Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Review by: Michael Stern
The Great Los Angeles Hamburger
As is true of ice cream, beer, and potato chips, this nation’s hamburgers have gotten better over the last several decades. There are very good ones, plain and fancy, nearly everywhere. Los Angeles once had the reputation as source of the best burgers in the land. One place remains a beacon of goodness for burgers and pies. Open since 1947, it’s the Apple Pan.
What has earned Apple Pan burgers legendary status? No one thing in particular. They are not outlandish, huge, or fancy. In fact, they are modest-sized, cooked through but still very juicy with good if not aristocratic ground-chuck flavor. They come beautifully and bountifully dressed with crisp, fresh lettuce, pickles, and optional cheese. Two house-made sauces add immeasurably to the burgers’ appeal. But like the burger they adorn, the sauces in and of themselves won’t win blue ribbons. The point is that they team with the burger to make a perfect package. The hickory burger with its smoky seasoning benefits greatly from chili sauce. The steakburger likes the kitchen’s barely sweet relish. No one element of these packages will knock your socks off. But the combo transcends individual elements.
Apple Pan Pies Rank High
Hamburgers are enough to put the Apple Pan on the Roadfood map. But the quality of Apple Pan’s pies is what sends it into the culinary heavens. Here you find blue-ribbon pies made on savory crusts. A double-crust apple pie given the a la mode treatment ranks among the nation’s best. A single crust supports the marvelous cream pies. They include coconut spangled all over with toasty brown shreds and banana cream. They make the latter with thick, ripe slices of banana, from-scratch custard, and buttery whipped cream.
The Apple Pan is a tiny, cute place where a maximum of 26 people can eat burgers and pies at any one time. Everybody sits on counter stools that face a central grill where hamburgers sizzle.
Directions & Hours
|Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
|Credit Cards Accepted