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Question about Pancakes in LA...

I hate to do the whole "who has the 'best' pancakes in LA?" but I am doing some research on pancakes in Los Angeles and am looking for the best of the best. But I need more specific info...

First, what cafe/restaurant makes your favorite pancakes? Why is it the best? And, what specific pancake dish is your favorite (blueberrie, plain with real maple, etc.)...?

And, lastly, what makes a GREAT pancake?

Clare K.

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  1. I just had pancakes at Who's on Third yesterday. Nice ones, fluffy and with a nice buttermilk bite to them.

    1. John O' Groats on Pico, for me, hands down.

      Great fluffly cakes, with several different flavor options. Buttermilk, Buckwheat, 9 Grain. You can choose one of those three and have another option of fruit of your choice, pumpkin spice, lemon curd, chocolate chips, nuts and more mixed in. They also have real syrup (for a fee) and great biscuits!

      A great pancake should be fluffy and light, big enough to fill the plate. If the place can't make a good plain buttermilk cake, forget all the bells and whistles.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Diana

        You got there first, but I get to do the link.

        Other than John O'Groats and (yuck) IHoP, does anyone in L.A. do buckwheat cakes for breakfast (i.e. not blini)?

        John O'Groats
        10516 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        1. re: maxzook

          Flappy Jack's in Glendora has buckwheat pancakes.

          They also have bacon pancakes ...

          Flappy Jack's
          640 West Route 66
          (626) 852-9444

          Flappy Jack's Pancake House
          640 W Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I found the buckwheat pancakes at Flappyjacks so dry that they were inedible. Their Swedish and potato pancakes are very good, though, as is their German pancake (aka Dutch baby).

          2. re: maxzook

            Yes!!! Try The Original Pantry Cafe in Downtown! They have great buckwheat pancakes. Plus its a historic landmark. Expect long lines on weekend mornings. Just get a newspaper and expect the wait. Or go on a weekday.

            Original Pantry Cafe
            877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles - (213) 972-9279

            1. re: GingkoCat

              Linked it

              Original Pantry Cafe
              877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

        2. Doughboy's gets my vote for offering the most incredible variety of pancake adulterations a human being could imagine. They're also one of the few places where I can order a plate of pancakes and know that it'll easily fill me up until dinner (even if I only finish half of it, which is typical).

          My perennial favorite is the banana pecan butterscotch buttermilk pancakes. Yesterday I tried the rice krispie pancakes with melted marshmallow topping (real melted marshmallows, mind you, not anything from a jar) and while I'm not exactly relishing the memory, I applaud them for inventing something so audacious.

          1. I enjoy the pancakes at Rick's Drive In and Out in Alhambra--they have that slightly chewy texture but still remain fluffy with a bit of sweetness to it. The owner told me they add a vanilla "syrup" to their batter. At Rick's, I eat them plain, just with a bit of butter and syrup.
            For blueberry pancakes, I've enjoyed the ones that Rod's Grill in Arcadia serves--quite a huge portion with lots of berries mixed into the batter and whipped cream if you'd like. It's really more like breakfast-dessert.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Augusta

              Many, many years ago, Rick's in Alhambra used to serve their pancakes (and all their breakfast fare) on styrofoam plates.

              It was a big turnoff. It was like McDonald's without the "I'm Lovin' It" feeling.

              Now, I understand they actually use real plates.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Give them a try again. I think Rick's is one of our favorite breakfast places plus the prices are very reasonable. We usually split a plate of pancakes and the steak and eggs; I think we end up spending about 10 bucks for the two of us.
                And yes, they use real plates now!

            2. Julienne in San Marino

              Blueberry walnut pancakes, with lemon curd and maple syrup.

              What makes for a great pancake? To paraphrase Justice Potter of the U.S. Supreme Court (as he was trying to describe pornography): "I know a good pancake when I taste it."

              9 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Hah, that's a good paraphrase. I love a pancake that's moist on the inside and has crispy edges. Nothing worse than a big, fluffy pancake that leaves your with dry mouth.

                1. re: krez

                  ...except a gummy, too-wet pancake! :(

                  1. re: Clare K

                    Oh no that wouldn't do either!

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Objection. Justice Potter Stewart passed on attempting to define obscenity offering only, “I know it when I see it.” Obscenity is something more than pornography. Perhaps if the art medium before the Court was culinary arts rather than motion picture arts it would have been more easy to find that the cakes and french toast at Julienne, along with that real maple syrup, are a multi sensory experience that is Obscenly Good. – the best of the best!. Good paraphrase ipse, and a great recommendation.

                  2651 Mission Street
                  San Marino, California 91108

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    "Blueberry walnut pancakes, with lemon curd and maple syrup"-- sounds really good. How much for a plate?

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      I have been to Julienne only twice. I once had a tuna sandwich for lunch, and for breakfast I had the “French Toast Julienne” which comes with real Maple Syrup. I recall that each meal cost about $10. I recall that because I nothiced that many of the meals on the menu were near $10. I got the impression I was paying rent for the use of the chair in San Marino and for that rent you get a really good meal free of charge. Both times I not only left happy but thinking “I will return.”

