Mel's Drive-In

(323) 465-3111 | View Website

1650 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA | Directions   90028

34.100415 -118.338588

Open Hours

Sun-Thu 6:30am-3am

Fri-Sat 24 hrs

 
Breakfast, Cheap Eats, Family-Friendly Dining  more

More Tags: Late Night Dining, Lunch Spot

Price: $

Cuisine: Hamburgers

Payment Methods: MasterCard, Visa

General Info: Open 24 Hours, Open 7 Days

Categories: Restaurants, Diners

Neighborhoods: Central LA, Hollywood

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Mel's Drive-In
Mel's Drive-In
Mel's Drive-In
Mel's Drive-In

From The Owners of Mel's Drive-In

Made famous by "American Graffiti," this '50s-inspired diner is the quintessential Hollywood combination of faux reality and nostalgia.

Reviews for Mel's Drive-In

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Don't even bother unless you have lots of time and money – Well, it looks like I'm not the only one who would have enjoyed it more if it was truly like "Mel's Diner"... Spent the day at Santa Monica and decided to go into Hollywood to enjoy the afternoon/evening. We were starving and decided to check out "Mel's Diner" from movie and TV fame and found it nothing like what we had ever seen. Open ceiling with beams and pipes overhead with dust and dirt on every inch of it. Old looking booths, much too small for a family of four but we fit.

Took forever to get service once we were seated (20 minute wait to get a table - not bad for a crazy crowd on near-by Hollywood Blvd.)... But - no water offered and not enough settings at table. Finally gave our drink order (one beer, two cokes, and a water).. We didn't see them for over 20 minutes. Finally had to ask where they were and was told they were being made. Made? How do you make a coke a water and a beer? I've never seen it take that long to make a coke. Waited another 20 minutes before we ordered our food - granted it was busy - but come on now...

By the time we ordered our food we had already drank our drinks and needed refills (over 80-90 degrees outside and sun blaring through the window on our backs kept it pretty warm... Ordered our food - A Cheeseburger, Patty Melt, Chicken Wings, and a Chili Burger. Nothing comes with what you order - In other words be prepared to pay extra for a slice of cheese, a salad, a cup of soup ($3 for a cup btw), fries, whatever you may need is extra. They nickel and dime you to death in this place.

Since we already had been waiting - we knew that the food was going to take a while also - so we weren't surprised that we had to wait - finally a salad and the cups of $3 chicken soup arrived - then another long wait for the food. The food was okay - nothing to rave about - really no different than your local Dennys or IHop.

After waiting for the bill - does the term "waiting" seem to be a common theme here? we finally got the bill - and were blown away at the $109.00 charge !!!!!! over $100 for three burgers and chicken wings??? Really? looking at the bill we realized that everything was an extra charge - so we ate it - we pay it - but at the bottom of the bill was a little charge for $12.78 for a tip that the waitress just added on her own to the bill - PRETTY PRESUMPTUOUS I would say for such lousy service. She probably did that knowing that we weren't going to tip that much so she just added that on so she would be getting something.

Now usually we do not check the bill that closely and some people may just see the total and pay it - and then add some cash on that for a tip not realizing she has already added her own tip to the bill. We live in Vegas and we know that for a party of 4 you don't get an automatic tip - we are the service industry out here and trying to slip that little tid bit in was so not cool.

I took the bill immediately to the manager and asked what this little automatic tip was - just then our waitress jumps in from behind me - rips the bill out of my hand and says - here I'll give you one without the tip on it" and instantly produces another bill without the tip on it... What kind of shennanigans is this?

Needless we still were not happy about a $90 + bill for a few burgers that were nothing special - and no we did not leave one penny for that waitress. My son said the whole time he was looking at all the receipts on the counter by the register and not one of them from the other waiters and waitresses were putting that auto tip on the end of the bill - only our waitress was doing it - lucky us !!!

