The Original Pantry Cafe, Los Angeles

The Original Pantry Cafe has been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1924 and claims never to have been without customer. Operated by a former mayor it is clearly a Los Angeles institution. It must be doing something right, but going off the food it’s difficult to see what that might be.

Whatever you order, expect to start with a huge plate of coleslaw and some not very fresh bread. Everything seems to come with a huge slop of almost liquid mashed potato and a tiny portion of green beans that have been boiled to the point of disintegration (i.e. shit on a plate). To compensate for the poor quality, the portions are enormous. In this way it seems to sum-up America’s relationship with food: cook it very simply, serve it very large and price it very cheap.

All this is a great shame because, while the food is barely edible, the Original Pantry Cafe does have a great atmosphere. Perhaps if we’d tried breakfast rather dinner, we’d have been more easily satisfied.
Tag: USA2010. Written 20 June 2010.

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