Monday, June 23, 2008

The Pantry

The Pantry is one of those Los Angeles institutions that has been around forever and a year, and with good reason! Open since 1924, it's a cash only diner open 24 hours a day (rumor has it that the door doesn't even have a lock). In the heart of downtown Los Angeles, it's a popular lunch spot for politicians from City Hall and Convention Center-goers, and at night becomes a mecca for the post-concert & club crowd and the many insomniacs that haunt LA.

The Pantry
877 S Figueroa Street (Figueroa and 9th)
Los Angeles, CA 90017
tel: (213) 972-9279

We recently went to The Pantry after my sister's high school graduation. We were a party of seven, but would have been seated right away had my parents gotten there at the same time we did - instead we waited at the counter with mugs of delicious coffee until they arrived and we were seated. Our waiter came quickly, only to be sent away because we weren't ready. It took him a while to come back, but when he did it was with our drinks as well as a giant plate heaped with sourdough bread. It was soft and chewy and seriously hit the spot while we waited to order.

We mostly ordered dinner-type items: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, clam chowder, the Pantry burger - with the exception of Sean who ordered an omlet. I think that breakfast and meat/steak are the ways to go at The Pantry - our food was good, but other tables had some amazing looking stuff!

Most meals come with coleslaw, potatoes, and veggies - ours came with only coleslaw, and I'm not sure if it was because they ran out of everything else, or what. Maybe it was because we all had sandwiches?

Nina got a piece of lemon cake to take with her, so I'm not sure how that worked out for her. We ordered custard, which I will not do again. It was too close to flan for my taste, and I'd been expecting something closer to pudding.

The prices are reasonable for a diner - we had some of the cheaper plates which were all under $10, but if you want to go big, they do have a giant steak plate for $22.50.

This is NOT the place to go for "gourmet" food, or "healthy" food. The Pantry is a great greasy spoon diner to go to when you need something heavy in your stomach after a night on the town, or to help cure a hangover. It's the place to go for a slice of LA history and interesting characters. If I had had more time and guts, I would have been photographing much more than our table and the menus on the wall!

Good for:

- good coffee and breakfast items
- LA history
- out on the town wrap up
- 24 hour service

Next time I go, I will order breakfast, the mac & cheese, or a grilled cheese sandwich. And try the lemon cake or cheesecake for dessert!


- Lines can be long or short at any given time of the day - no reservations are taken and you will only be seated when your whole party is there.
- They only take CASH, so don't forget to stop at the ATM on your way over.
- Park across the street in the lot on 9th, it's only $2 with validation and everywhere else will be much more, or illegal.

Addy's rating: 8/10

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