Will never go back there - don't bother - the only thing that is Hollywood about Mel's Diner is the sign.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

BAD EXPERIENCE RUDE SERVER – June 15th at 2am attempted to dine here. Party of 4, they sat us on the far left side of the restaurant in back near the kitchen. This section was pretty empty, except one booth with two male patrons. Each one of us in our party took turns rotating to the restroom. Meanwhile NO server arrived. Ten to 15 minutes later, the place didn't appear to be busy from our perspective, I got up and walked towards the kitchen to solicit an employee in hopes to find out who or if we had a server. The NICE man took the time to go find out whom our server was. I watched as he located "Wally". Wally was chit chatting with a couple, apparently he had taken thier order as well. I watched them enter the diner and get seated, long after WE were seated.

Wally glanced at our table with what looked like an annoyed inconvenienced then with willful defiance still ignored us until he FINALLY walked our way. By then he was already speaking at us an attitude...saying "Ya ya ya...I saw you bla bla” and something about how “Why'd you have to go tell the other guy (NICE man) to go get me....I was here BEFORE you guys were." I should hope so he works there. We were all shocked of the rude greeting with no apology or excuse, not even a fake one.

One of the people in our party feared WALLY was so rude he'd spit in our food or do something to it out of spite. So he said...."Dude, don't spit in my food, okay." Wally was so rude at that point, I realized WE would NOT be ingesting any food from this establishment. So, I said so and Wally said, "I don't care, fine go ahead and leave...doesn't matter to me, I don't care." I said, "Are you kidding me? OMG, the customer is always right and even if they aren't you have no reason to be so rude." Then my friend demanded to speak to the manager.

The booth across from us who was witness to all this, one of the men sitting there in a dress shirt said he was the manager? Really, I think NOT! Otherwise, he'd NEVER allow such disrespect. So then, I asked to speak to the owner. Of course his friend sitting with him, claimed to be the owner. Oh brother! At that point, we all got up and left. We walked over to The Roosevelt Hotel and spent our money there. WALLY’S loss.

WALLY, was HORRIBLE, RUDE & DISRESPECTFUL. He's the bartender/waiter. He must feel he's got JOB SECURITY to be this ridiculously rude.

Management HAS BEEN notified. William the Assistant Day Manager, and Jesse Mendoza the REAL manager as well. I have yet to hear from Azul Fernandez, the General Manager. I guess she's off for a WEEK. How conveninet. Oh well too bad. They had thier chance, now YELP has thier.

It’s a Diner and I realize this but there is NO excuse to be treated so disrespectfully or rude. Never in my 52 years of life have I ever had a food server speak with such disrespect. I’ve had a lot of bad service and some not so cheery overly busy and incompetent wait staff in the past, but this by far is the worst.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Great Experience! Great Food! – I love this place! It was actually my first visit to Hollywood, and Mel's seemed to be a good choice. (There were a lot of people in there). :)

We were seated immediately, and the staff was incredible. The server gave us reccomendations as to what were popular options. The food was soooo good, fresh, and was really flavorful typical "diner food."

Veggie Burger = A+

Sweet Potato Fries = A+

I'd definitely come again - especially to check out the cool movie-memoriabilia.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

don't go there – got a few, we caught them under glasses, feel a little icky now!!!!

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

THE ABSOLUTE WORST IN SERVICE AND FOOD – I was just in the Mel's in Ontario, CA, and it is just as bad as the one in Los Angeles. Apparently, they are franchises, so there is no corporate structure as to their continuity of food preparation. The fries are horrible, and their rendition of a grilled cheese (easy enough to make, wouldn't you say?) is to toast two pieces of bread, then stick cold cheese slices in between. I had to send it back 3 times because the cooks barely speak enough english to understand their job. The manager was too stupid to know how to do proper damage control, and charged me for bad food (which I hardly touched!) anyway, and showed absolutely no concern whatsoever when I told her that not only would I never be back, but I would tell everyone I know not to go there. My next stop.....the Department of Health Services! (Food was served at a less than optimal temperature....it wasn't even lukewarm!)

