & cheese, french fries and cole slaw.

Our waitress warned us that the chicken could take a while as it was fried to order. Not a problem we told her. I'd rather wait for fresh hot food than have it sitting around waiting for some fool like me to order it. After a shorter wait than I was expecting the fried chicken arrived. Two hot plates full of food, preceded by hot biscuits with butter and honey for each of us. The portion sizes were enormous. Each dish was enough to feed two comfortably, even a glutton like me.

One of my dining companions commented that they had not had food come to the table this hot anywhere in recent memory. The fried chicken was crisp and indeed steaming hot once you cut into it.

It was juicy and tasted like real chicken. Sometimes when you go to casual restaurants the chicken is just bland because they purchased mass produced birds - I am not sure where they source their chickens but these birds have flavor. Exceeded expectations was the unanimous verdict. French fries were good as was the spinach. The mac & cheese was very blah, cole slaw fine.

I ended up with some of the leftovers and the chicken held up for lunch the next day. Not as good as fresh from the fryer but more than respectable.

We were too full to even consider the dessert menu. As we walked out we saw the dessert case which had cakes of such height even Homer Simpson would be impressed. I imagine one piece would be enough for a family of 4 to split.

Pann's is located at 6710 La Tijera Blvd @ La Cienega Blvd. Phone: (332) 776-3770. Website:

No comments:

Post a Comment