Phillippe the Original is known for its sawdust-covered floors and unusual counter ordering.
Los Angeles might be a city obsessed with newness, but it also has managed to retain a host of classic restaurants that are all but impervious to trends. Whether you’re looking for 1940s-era glamour or midcentury kitsch, there’s a restaurant around these parts that can authentically deliver it (along with an entree of lobster thermidor or a “lumberjack”-sized steak, respectively). So grab a chrome stool at the counter or slip into a red leather booth and start eating your way through L.A.’s delicious culinary history.
The Apple Pan
Some restaurant experiences are simply a rite of passage for L.A. food lovers, and the tense wait for a stool at Apple Pan’s U-shaped counter is one of those experiences. Opened in 1947, the burger joint has barely changed in its 70-year history. Once you swoop in and grab your seat, your choice is simple: hickory burger or steak burger? If you’re looking for a touch of smoky barbecue flavor, go for the former; if you’re more of a purist, the latter. There are some non-burger sandwiches on the menu, including simple egg salad or tuna salad, but it’s unlikely that’s why you’re here. The no-nonsense waiters will ask you gruffly if you want anything else when you finish your classic, immensely satisfying burger. The correct answer is, “Apple pie please, à la mode.” Gobble it up, pay your bill (they accept cash only), and get out of the way so one of the people waiting along the back wall can get their taste of edible American history. —Besha…
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