Dine Like It's '59 - Page 12

12 California restaurants that savor dishing up the mid-century experience
Retro Dine
Retro Dine

11 I Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop

Los Angeles

Fried chicken wings, blackened catfish, roasted turkey "smothered with rich brown gravy," and for breakfast, buttermilk biscuits, are among the enticements at this classic 1958 Southern California coffee shop.

But architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis, and their design whiz, architect Helen Fong, made the building itself the chief enticement, and so it remains, even as so many of its ilk have disappeared over the years.

"It needed to be inviting," Fong said of the architecture in a 1993 interview. "That's why the glass doors were important. Because when you approached, you were outside, but you were almost in."

It's also why Pann's was surrounded with a tropical garden, for a feeling of comfort, and why the restaurant has an upswept roof—to catch your attention as you drive by. Pann's, which is still run by the founding Panagopoulos family, in many ways remains the quintessential Googie-style coffee shop.

"Pann's brings back so much mental memorabilia," one fan said during a 2007 90th birthday celebration for Eldon Davis of Armet and Davis. "No matter how old you are, it brings back the essence of the '50s and '60s."

• 6710 LaTijera Blvd. panns.com