Tuesday, 1 June 2010
The Apple Pan, West LA
When in LA recently, and feeling slightly down when a certain burger joint I had been hoping to eat at was closed, I happened across, completely by chance, The Apple Pan. I hadn't planned on visiting the place although it was featured on an invaluable list recently given to me. Discussion forums and other blogs had been indifferent on the place, some had commented "inglorious dive", whilst others opposed, "undeniably true burger". As I got closer and started to cross the road I could see just how busy the place was. Heaving. We squeezed in through the door and stood behind the cramped bar stools and waited for a space to come free. Apple Pan seems to have a fast turn around time and it was only about five minutes before we had two stools at the end of the bar. I took the Hickory burger with cheese and in a few minutes was presented with it. The buns they use in these kind of places in America seem a million miles away from the buns back home. As you pick them up your grip forces the surface of the bun to crack, even though it is so soft. The big chunk of iceberg lettuce, although crisp was bigger than the burger which was a bit weird but the hickory sauce was divine. Smokey yet subtle. The patty wasn't too thick but was cooked medium rare just right. The Apple Pan hickory burger again demonstrated just how wrong we often get it over here in the UK. I can't quite put my finger on it but there is something fundamental that we seem to miss or overlook or just frankly, get wrong. We had to try the apple pie and the happy old dude who had served us disappeared again before returning with a round apple pie that was absolutely massive. It was about six inches high and looked like something from a cartoon, think Desperate Dan's cow pies but without the horns. Although I would have given it my best shot, we settled on a slice each with some vanilla ice cream. The pie had a hint of cinnamon to the short crust that was light whilst the hot cooked apples in their sweet, juicy sauce melted the ice cream and swirled amongst each other. The old guy rung it up on the old fashioned till, which was probably as old as he was, and we went out into the California night. It had been a bit of a burger fest in LA and the calories were the last thing from my mind. But what I'll say is that if your going to eat fast food, you may as well have the best, and whilst this may not be the best, it is definitely up there as a strong contender for me so far.