The Apple Pan Under New Ownership

Steakburger with the works and fries well done at The Apple Pan. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

Iconic burger joint sold to Azoff family.

By Kerry Slater

The Apple Pan is the gold standard for many Angelenos when it comes to burgers and is regarded by many as one of the best burgers in the world. The Apple Pan was founded in 1947 and while over the years has been the subject of much praise, nobody has described this world-class burger as well as world-class food critic Jonathan Gold did.

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“The thin, slightly charred beef patty becomes basically another texture in this sandwich, more valuable for its crunch than for its juice — the lunchroom burger is essentially a short-form essay on crispness,” Gold wrote in his 2013 Los Angeles Times review. “When you are seeking greatness, turn to the Apple Pan.”

A hickory burger at the Apple Pan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Many in the dining world were shock when this month it was announced that The Apple Pan will have new owners, Irving and Shelli Azoff, who have quelled fears by assuring that they will preserve the restaurant’s legacy.

According to Sunny Sherman, the granddaughter of the original founders, the 1947-founded burger joint that is considered by many to be one of the best in the world, sold the restaurant to the Azoffs recognizing they would maintain the character and charm of the establishment while keeping all the employees. Sherman cited the poor health of her 90-year-old mother Martha Gamble as one of the reason’s behind the move, wanting to focus on taking care of her. Sherman, however, indicated that she will assist with the transition, staying around to guide the Azoffs on operating the beloved counter-style restaurant.

The news comes after months of speculation that the restaurant had been sold. The Azoffs, who are also part of a new ownership group for Beverly Hills’ Nate n’ Al Deli, were long time customers who respected The Apple Pan’s place in LA history. Sherman also told LAist that she still owns the land that the restaurant sits on, meaning the Azoffs only purchased the recipes and contents of the restaurant.

Photo: The Apple Pan.

According to Eater LA, once the Azoffs get comfortable with operating a single restaurant, they may consider the feasibility of expanding The Apple Pan to other locations in addition to a food truck as well. The possibility of opening the restaurants on Mondays remains something diners can loolek foward to.

The Apple Pan, which has remained in the same small corner location since 1947, has seen the surrounding area develop greatly over the years. Just a few months ago, it was announced that Google would be moving into 500,000 square feet of office space across the street at the Westside Pavillion.