A line outside a food joint will always inspire curiosity. Sunday breakfast at The Pan almost certainly has a sizable line. Let that be an opening warning to the hungry that simply cannot afford to be patient with the most important meal of the day: The Pan is a small Gardena restaurant with a serious queue during peak hours. But it’s popular for a reason.
A Homely Stand Out
One of the reasons to eat at The Pan is the atmosphere. You won’t find pleather-lined booths and plastic cups here. The small, intimate dining areas are all a certain degree of charming. The outdoor seating may be not much more than park style benches, but the building as a whole has a trendy eatery feel. The key elements seem to be painted sea green wood, mason jar drinks and corrugated metal panels. Were it not such a popular place, it would feel quaint. Still, it’s a nice change of pace, a stand out among the masses that start to feel like generic vessels of food delivery.
All Day Breakfast
Not only is breakfast important, it’s also the most satisfying. There is something enticing about waking up hungry and then filling up on eggs, or potatos, or buttermilk pancakes. The Pan, of course, has that and more, and it has that all day. Their breakfast menu has everything you’ve come to expect from any respectable breakfast destination, but they also have a couple of interesting ideas. A Chili Verde Burrito exists for those of you that require spice to start your day, but if you want to start your day off like a normal person, the stuffed french toast delicious, fruitful and sweet.
They also treat pancakes like a canvas. It comes in every popular variant, from blueberry to banana to the rare pineapple. Real difference-seekers will be interested in coconut & pineapple syrup to go along with their completely filling portion of pancake.
The Titular Pizza
Despite all this, The Pan is called The Pan because of pan pizza. It can be deceptively hard to find a small, deep dish pan pizza that isn’t frozen and meant to be microwaved, but Gardena has it. If you’re the type that finds a thick pizza stylistically objectionable, calm down, they even have thin crust in 3 sizes too. Their pizzas are all just interesting enough to attract curiosity, but not so divergent so as to be weird. That’s an important distinction to make. Weirdo novelty pizzas with strange ingredients are fun for their quirkiness, but at some point you realize certain flavors just don’t work together.
That won’t be a problem at The Pan. They’ll elevate the idea of a Hawaiian pizza with the inclusion of pulled pork, but they won’t break it with unwarranted changes. Everything makes sense. Vegetable pizzas with artichoke hearts and meat pizzas with kielbasa sausage provide all the interest you need in an otherwise reliably traditional pizza. In the event that you insist on getting crazy with it, there’s always the build-a-pizza option.
The Pan – (310) 329 – 7266
16601 S Western Ave.
Gardena, CA 90247