Tired of going to the latest, greatest, oh-so-groovy breakfast places with jacked up prices, I was looking to meet a friend at a grounded old school favorite — or in other words – a dive (in a good way).
We decided on Bobby’s Coffee Shop in Woodland Hills — the ultimate greasy spoon, no frills diner with straight up Americana food at unbeatable prices. At over six decades old, Bobby’s is a landmark in the San Fernando Valley that you may have missed if you don’t live in the West Valley.
As you approach the front door you’d think you were on a movie set with retro signage. Once inside, it’s a wide-open space with a counter, open grill and stove (where a cook was grilling up a pile of real hash browns), booths line the wall and tables are surrounded with mismatched chairs. Bobby’s is not made to look old-fashioned — it’s the real deal.
Signs decorate the walls. My favorite is over the coffee maker — “Coffee: Have some so you can do more stupid stuff with a lot of energy.”
There is no pretense here. It’s a real neighborhood joint. There were even a couple of people who looked like they had just rolled out of bed and come in their pajamas. A round of “happy birthday to you” was sung at 10 am to what looked like a table of regulars with a candle set in a pancake. Yeah, and then there was that homeless guy a few tables down, but he seemed pretty happy.
We were given plastic coated menus with rips and tears. No wonder because when you take a look at the prices you can tell they really haven’t been raised in at least a couple decades, except for two scratch outs that were difficult to decipher.
The most expensive breakfast is the “Special Ranch Breakfast” which includes two eggs, hash browns, three strips of bacon, toast, plus all the coffee you can drink ($6.95) —and it’s served anytime. French Toast with two eggs and bacon ($5.99); Two eggs, hash browns and toast ($3.99); Three stack buttermilk pancakes ($3.99). I had the vegetable omelet with green peppers, onions (I asked for them grilled) and mushrooms that came with hash browns and toast. I added .50 for cheese — $6 total. In typical diner fashion, the eggs, bacon and hash browns are prepared well done. Note: this isn’t the place to ask for special orders or eating lightly — just go for the bacon and hash browns and live a little.
The rest of the menu is as basic as you can get. Selections include: Burger with fries ($3), Chicken Breast sandwich with fries ($5), Steak Hoagie and fries ($4.99), Egg salad sandwich ($3.50), Tuna Melt and fries ($5.95), Sub sandwich ($4.99).
The servers are like no other — happy, friendly and cheerful. We were asked by the most affable gentlemen, dressed in a long blue apron and white shirt, if we wanted more coffee — at least five times. Now that’s service. I was well-satiated and caffeinated and off to start my day just like the sign above the coffee machine told me I should.
I’m glad I found Bobby’s Coffee Shop. I’ll be back…and soon!
Bobby’s Coffee Shop 22821 Ventura Blvd Woodland Hills, CA 91364 (818) 225-1324 (between Shoup and Fallbrook) Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Free parking in back. Meters on the street.
Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find.