Home > Uncategorized > The Great LA Burger Hunt. Day 2

The Great LA Burger Hunt. Day 2

This weekend we opted to try what most people who grew up in LA refer to as the burger heaven or our city.  Apple Pan.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across someone claiming this place to be Los Angeles’s burger Shangri-La and since they’ve had the same burger and pie recipes since the early 1900’s, I can’t understand why it’s taken me so long to get down there to give it a day in court.  So week two of our Great LA Burger hunt takes us to Pico to the Apple Pan.  Here’s what we found.

This place isn’t small but it isn’t huge either.  The place is basically one giant U shaped counter top with diner style seating so if you go with a group of over 4 people, there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting around for a while if you want to sit together.  The traffic in and out of here is insane.  There are constantly people hovering over you watching you eat, waiting for an opportunity to get in there themselves.  But the fine and friendly wait staff really busts their chops to get your order and food out as soon as possible to keep turn around at a minimal level.  You WILL wait to sit here.  Saturday when we went, it was around 1 and we waited for a little under a half hour.  No biggie.

Soft drinks and fries come out almost immediately after you order as the kitchen is literally right there in the middle of the U.  Sodas are served in this weird little diner style paper cup thingie that gave me the creeps.  Needless to say  I picked it up by the paper and immediately spilled Coke on my lap within ten minutes of sitting down.  Awesome…  off on the right foot.  The menu is minimal.  There are very little descriptions of what you’re getting (I’ll get to that later).  But when you come to a place like this, you already know they’re known for their burgers and pies so why look to far into descriptions.

They offer a Steak Burger and a Hickory Burger both for $5.  Each is listed on the menu as being served with lettuce, special house sauce, mayo and Tillamook cheese (which is 40c extra).  That’s it… no description as to what the difference is between the two or what their special sauce is.  I assumed that the Hickory burger has BBQ sauce so I went with the Steak Burger and fries.

While I was waiting for my food I perused the menu a bit more.  This menu is hysterical.  They actually have glasses of buttermilk and Sanka on the menu… honest to God Sanka!  I almost ordered one just to see if they had it but our food came up quick and the woman with one eye standing behind me waiting for a table had it fixed directly on the back of my head so I started diggin in.

The burger wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had,  The main problem I had with it was the special sauce, which was nothing more than a sweet relish… something I found perplexing on a burger.  Granted, I’m no relish fan, so if you are you may really enjoy it.  My burger also had an abundance of crisp lettuce.  I mean REAL CRISP lettuce.  About halfway through eating this burger it felt like I was biting into a head of lettuce there was so much.  All in all it was a decent cheeseburger.  Next time I go, I’ll be ordering it without the sauce and I fell like it’ll be a much better experience.  Once you can get past the overpowering relish sauce, the burger is quite tasty.  I’d rank it up there with In-N-Out as to style and quality.  The meat was seasoned quite well and like I said before, when the recipes pre-date the Second World War, you know they’re doing something right.

The wait staff was very accommodating as Sadie and I both wanted to try different pies so our waiter charged us each for one and split our slices so we could try both.  All in all this is a pretty good burger, but a far cry from being the best in LA.  The Apple Pie reminded me of my grandmother’s.  It was terrific.  Father’s Office still has the advantage at this point.

Bonus Points:

Pies and burger recipes from before the turn of the century.

Cool experience as nothing in here appears to have changed since they opened up.

Awesome Apple Pie that’s truly old school.

Negative Points:

6 parking places in the back but other than that you have to park on the street.

Overpowering relish special sauce.

Darn near impossible to go with a group of friends.

Always going to be a wait.

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