From Our Editors
The Memorial Coliseum. The Hollywood Bowl. The Ambassador Hotel. The California oil and railway booms of the 1920s brought Los Angeles many of its best-recognized landmarks. It's also what helped Fred and Grace Cook open the Pacific Dining Car, a restaurant built to resemble one of the sumptuous dining cars of the era. Although it never rode the rails, the restaurant still fed the thousands of travelers, from both near and far, that passed through Los Angeles in those days. It was also a hit with the locals, who eagerly awaited the day's thick-cut steaks and lighter-than-air apple pies.
Now in its fourth generation of ownership, the restaurant offers today's guests yesterday's dining experience—namely, a quiet, elegant atmosphere and hearty meals any time of day. Steaks are still especially popular: each is aged on the premises, cut by an on-staff butcher, and grilled under a special flame that enhances the meat's natural juices and flavors. Their "Baseball Steak" menu item helped earn them a place on Los Angeles Eater's "The 21 Essential Los Angeles Steakhouses, 2015" list. The restaurant also sports a wine list fit for a Golden Age tycoon; clocking in at over 300 bottles, the collection is curated by an in-house sommelier and contributes to the glowing reviews from industry sources including Gourmet, Wine Spectator, and Travel + Leisure.
Although they adhere to tradition, the modern-day PDC also sports its own, more contemporary innovations; unlike most fine restaurants, the dining car remains open 24 hours a day, allowing guests to sit down for a classy meal no matter the hour. In the morning (or at any other time, really) diners can enjoy PDC's signature country breakfast, which chefs build around two eggs, two buttermilk pancakes, and two breakfast meats.