I have a very sordid story involving Four ‘n 20 Pies. It’s a story I like to tell, so I will tell it here.
Years ago, I had a Craigslist date. If it weren't for Craigslist, I wouldn't have found my apartment, my first job or...well, let's just leave it at that. The CL has been good to me. However, I knew this particular date would not go well. It was a “Safety Date.” First of all, it was during the day and was for coffee. Secondly, it was at a Starbucks where the girl’s roommate worked and would be working at the time of the date. Can’t you just feel the romance in the air?
The date itself was mediocre at best. She kept interrupting me and not in a “I wanna get in on this hilarious story you are telling me” way, but in an “I'm not listening and am going to interject something, just 'cuz” kind of way. I suffered through the coffee and then it was time to go. She lived nearby and had taken the bus, so, at first, I offered to drive her home, momentarily forgetting that this was a “Safety Date;" I then offered to walk her to the bus stop.
On our way to the bus stop, I saw the sign for Four ‘n 20 Pies. My dour mood immediately brightened and I said, “Let’s go there!” She agreed. Now, once inside and eating pie, the date seemed to be going much smoother. This was solely due to the pie I am sure.
I never went out with that girl again, but I did see her one more time...on the Internet...on a porno site.
Now isn't that a great story about how I found this place? Way better than my usual “I googled it” explanation, I believe.
I go to Four ‘n 20 once every couple of months. Its valley location is just nowhere near anywhere else I frequent. Often on lazy weekend afternoons, especially if I’m feeling blue, I’ll head out that way for some fruit pie or maybe even a full meal.
The regular food at Four ‘n 20 can be a bit pricey; most entrees are about ten dollars. It’s not rare that when ordering an entree, coffee and a slice of pie, with tip, I’m spending close to twenty dollars.
The staff here is always friendly and quick to serve. This comes in especially helpful because of the tiny cups they use for coffee service.
Part of the fun of coming here is the crowd it attracts. It seems squarely split between Valley hipsters and middle-aged housewives. I was wearing my Captain America for President T-shirt here once, and a Valley Hipster walked in wearing the same shirt. He looked like he was about to shit a Von Dutch brick. (You got the shirt at Target dude. Don't front.)
On my most recent trip to Four 'n 20, I was seated next to a lovely pair of moms. One of whom spent most of the time on her cell phone complaining to someone about her daughter who just can't handle living on her own and had to call her daddy to deal with a spider. Oh, and also that daughter was lazy. Then the women got off her phone and talked to the other mom about how that mom's son was just getting into too much trouble at school. Oh, and also she loves her new Land Rover.
On this day I decided to get a breakfast. I ordered the sauteed onions and eggs with home fries and a piece of cornbread.
My eggs were a little wet and the onions didn't seem all that sauteed to me. The home fries were tasty though. The cornbread was excellently moist, but not fully cake. They serve the corn bread with a dish of cinnamon butter that makes it just fantastic.
My motto is usually this when it comes to pie in Los Angeles: House of Pies for cream, Four 'n 20 for fruit. (Four 'n 20 has the best rhubarb pie ever. Rhubarb!...wait.. rhubarb isn't a fruit is it?) This day something new caught my eye on the menu--"Banana Fudge Cream Pie"--I had to try it.
This was a beautiful pie. It was also incredibly rich and thick. I loved the first few bites, but then it seemed as though the whole world (or perhaps just my stomach) was getting heavy. I struggled to finish. Unfortunately, it became a chore, albeit a tasty chore, but a chore nonetheless.
Four 'n 20 is probably one of my favorite out of my way places to go in LA. I recommend giving it a shot. Try the rhubarb pie. ....seriously...is it a fruit? Can't be... it's red celery...anyway....
Price: A bit high.
Pie: Yes. Great fruit pies.
4723 Laurel Canyon Blvd,
North Hollywood 91607
Between Riverside Ave & Ventura Fwy