Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pann's


Every time I go to L.A., I pass a coffee shop called Pann’s on my way into town from LAX. It’s on a wedge of land between La Cienaga and La Tijera boulevards, with a funky swooping angled roof and a crazily tilted sign. The letters that spell out “Pann’s” come in a font that’s unmistakably ‘50s.

As you all know, I love a good diner. So last Thursday, on our way into town, Christopher and I stopped at Pann’s. We sat in one of the maroon vinyl booths and had milkshakes - mine was vanilla with peanut butter and a swirl of chocolate fudge. Mmmmm...


Pann’s, built in 1956 and designed by the firm of Armet & Davis, is a prime example of the kind of California coffee-shop architecture that was exported to the rest of the country in restaurant chains like Big Boy and Denny’s. Large plate-glass windows, angled roofs, exposed stone and lush plantings all typify this style, chronicled in Alan Hess’ excellent 1985 book “Googie: Fifties coffee shop architecture.”

The restaurants evolved this way in California’s warm, sunny car-loving climate. But they seem to work in other parts of the country, too -- and I’m glad. They're so futuristic, and yet so yesterday!


Even the tiles in the bathroom at Pann's are retro.

11 comments:

Utahdog! said...

Nice joint, although "I don't dig on swine."

Reya Mellicker said...

Pann's is gorgeous! It makes me want french fries and a coke. Wow!!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

got a hankering for a shake now! gorgeous stop! love the fishy tile!

d. chedwick said...

I'm with Reya-- I'll take onion rings and a coke!

R.L. Bourges said...

Onion rings and a Cherry Coke for me, please. (Those tiles are so cool.)

herding tapeworms said...

great choice in milkshakes. i'm headed that way in may, is it worth a shake detour?

Steve said...

Herding: First, they serve it in the big metal tumbler from the mixer, and you pour it into the glass yourself -- I LOVE that, because you get a shake and then some. Second, I've never had a shake with PB but I have to say it was awesome. If you find yourself passing by, I'd definitely pop in!

get zapped said...

What a fun and informative post! You described this so well. Now, I'm hungry for a milkshake ;)

Thanks for popping by - I'm still looking.

dennis said...

Dennis wants shrimp in a basket. Do they have shrimp in a basket?

Merle Sneed said...

That's a timeless design. My first job was at Big Boy. In fact, the lovely Mrs. Sneed and I met at Big Boy.

lettuce said...

LG says Yum.
in fact, i say yum too.

fab fab diner - to a Brit this is really iconically american.