Los Angeles has some legendary restaurants that one is supposed to put on their bucket list as a place to try. Musso and Franks located off Hollywood Boulevard or the Magic Castle are some landmarks which to mind as “must visit”. Apparently the Pacific Dining Car is one restaurant that is also on that so-called list.
What people don’t mention is these sort of places are either old or overpriced. In the case for this visit, it was both old and overpriced.
The general menu is outrageously expensive. Steaks start at $60 and up. A dinner for 2 could easily cost over $200, and that’s including the $8 you pay for the valet. They do offer a Late Night menu from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am, but while its more affordable, its still expensive.
The place has a hodge podge of eclectic furniture, and the place doesn’t look like its been touched since it opened in 1921. The wait staff are in vintage waiter attire, with the green waiter jacket. The service is decent. Even the food was above average. But to me, its a glamorous 24-hour coffee shop that is just way overpriced.
I had the Filet and Eggs from the late night menu. The eggs were actually very good. Fluffy and not overcooked or runny. Probably the best scrambled eggs I’ve had. But at $34.95 for my meal, I would expect nothing less.
Unfortunately the filet wasn’t as good. The steak itself was buttery, and melted in my mouth. It was the flavoring or seasoning they used. It had a middle eastern or curry-esque flavor that took away from the steak’s natural flavoring. I really could not taste the meat itself, so it makes me wonder if the PDC was trying to mask the meat somehow?
My meal came with bread (from muffin to toast) and I chose an English Muffin. It came plain, but hot, but by the time my butter came out, the bread was cold and the butter didn’t melt. I also never got jam or jelly to accompany my bread, and I was too afraid to ask for some in case it was going to cost me an arm or leg.
Stephen had the lamb burger, and the late night price was $15.95. While still pricey, it was more reasonable for the size and what you got. It was a huge burger and came with a fries/ sweet potato fries medley. They were crispy, and not overly greasy.
We both had coffee, I had a brewed hot decaf while Stephen ordered a brewed iced coffee. Stephen didn’t make any comments on the coffee, but I found it to be bitter, like it was sitting there. However when the waiter came to refill my cup, the coffee still tasted bitter. I had to add extra milk to counter the bitterness, and didn’t find the coffee delightful at all. I declined a third refill, because it was that bad. At $6.95 for a cup of coffee, I expected more.
Overall it was a disappointing meal. The price for a discounted, late night menu for both of us came to just over $70.00 after tax. Fortunately I had a Groupon for $70 (which I paid $42), so it covered the meal, and I just paid extra for the gratuity. Still, I don’t think it was worth the money, even with the Groupon.
This place may be a local institution, but given the location and price, I am glad to check it off my bucket list, and move onto places that are just as good, but for a fraction of the price.
|My $6.95 cup of coffee|
|Filet and Eggs $34.95: Comes with potatoes and bread|
|Lamb burger $15.95 from the Late Night menu|
|Late night dinner for 2|
|Fortunately the Groupon covered the meal|