You can't really complain about the dining scene in LA. Our options are varied and delicious, but when I went to New York recently, I noticed there were astronomically more diners around than you notice in LA. You could get off the LIE and pop in for a quick Monte Cristo and slice of creamy cheesecake, no problem. Here in LA, not so much the case.

cheesecake, lemon, cake, cheese
Tara Bitran

And luckily for my parents growing up, they knew that they could always count on their local diner to be open 24/7 to serve up a patty melt for them at 4 a.m. post-disco outing. Since comfort food is a beautiful treat that is much-needed once in a while, this makes me wonder why aren't diners here as ubiquitous as they are back on Long Island? I mean, there comes a time when we all just want to sit back and slurp on a milkshake like the Riverdale crew. Aka me yesterday...

So I did a little digging, and apparently it's BECAUSE we've got so many options in LA that the simple art of a plate of fried eggs and bacon isn't going to cut it. Here's a breakdown of the factors making LA's dining scene less homestyle diner-friendly.

The Sprawl Factor

Here in LA, you've got to drive places to get somewhere. And scarfing down random bland calories after trekking all the way across town to eat isn't exactly the memo, according to The New York Times. We Angelenos want to feel like sitting in bumper to bumper is worth it. And so when we arrive at these eateries, we want to take our time and enjoy our meal, no stuffing a bacon, egg, and cheese on the go--although those are delicious no matter what the speed at which you consume them. 

There's also a lot more room for big restaurants and for young chefs to open up their own mainstays with the rent listed at a lower price. But in New York, as Joe Satran of The Huffington Post noted, they might instead go for safe dishes like burgers that they know will sell to make up for the high rent value. So it really is all about the moolah.

The Options Are Endless Factor

Even within one ~central~ market you can find loads of cuisines ranging from Thai to Salvadoran to French, which is a quality that chef Josef Centeno of Baco Mercat says makes LA's restaurant-goers more open to new models of dining. We've got a lot more experimentation going on here, and we don't have a definitive explanation for what fine-dining is. So in relation to the "Sprawl Factor," when we get out of our cars after the long ride and are in flip-flops, we're going to want good eats no matter what.

And We Can't Forget About the Health-Consciousness Factor

Along with our variety of food comes a lot of specific restraints, which for Satran, may come across as "too calorie-conscious." But hey, we're picky! Instead of just asking to change a vinaigrette, in LA we get a lot of "can't eat that's" and dietary restrictions. With produce gaining an edge over proteins on menus anyway, restaurants like République are waving the flag for the city's perennial brunch celebration by using fresh ingredients from the farmers' markets, curing their ham themselves, and baking their bread fresh every day.

So Where Does That Leave Our Beloved Diners in this LA Labyrinth of Healthy, Varied, and Spread Out Brunch Offerings?

beer, coffee, tea
Laura Bailey

Just because we don't have as many diners as the East Coast, doesn't mean we don't have the wherewithal to satisfy our good old comfort food cravings. After all, LA doesn't have a reputation for boasting a vibrant food scene for nothing! Much in the vein of Riverdale's own Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe or Stars Hollow's darling Luke's, we do have our own array of diners like The Apple Pan for whenever we want a Hickory Burger with a slice of banana cream pie on the side or Nickel Diner for their huge breakfast burritos and seasonal homemade pop-tarts.

So no matter what side of the country you're on, East Coast, West Coast, what have you, we can all agree that diners are a safe space where a burger and a shake can mend your heart and make your troubles seem far, far away. So if you need me, I'll be helping myself to a slice of that banana cream pie. But in the meantime, here's a video of Cole Sprouse as Jughead munching on a burger to get you in that diner state of mind...

Happy eating!