Dear John’s, opened and virtually unchanged since 1962, is in a league of its own out here on the Westside when it comes to old time feel and charm. The walls are covered with pictures of Famous Johns, hence the name.
The nondescript red and white exterior of Dear John’s clearly announces that this place is a throw back. And if that doesn’t tell you before entering, the ornate big heavy wooden doors at the entrance are a dead giveaway.
The inside will instantly bring a smile to your face. It’s dark and cozy with a great 60’s feel. Old photo’s of John’s (mostly black and white) darn the brick walls on the east and south sides of the interior. The tables are set beautifully, and if you come on a Friday night you’ll be treated to a keytar jazz band. The average age of the clientele here is around 60 – they’re fun to mingle with and very friendly.
The food here doesn’t look like it’s changed since this place opened. The portions are huge and consist of gems like Steak and Lobster, Prime Rib, French Dip, etc. You won’t find Kobe beef and fancy dishes here – just good classic American cooking.
Though tasty – the drinks are a little disappointing but fit the restaurant to a T. They serve basic cocktails and standard American Macro beer. They do however make a solid gin martini with a twist.
Of historical note, be sure to take notice of the Culver Blvd bike path running along the north side of Culver Blvd just opposite of the entrance to Dear John’s. Along that stretch of land used to run a train line between downtown Culver City and Playa Del Rey – connected to the rest of the once great Los Angeles train network. Also, walking distance from Dear Johns, is Allied Model Trains. Though they recently changed location, this shop has been a mainstay on the Westside since 1946 and worth checking out.