The Apple Pan is a restaurant (opened in 1947) locally famous for its hamburgers and apple pies served with vanilla ice cream. It consists of a single, U-shaped counter surrounding the central food preparation area. The Zagat Survey features The Apple Pan in various Top Lists including Burgers Tops and Best Buys.
In addition to being one of Los Angeles’ oldest continuing operating restaurants, The Apple Pan is notable as the basis for the popular Johnny Rockets chain of restaurants. Rockets founder Ronn Teitlebaum claimed he used The Apple Pan as a model for his successful 1940s-themed franchise, copying the menu, presentation, counter seating and grilling area for the Johnny Rockets chain based on this original restaurant: a small two-sided menu with few items, hamburgers served wrapped in paper and on cardboard plates, hamburgers grilled-to-order in full view of the counter-seated customers.
As the restaurant is near 20th Century Fox studios, celebrities occasionally dine there.
Popular meals include the Hickory Burger and the Steak Burger. The Hickory features a special Hickory sauce, while the Steak Burger comes with a trademark hamburger relish. In addition to apple and pecan pies, various cream pies are available. Soft drinks are served in a can, which is poured by the customer into a white paper cone that fits inside a metallic holder.
Former Loveline co-host, Stryker, frequently referenced The Apple Pan, and often tried to invite Dr. Drew to go with him, boasting they have the best tuna melt (though "tuna melt" is not on the menu, "tuna salad sandwich" is; however, tuna melts are available by special request).
Half of an episode of "Visiting... with Huell Howser" (#1616, titled "Survivors") is dedicated to the Apple Pan and its history, and features an interview by Huell with the owners.
On August 18, 2010, Johnny Fratto (son of infamous mobster Louis Fratto and pal of The Howard Stern Show regular Eric the Midget) while ending his phone call to Howard Stern, remarked that the best hamburger in Los Angeles could be found at The Apple Pan. This comment came a day after members of the Stern crew devoted a show to comparing fast food burgers and fries, referred to as The Fast Food Show.
It was used as 90210's Peach Pit in one episode.
In a 2008 interview, musician Tori Amos said The Apple Pan has the best burgers in Los Angeles: "The Apple Pan have just the best burgers in L.A. by the way, in my opinion. I used to go there in the '80s. I know, it's still there. And so I went recently and took one of my friends from London who was just over the moon about it and I went TWICE, twice in 24 hours! Shocking!"
Featured on ABC's Food for Thought with Claire Thomas. This episode was titled "Best of: Comfort Foods" episode S1/Ep11 and aired in 2012.
Referenced on FX's Legit episode titled "Misunderstood" and aired 4/4/2013 where the character Steve Nugent suggests grabbing a burger at Apple Pan after learning that his ex-wife is moving away to Cincinnati to re-marry.
Johnny Rockets, contemporary restaurant built on The Apple Pan's model
ApplePan.com — The Apple Pan Menu at The Unofficial Site of The Apple Pan. (Please note, this menu was uploaded in 2009. The Apple Pan regularly increases their prices, so as of 2011 the pies start at $6 and burgers start at $8.)