Diners provide a gastronomic touchstone for family weekend breakfasts, drunken all-nighters, road trip pit stops and business meetings. Du-par’s is no exception. This family owned diner chain has had a presence in Southern California for the past 73 years, and has always held a good reputation for its house-made baked goods, and accommodating 24-hour service.
There is something special about a place where senior citizens and hung-over teenagers from the Valley can both find what they want on a menu. The familiarity of a diner is comforting; the consistency of service and knowing that what you order is what you get.
The menu at the Studio City location is full of traditional favorites likes omelets and two-egg specials, all of which appear in supporting roles next to the true belle of the ball, and the dish that Du-par’s is famous for: the pancakes.
The pancakes are made to order, served fluffy and crisp and each cake is about half an inch thick. I ordered a short stack, along with a side of patty sausage (also good for dipping in syrup) and a side of egg whites (for some protein).
They get down to brass tax at Du-par’s--when I asked for extra butter for my giant “short stack” (oxymoron pancakes?), the waitress, whose name could have been Flo, brought back a ramekin of melted deliciousness.
Sausage patty the size of your head.
As awesome as these particular pancakes were, I still ran into the same problem I normally have when ordering sweet breakfast food: it’s good for the first few bites, then you wish you ordered something savory. Even with the additional order of sausage and egg whites and some extra help from Tomo, I still barely made it through half of the stack.
The coffee wasn’t the worst but it definitely wasn’t the best (though my cup was topped off an impressive four times, during my short breakfast).
The interior decor is dated and aged, but clean. So clean that it kind of made me wonder if the cleaning staff was top notch or if there just aren’t many people to clean up after. Tomo and I were two of the four people eating on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.
Either way, the ample overstuffed red pleather seats were polished, inviting and stylish, setting Du-par’s apart from the run of the mill diners like Denny’s or IHOP or Apple Pan.
The meal was totally satisfying and everything I could have expected or needed on a hung-over Saturday morning. I imagine it will remain just as fulfilling for another 70+ years.
*Photos by Tomo Hiratsuka