On Friday, after our trip to the Superior Court in Compton to watch son, Geoff, attempting to keep the streets safe by putting away a gang banger, we went off for lunch to IHOP, where one of the waitresses was one of Geoff's potential witnesses in the case. She was off, so we didn't get to meet her, but we did have a wonderful time talking with Geoff about his work. It does scare the hell out of Lin and me that Geoff is exposed to some pretty mean characters in his work, but that's another story. Bidding goodbye to Geoff, we headed off to Westwood in bumper to bumper traffic, finally choosing to go off the 405 and onto Sepulveda. Our quest, appetite whetted by a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, was the famous Apple Pan. The Times article by Charles Perry, and particularly the included photographs, one of which I will upload
really captures the flavor of a "must visit" highlight of the Southern California restaurant scene. Perry's article just about says it all: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-applepan16may16,1,195845,print.story?coll=la-headlines-food
My connection to The Apple Pan goes all the way back to about 1954, and to its predecessor, "Kentucky Boys,'" a restaurant on Pico Boulevard in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles. We lived on Shenandoah, 1416 1/2, in a duplex, on the second floor, after moving from Los Angeles. My father was still recovering from a nephrotic syndrome (I later understood what the hell that was.) My mother was recovering from a nervous breakdown and a suicide attempt. My parents had visited Los Angeles on their honeymoon, but both families were centered in Chicago, and the freedom to move away was not something they felt they had, until the near deaths of both, somehow freed them from their familial obligations. (Yes, that's another story.)
In 1952, after moving from Chicago between my junior and senior years of high school, I entered Hamilton High School, and, luckily, established my residence in California. This, and suitable grades, got me admitted to U.C.L.A. for the opportunity to swim with the sharks in pre-medical studies. It was quite a leap from high school chemistry to Chemistry 1A, and what seemed to be 3-400 fellow students seeking a place in medical school, all gathered together in a huge lecture hall. Our labs were on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, and I felt I was in over my head, in the deep end of the pool. Chemistry was to be my bugaboo, as was math, so being a doctor was going to be a real challenge. Study, study, study. I gave it my best. My best was a "C."
While studying and studying and studying, and going to football and basketball games, and studying, and studying and studying, living at home, my dad would drive off to the downtown Terminal Annex of the Post Office, and some days, when he returned home from the graveyard shift, I would drive the old 1952 Plymouth Cambridge, my dad's first new car, off to U.C.L.A., to get it home in time for him to drive to work, at night.
When studying got to be too depressing, my dad would go around the corner to Kentucky Boys, and bring back one of their fabulous hamburgers. This would give me the encouragement to keep on plugging, and years later, I learned that the first restaurant that preceded the Apple Pan, was Kentucky Boys. That was a major factor in my survival of pre-med, and a cherished memory of loving parents and the sacrifices they made to see me through U.C.L.A. and U.S.C., and my sister, Linda (Beth), through California State University, Los Angeles, and a degree as a public health nurse. She still does school nursing.
I guess I went pretty far afield, but over the years, Kentucky Boys and later, and still, the Apple Pan is a most treasured memory, and out very favorite restaurant.