107 W Grand Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245
Tucked into the oft-overlooked yet incredibly charming downtown El Segundo area is a tiny, throwback diner called Wendy’s Place. With a small seating capacity (four booths, 8 spots at the counter, two small tables in front) and very limited hours (open solely for breakfast and early lunch, closing at 1 or 2pm based on day), you just know the place is worth driving off the freeway for a rather common meal.
The menu, you see, is limited in the typical diner sense; classic American breakfast, egg dishes, hash browns, french toast abound, with the occasional Spanish or Denver dotting the choices, leaving one to wonder how a place with such self-imposed limitations can manage to stay in business. The knotty pine walls, decorated with Normal Rockwell puzzles and other tsatskes and knick knacks, inspire a midwestern, classic vibe – a perfect complement to both the menu, and the wonderfully cheery and helpful servers. Simply put, it feels like ‘home,’ even for those of us (sub)urbanites who had very Angeleno home lives with no parallel to this restaurant.
But that’s neither here nor there, because once you are there – you’ll be glad you’re here. Make sense? Good. Because the food – cooked to order, fresh and with very quality ingredients – is brought to the table almost immediately following the coffee. . .and darn is it good. I had the Spanish (“spicy!” promises the menu) omelette, which is served with hash browns (served with or without peppers & onions) and wheat toast. My partner-in-crime imbibed on the Denver, which was bursting with both flavor and color from the fresh ham and diced bells.
The coffee was refilled fast and the bill was inexpensive – less than $20 for the two of us yokels. And for me, that makes Wendy’s Place a place where I want to be. . .and did I mention that parking was free? Yes indeed, this is definitely worth heading 9 miles off the freeway to enjoy a great breakfast.