Former owner and current namesake Joe Filkosky is responsible for many of the hearty breakfast platters still on the menu at Eat at Joe's. But it's John Wayne who gets the credit of one of the most famous. When the icon sidled in one day and asked Joe to cook him a special breakfast, the meal quickly landed on the regular menu—a belly-warming combination of two eggs over-medium with cheese, home fries, and a tortilla, all slathered with Spanish sauce and sausage.
Clientele aside, the interior of Eat at Joe's has barely changed a bit since it was founded. Much of the menu comes packaged in red plastic baskets, and the simple white tables are still laden with home-cooking classics such as burgers, chicken-fried steak, meatloaf, and roast turkey with stuffing. In the morning, diners start the day with hearty omelets and fresh-squeezed, decaffeinated orange juice.
For 40 years, the iconic Kelly green exterior of Patrick's Roadhouse has lit up the roadside along the Pacific Coast Highway. Inside, dark wood and checkered floors join stained-glass lamps and hand-painted signs to create the look and feel of a well-worn and cozy haven for travelers. Featured on the Food Network's Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, the menu includes unique classics such as the sweet and savory Dijon plum burger, or the Rockefeller—topped with sour cream, jack cheese, mushrooms, and caviar. Fresh, organic produce acquired daily from the local farmers market piles onto stacks of fluffy pancakes, and slices of the Patrick's 'famous' banana cream pie launch into faces to round out meals.
The French Quarter Restaurant has played host to an ample and eclectic variety of edibles during breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 35 years. Early eaters can peruse a morning menu of drinkable delights from bubbly mimosas ($6.95) to Apffels coffee ($2.50) before chowing on the layered flavors of the huevos rancheros ($10.50). The chicken-fried steak ($9.95) keeps an egg sidekick close by to fight off ravenous hunger and its arch-nemesis—beef-fried chicken. Bisect the day with bites from the extensive lunch menu, or skip straight to dinner for braised pot roast ($14.95) or four-cheese rainbow ravioli ($15.95). The French Quartet Restaurant also offers a bevy of drinks and desserts to sate arid palates and quiet spoiled sweet teeth.
Since its founding in 1968, Duke's West Hollywood, located in the heart of the historic Sunset Strip, has dished classic American fare to hungry locals and scores of musicians such as Jim Morrison, Tom Waits, and Janis Joplin. Relocated and redecorated, Duke's now augments its menu with vegetarian and vegan options and seats diners atop navy-and-white-striped booths in a clean, bright space. Duos can begin meals with a plate of sliders topped with blue-cheese crumbles and caramelized onions. Hearty main dishes include meatloaf spiced with spanish sauce, and a pork chop glazed with barbecue sauce and the eighth minute of "Free Bird." The Asian-inspired tofu sauté heaps rice with red peppers, broccoli, and carrots in a signature sauce. Chefs stack traditional sandwiches with healthy ingredients, such as the turkey wrap boosted with avocado, arugula, and a whole-wheat tortilla cut in the shape of a pedometer. Night owl chefs serve until midnight Sunday–Wednesday, and until 4 a.m. Thursday–Saturday.