If Pann's isn't already your post- or pre-LAX pit-stop, it needs to be. The 43-year-old coffee shop is a marvel of Googie architecture, with its triangular roof shooting like an arrow to the heavens. Even if you're not into the mid-century Americana thing, Pann's will make you feel like you're in a Quentin Tarantino film, hopefully without the brain-splattering gunfight.
Pann's does basic American diner fare, and they do it well. Some things they do exceptionally well, like crumbly biscuits drowning in thick, white, sausage gravy. The meals are large, hearty and amazingly well-priced. Most everything is solid, as long as you don't go too far off-book, which is to say avoid most of the healthyish or fancy-sounding specials. Stick to breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches and the like.
The past few days, we've eaten several middling sandwiches, so it was thrilling to find a sandwich we could adore. Actually, we can shower our love on at least two sandwiches at Pann's. The chopped barbecued pork is sweet, tangy and smokey, coddled in a large hamburger bun. It's perfect with sides of onion rings and coleslaw spiked with chunks of canned pineapple.
On a side note, how wonderful is it that all the sandwiches come with your choice of two sides? That means you can have fries and onion rings. (We can't endorse the pickled beets.)
This being the season for such things, we'd be remiss not to mention the open-faced turkey sandwich. Plenty of places offer some variation of this; Pann's version is better than most. An ample helping of thickly sliced turkey breast is served on several slices of thick, yeasty white bread, the stuff that Wonder Bread can only dream of becoming, and covered in pale brown, lightly peppered gravy. It comes with a dish of orange-tinged cranberry sauce and two of the aforementioned sides. All this for only $10.95. That alone makes Pann's a little slice of heaven at the intersection of La Cienega, La Tijera and Centinela.
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Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at email@example.com.