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Good food and fun atmosphere – I've been to Mel's many times. The food has always been good -- I especially like their breakfasts and cheeseburgers. The staff have always been friendly and the service is usually prompt. The prices are reasonable, and it's a fun atmosphere. In addition to adjacent parking, it's next to the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line stop.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Not Good – I'd have to say that this restaurant is not too good. I've been there a few times, but certainly not in the last 2 years, because, each time, the food either does not taste good at all, or the service is terrible. The waiters and waitresses are very rude to the patrons, and I have seen people even refused service for no apparent reason. Yes, one reviewer had it correct: the people that work there are either out-of-work actors with terrible attitude, or metal/hard rock musicians just out of high school who make no real money elsewhere. That vibe permeates the restaurant. It is not a fun time. The music is ok if you like oldies, but the food, cost, and service ensure that the visitor will not want to return unless they are starving and, even then, you may be better off cooking. No, don't pay for parking; that is ridiculous, given the quality of the establishment.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

ONLY IMPOVERISHED HUNGRY CHILDREN WOULD FIND THIS FOOD TASTY! – I agree the food is BAD. My BF and I decided to go here.. to a "quaint" little diner, OR SO WE THOUGHT. In lieu of JERRYS DELI which has started to have REALLY HORRIBLE FOOD OF LATE, it was my idea to have breakfast at this little old fashioned "cosy nook". As soon as the food came and I bit into it, I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. I had at least expected to see a few moviestars (lol) instead just saw the banal best of the mediocre middle class.. which is all I ever see. Oh lets not forget at times I see an uppity multicolored quaffed snob who is slumming, but then she or he could also be bumming.. HARD TO TELL.

The foods TASTELESS. They excel at draining every ounce of taste from their food. I don't know how they do it, but they deserve a trophy for the most bland SHIOT I ever had in my life. They deserve a prize for being that BAD.

I was sooo disappointed, and peeved my BF was actually tipping and paying for this tasteless abuse to our senses!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Great Food ! – I've eaten at Mel's about ten times. They have good food. I recommend their chicken dinner. The chicken is perfect. And their steamed vegetables are perfect.

The one on Highland is fun because you can people watch all the tourists and Hollywood-types that come into the place.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Terrible service + terrible food = awesome! – Mel's Drive-In ? like 50's Diner, Johnny Rockets, etc. ? attempts to recapture the spirit of a more innocent time, when Friday night meant slurping down a shake with your best gal while Chubby Checker played on the jukebox and Fonzie scared off local toughs without resorting to violence. Well apparently Mel's vision of the 1950's also includes terrible food and even worse service. Our party waited no less than 15 minutes for a waiter to attend to our table, and another 30 just for our drink order to arrive (or at least our meth-addled waiter's approximation of our drink order). Several fortnights later, a prison-tattooed busboy brought us our food. Or rather, someone's food. I don't know what the waiter had jotted down on his clipboard way back when ? maybe the lyrics for his nu metal band's latest teen angst sonata ? but it definitely was not our order. Nonetheless, to stave off starvation we scarfed down what had been brought to our table. It was a decision we'd all come to regret later that afternoon. The food, while not entirely awful, wasn't close to resembling good: Dry burgers, limp salads, overcooked eggs, all tasteless save for the essence of dirty grill. Yes, even the salad tasted like week-old grease. Still, it was edible and our blood-sugar levels had already dipped to dangerous levels. Alas the poor meal and awful service were not the worst of it; judging from the intestinal distress we suffered for the rest of the day, the undocumented workers manning the grill paid little heed to the many signs in the restroom urging them to wash their hands before returning to work. Maybe because the signs were written in English.

If the retro experience is what you're looking for stick to Happy Days, break-dancing or the Renaissance Fair. If you're looking for good food and service at a reasonable price, avoid Mel's Drive-In at all costs.

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