Total Pann’s Fan!, Los Angeles

L.A.’s KCET TV invited me pick my fave restaurant in Los Angeles, have lunch there and share the experience with you. YAY!

Without skipping a beat I chose Pann’s, the greatest Googie style coffee shop on Earth. This was the perfect opportunity for me to share this amazing L.A. landmark and introduce you to a local hero of mine, the original owner, Rena Poulis, age 94. Dressed to the nines, she greets guests there every day just as she has since she and her husband opened the doors in 1958. Rena and son Jim who now runs the place (and beautifully I might add) are the queen and crowned price of coffee shops.

They both deserve a big giant lifetime award for all their years of great service and an even bigger historic preservation award for maintaining the spectacular original Googie décor of their legendary restaurant.

Thank you, KCET for this opportunity and lunch! That fried chicken is the best in town!

Have you dined in a lipstick red vinyl semi-circle booth lately?

Here’s to the KCET, Pann’s, Queen Rena, Prince Jim and YOU!

Charles Phoenix
October 18, 2011

Charles Phoenix standing outside Pann's diner in Los Angeles

View more great vintage slides of Americana!

16 Responses to “Total Pann’s Fan!, Los Angeles”

  1. Dana says:

    I grew up in nearby Westchester and have LOVED Pann’s for the past 40+ years. It has seriously not changed AT ALL since it opened. Such a gem! I always make extra time when going to or from LAX to stop in for a meal. Great food & service, too. Keep on truckin’ Pann’s!

  2. Sarah says:

    My friends and I love Pann’s! I try to eat there every time I visit Los Angeles.

  3. Ralph says:

    The exterior and every detail of the interior are devastatingly evocative of the mid 50′s to the mid 60′s. Reverie.

  4. Ate there for the very first time just last night. The food is absolutely amazing. The decor is to die for. One of the best places on Earth!

  5. Chad says:

    I’ve been eating there for years. A real gem.

  6. Ali says:

    That was a fantastic video – makes me wish I lived closer so I can go there. Your painting is wonderful, too! Thanks for sharing this wonderful place! I loved it!!

  7. Terrific tribute to a Southern California icon! So few of these places left. And a great history lesson on second half of the 20th century migration and business. With vision and hard work you can have your dream!

  8. kellie says:

    I just acquired the Ralph’s across the street as an account recently. Pann’s has been beckoning me. I’ve never been and had no idea it was so cool!

  9. Boyd Rice says:

    For 30 years now I’ve eaten at Panns on my way to & from LAX. And in that time it’s gotten better & better. I’ve always pointed out that strange plexiglas mural to first-timers, but until now had no idea what it signified. thank you Charles!

  10. Leslie Bridges says:

    Sooo wonderful–truly enjoyed the video. The people! The painting! The midcentury architecture! The food! Loved it all. Just wondering, where did the name Pann’s come from? Their last name sounds Greek–any like items on the menu? Will definatly try soon! Thank you!

  11. Janel McKee says:

    I LOVED this video!! I am a HUGE fan of Googie architecture, and it was a real pleasure for me to have a vicarious experience dining at Pann’s. I live on the East Coast and it may be a while before I can take a trip to California and see it for myself. The story had a lot of heart and I loved learning about the family that runs it and think they are a real part of what makes America so great. They are wonderful and their diner I’m sure is a special place where a lot of happy memories and good times are had. I love your painting Charles! You rock!! Thank you for sharing your retro finds with all of us.

  12. Jamie Franco says:

    Pann’s is AWESOME! Whenever I went with my parents to Hollywood Park (when I was little) we always stopped at Pann’s for dinner on the way home – we’re talking late 5o’s/early 60′s – and I still have to stop in when I’m in L.A. (I don’t live in the area anymore)…

    Long Live Panns!

  13. Micah says:

    What a great video and the mural and painting both fantastic! The family mural looks just like a Jean Miro. Love your work Charles, saw you in the early days a decade ago at the Egyptian, you’re the best keep it up! Thanks for highlighting a optimistic and wonderful period in architecture.

  14. Camille says:

    How have I lived in Southern California my entire life and not known of this iconic restaurant? Charles, you have done us all a favor by sharing this WONDERFUL place!! I plan to enjoy a meal with Rena and Jim real soon!

  15. Peter Fields says:

    I LOVE Pann’s Restaurant!!!

  16. Carolyn Carradine says:

    Love it

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