Classic Tables: Apple Pan

Unchanged for 65 years

The woman sitting to our left said she came to Apple Pan straight from the airport.

Sitting with her twentysomething daughter, the two were glowing at the prospect of eating steakburgers ($7) for a late Friday-night dinner. Not only because they would undoubtedly be delicious, but also because the mother had been eating here since she was a teenager.

Talking with the stranger sitting one stool over, she recalled how she was able to put away three burgers back then, and that the same guys who had served her as a child were still working the counter today. 

That's the thing about Apple Pan: It's a classic that has slipped past simple restaurant status, becoming a true institution–one that's central to family mythologies, to the narrative of generations of Angelenos.

It doesn't hurt that the burgers are excellent. Choosing between the steakburger and the hickory burger ($7) is, at its essence, a pick between sweet pickle relish and smoky barbecue sauce. Both devote a significant amount of space to iceberg lettuce, the leaves a crunchy foil for the alchemical flavor combination of hard-seared beef and melted cheese.

And for dessert? Apple pie à la mode, of course.

The Apple Pan, 10801 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A.; 310-475-3583