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Free Lunch

Charles Phoenix: Total Pann's Fan

For this installment of Free Lunch, we took Charles Phoenix to his favorite restaurant in all of Los Angeles, Pann's.

A self-described retro geek, Charles loves Pann's not just for its history, decor and Googie architecture, but also for the comfort food it offers. It's not just him, by the way: there are many who have made going to Pann's their family ritual.

Located in Westchester, Pann's is owned by the Poulos family. Rena Poulos, who is still sharp as a tack at 94, continues to visit the coffee shop now run by her son Jim. They both remember starting the restaurant in 1958 when there was nothing around at all. Back then, Rena, along with her late husband George, hired architects Eldon Davis and Helen Liu Fong of the Armet & Davis architectural firm to build their dream. Chances are you've spotted Pann's iconic neon sign even if you've never visited the restaurant.

For lunch/dinner, Charles ordered a strawberry milkshake, split pea soup and the fried chicken platter.

Charles' enthusiasm is indeed contagious, and he attracts a crowd wherever he goes. Through him we got to meet the Poulos family and get a first-hand account of the restaurant's history. Charles himself is an excellent storyteller - check out one of his guided tours of L.A. sometime!

Pann's Restaurant
6710 La Tijera Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045
(310) 670-1441

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