Where La Tijera meets La Cienega Boulevard there exists a quaint diner, one where people hold open doors for others, busboys are genuinely interested in cardiac health, and the biscuits served might just be the best in town. Sounds idealistic and downright fictional but it’s not; it is very real and I’ve been there. Pann’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop is where I happened to spend my Martin Luther King Day—at least an hour—trying out a “Deluxe burger” in hopes of finding the perfect sandwich early in the year.

I pulled up with a friend and a bottle of wine—dead set on making up for last week’s unforeseen pairing dilemma—to a seemingly familiar site. The diner made an extended cameo in Pulp Fiction and was rumored for having the best burger in town, the house was packed. Luckily for us, there was no waiting for patio seating. Almost immediately two glasses were brought tableside and we would receive attentive and surprising bottle service for the duration of the lunch, by no means a given while dining elsewhere.

We ordered our deluxe burgers (ten dollars apiece with side) and enjoyed a glass of the 2009 Chukker red wine while we talked about the recent string of Ducks victories as well as exciting playoff football games. A couple sips into the democratic blend of Cabernet Franc (40%), Merlot (40%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) from the Happy Canyon AVA—Santa Barbara—would be enough to see that this wine was destined for success with lunch. It was only up to the burger to carry its end of the bargain.

Moments later our burgers arrived, folded tightly into white parchment paper. Framed in a squishy sesame seed bun, a thick patty with American cheese melted better than an illustration, and a tomato thrusting out of its package. I had followed the lead of my counterpart, ordering a medium rare patty and after my first bite I was shocked to see it was cooked perfectly. I may have said in the past, that a burger here or there had been cooked perfectly but these guys really executed it flawlessly. The grind of meat was tender and generous. The extras like the sweet relish and cheese helped round out the flavors of this almost-perfect burger. One tiny hiccup though—there was little to no seasoning used on the fresh ground beef. I was willing to overlook the flaw because everything else was exceeding expectation.

The Santa Barbara red wine was pitch-perfect, bringing together all the flavors at the table with Dudamel-like-direction. Poised to capture best burger in town had it not been for a lack of salt and pepper; I am resolved to try Pann’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop again. I do not do this often, but my experience was so heightened by the conversation we had with the patrons next to us, the amicable service and the small-town atmosphere preserved in a bigger city shell that I strongly urge you to eat there! I am going back sooner rather than later.