Retro has become an embarrassing word. One could argue that Fred 62 (named because both founders are named Fred and were born five years before I was) tries desperately to be hip, but to us there is still charm and comfort in it. It's not supposed to be a diner from the '50s; it's a diner from a quietly hyper-now that nods in appreciation to Hollywood. It is trendy, pretentious perhaps, but what else should one be in Los Feliz? There is still honesty in its stylings.
The seats are vinyl with an automotive theme; greyscale drawings of classic Hollywood celebrities dot the walls; spindly metal tables and chairs are outside and usually filled. The inked-and-pierced waitstaff wear black t-shirts with brassy sayings on them*. There always seems to be a scruffy guy sitting nearby, just this side of thirty, wearing a frumpy tweed hipster hat. There will also always be someone expounding on his screenplay to his companions. Sometimes it's the same guy.
The menu is creative diner fare with some healthy alternatives, given punny names. The Dime Bag is your usual pancakes/hash browns/bacon or sausage. The Juicy Lucy is their classic hamburger replete with thousand island dressing. Mr. Frenchy is French toast, and the bearded Mr. Frenchy comes cornflake-encrusted (not the gloriously crunchy French toast like Jinky's Cafe does it, but good and fluffy).
I like the Fred McMurray (buttered bun with scrambled eggs, sausage patty and hash browns) and the Charles Bukowski (grilled ham and cheddar on sourdough). Fred 62 does bread quite well (i.e., where you lick toasted, buttery crumbs from your fingertips). Fries are nicely greasy and come in a cutoff paper bag.
They have surprisingly good udon and soba, but they don't give them funny names.
They have coffee and mocha shakes, and you know how I feel about that.**
Some regulars who have come here for years are disillusioned with the inversely proportional ratio of waitstaff attitude versus food quality. So far we've been lucky. For a brief and balanced debate regarding Fred 62 I appreciate the words of Josh, Dave and John, especially since one of them mentions the Astro Diner on Fletcher, a personal comfort zone which I shall review soon.
* e.g., "JESUS IS OUR DISHWASHER", "LESBIANS EAT OUT", "EAT NOW, DINE LATER".
** Maniacally pleased.
Addendum: Oddly enough, this is post ID #62. The world is uncanny.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Healthy/Organic, Diner, Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park, American, Late Night/24 Hours )
|« Hard Times Pizza Co.||Malo Taqueria Chicana »|