Nothing says brunch like a steaming pile of flapjacks (I love the word “flapjack.” it makes me giggle… flapjack… heehee). I know few people who can resist the call of those light, fluffy, browned discs of joy, particularly hungover at 11am on a Sunday. And let’s be honest, it is classic starving artist food – cheap, filling, and just as easily acquired at 2am as 2pm on any given day. But not just any pancakes will do. Oh no. I take my pancakes seriously. Since I can make killer pancakes at home, if I’m going to go out and spend money on someone else’s, they better be so good that I would slap a baby to get them. Before I will consider ordering pancakes at a restaurant, there are three things I look for:
- Whipped butter. None of those foil-wrapped packets. Airy, spreadable butter is crucial for complete pancake coverage. Butter in every bite!
- Real maple syrup. You already know my feelings on maple syrup – 100% pure is the only option. The ideal is a restaurant that doesn’t charge you extra for it; then you know they are serious.
- Creative pancake options. While it’s true that you’re only as good as your classic buttermilk recipe, nothing entices me more than creativity. Offer some outrageous pancake option that I HAVE to order because I won’t find it anywhere else. To me, if the restaurant is confident with their recipe, what better way to show it off than all kinds of crazy variations.
So far I have discovered one place in Los Angeles that meets all three of my criteria and that is the Griddle Cafe on Fairfax and Sunset. All of their pancakes are plate-sized monstrosities. They are most famous for their Red Velvet variety, topped with a cream cheese frosting swirl. Divine. Pictured above are the “Sow Your Oats”, which are oatmeal, honey, and cinnamon. Hearty and delicious – totally my thing. I’ve also sampled “Yellow Brick Road” – butterscotch, caramel, and walnuts. Sinfully rich. And guess what: at every single table there is a bottle of pure Vermont maple syrup. Clearly they are trying to get into my pants. The best part? The pancakes are all under $10. Sow Your Oats was $7.95 for a stack of three (there are two more under there!!). I ate maybe a quarter of the plate and took the rest home for two more meals. Starving artist heaven.
While we all love weekend brunch, you’re guaranteed to wait at least 45 minutes on any Saturday or Sunday. Madhouse. Totally worth it, of course, but if you can swing it, I would recommend a weekday after 10am. Same great food, but much more chill. Whenever you decide to go, you are guaranteed a phenomenal pancake experience.
The Griddle Cafe
7916 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles 90046