Ronnie’s Diner does the simple things well

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

We were very recently at this strip mall just outside of Culver City to dine at Tomi Sushi and, while there, we spotted Ronnie’s Diner exactly opposite. What was very apparent back then was that, while the diner looked like most other diners, it was extremely busy suggesting that the food is particularly good. We vowed that we would return to give it a try. So here we are.

On a Saturday brunch time, the place was yet again full to bursting. Despite there being the early stages of fall crispness in the air, people were utilizing the outdoor seating rather than waiting longer than necessary for a table inside. As it turns out, any waiting around is absolutely worth it.

Much like the exterior, the menu looks like the sort of menu you’d see at every diner in the United States. Breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, salads and the like — classic fare. But it’s the quality that sets this place apart.

Venturing in with a child, we ordered two dishes from the “sandwiches” section of the menu, more in the mood for lunch food than breakfast. We opted for the Tuna Salad, and the Chicken Club.

You might wonder how good a tuna salad can be. The ingredients are simple – there’s very little sense of adventure with that choice. That’s sort of true, but again it’s the quality that is key. We’re offered a choice of breads, and we both went for sourdough. That is the perfect choice – the bread is soft, with a crisp crust, and it’s bouncing with flavor. The tuna salad being relatively sloppy, it needs a firm bread to hold it together.

There’s a wonderful touch of lemon in the tune salad, offering a tangy hint which benefits the whole sandwich. The portion is generous – you’ll probably need a fork to eat the filling that has spilled onto your plate afterwards.

Meanwhile, we had the dish with fries (rather than chips or salad), and they were crisp and wonderfully seasoned. 

As for our other choice (also with fries), the Chicken Club was equally delicious. The grilled chicken is perfectly cooked – not dried out and chewy, but juicy and full of flavor. It sits on three slices of sourdough bread, with mayo, swiss cheese, tomato, avocado and bacon.

The bacon is crispy and smoky, and it balances wonderfully with the fresh tomato and vibrant avocado. The cheese and mayo tops off what is the perfect club.

Sometimes, simple is better.Ronnie’s Diner is located at 12740 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles 90066. Call 310-578-9399 or visit