L.A.'s Apple Pan: Quality forever
That's the motto of this iconic burger joint, a rare remnant of my surprisingly small-town West Los Angeles childhood. Twentieth, as we called the studio down the street, is now plain old Fox, and the fake rocks in the backlots long ago gave way to Century City Shopping Center. But the old duffers at the Apple Pan are still dishing up man-size slabs of ground beef and pie until 1 a.m. on weekends. You're invited. . .
There are 26 seats around a horseshoe-shaped counter, and you'll probably stand and wait. The menu offers burgers (with or without Tillamook cheddar); ham-and-tuna-salad sandwich; fries; pie; ice cream; pie and ice cream; pie and Tillamook cheddar; somewhat watery coffee and soft drinks poured into paper cones held by 1940s-era cupholders.
Dining here alone at age 13, I once stepped on Genevieve Bujold's foot. She turned to her handler and said, "It's OK; she doesn't know who I am." Ouch, double ouch.
The Apple Pan, 10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 90064. Open Tues-Sun 11 a.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays to 1 a.m. Closed Mondays. Phone (310) 475-3585, but I wouldn't call it; the guys will just yell in your face. Park for free across the street at the Westside Pavilion (how I miss the kiddy amusement park that occupied the site when I was 6). Public transit: From WeHo, catch a city of Los Angeles (orange) bus along Santa Monica Boulevard; exit at Westwood and transfer to the No. 8 city of Santa Monica (blue) bus, exit at Pico. From points west, take the blue No. 7 bus that runs along Pico and exit at Westwood.