                        1. re: katkoupai


                          the pancakes were about 8 bucks.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Thank you. Sounds like a great deal. :)

                3. Great recent thread (poster Diana's pancake hootennanny):

                  1. The Griddle does good ones--but they are ginormous.

                    1. The 49'er Flap Jacks at Original Pancake House in Anaheim are the best (thin) pancakes I've ever had. A crispy edge complemented perfectly by a soft, gooey center. They're great even without syrup and butter... that may be the true test of a pancake.

                      The only buttermilk pancakes I've truly enjoyed were at the Clinton Street Baking Co. in New York and that was due in part to the amazing warm maple butter syrup they serve with their fluffy cakes.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: adevejian

                        Another vote for the Original Pancake House (their Dutch Baby is sublime) and a vote for Gustav Anders' Jagerhaus in Anaheim, where the idea is to get any pancake you like and ask for their astoundingly good homemade jam. Just be aware that the lines at the OPH are insane at popular times.

                        Sorry -- no link to Jagerhaus, for some reason I can't get any response from the linking script after four successes.

                        Original Pancake House
                        1418 E Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805

                        Original Pancake House
                        1756 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                        Original Pancake House
                        18453 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                        Original Pancake House
                        26951 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92656

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          Ich habe zum Jagerhaus verknüpft.

                          2525 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

                      2. I've just recently found my new favorite pancakes...my brother makes the best but he lives in San Diego..I make pretty good ones but I am too lazy to make them and I can't resist eating all of the.
                        So...Larkins in Eagle Rock has these freakishly amazing pancakes like no ohters I have ever had...they are sizzle-y on the edges, fluffy, yet they have been cooked in syrup before they get to you...I don't know how they do it but they don't get soggy with all the gooeyness all over them...damn, they are F-ing good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tatertotsrock

                          I finally tried Larkin's Sunday Brunch for their pancakes and although I didn't really like the pancakes, their Cinnamon French Toast was pretty spectacular.. crispy, cinnamon crust with a very soft, tender filling. Not to mention their surprisingly amazing homemade veggie sausage.

                          1. re: adevejian

                            Hi adevejian,
                            How funny, I forget how good the FT is...my friend had it and of course I had to snag some too...so good, but when I went back, I got those crazy pancakes again-yum.
                            I do agree with you on those veggie sausages and I'm usually anti-anything-veggie.

                        2. I have to say that I'm not usually a fluffy pancake fan (I always preferred the thinner, crispier pancakes that are smaller and closer to what you make at home), and if I was going to eat pancakes in a breakfast restaurant, I liked flavors and special ingredients to add pizzazz to doughy mouthfuls.

                          That's until I ate the pancakes at Du-Par's in the farmer's market. Their original buttermilk pancakes just TASTE better than the others.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Amuse Bouches

                            I agree about Du-Par's, I took my mom there and she said they were the best pancakes she's ever had!

                            1. re: Amuse Bouches

                              Du-Pars certainly has the BEST BUTTERMILK pancakes.

                            2. If you're doing a pancake tour of LA (which is not a bad idea)... don't forget the Flannel Cakes at Musso and Franks.


                              1. I'm no pancake afficionado - more of a waffle girl - but I did want to mention that my SO and I went to brunch yesterday at Tiara Cafe in Downtown LA, and we were brought a plate of pancakes as a gift before our meal. Our waiter Buck the Leprechaun (as we call him) explained that they had improved their pancake recipe and they wanted everyone to try it - and I have to say, they were darn good pancakes. Light, fluffy, delicious. Could have eaten many more, and probably will order them the next time we're there!

                                Tiara Cafe
                                127 E 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: aching

                                  Hi aching,
                                  I just hunted down Tiara on Sat to check out the parking situation since I don't live in DT...couldn't find any parking..any suggestions...I don't mind walking, I just don't like paying to park my funky little car.
                                  So, how was the rest of the food?
                                  I'm dying to try it.

                                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                                    We do live in Downtown and so just walk. Free parking in DT is hard to come by during the week, but should be plentiful on the weekends on the streets. And there's tons of inexpensive parking in the area - most if not all of the pay lots lower their prices to about $3 on the weekends.

                                    As to the rest of the food, we got the duck medianoche and the warm artichoke salad. I'm not crazy about the medianoche but my SO loves it, and the salad was very good. Overall, I would say that it's not the best food I've ever had, but it's a really fun experience - I like the funky ambience, service is great, food is very good, and for us it's right around the corner.

                                    1. re: aching

                                      Thanks for the info "aching" I may have to check it out this week if I can tear myself away from my weekly Bento Box from Izayoi.I may just wait for the weekend for the parking and pancakes...you made them sound very good.

                                2. Square One on Fountain, across from the blue Scientology building (it's tiny so you could miss it), makes the most amazing buttermilk pancakes to match the rest of its impressive breakfast menu. You can order them with orange curd and spicy chocolate sauce but just adding maple syrup will make you swoon. Really fluffy and a touch of vanilla makes these the favorite in our household.

                                  1. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but i feel like a pancake survey of LA should include the more whole-grainy ones that i tend to find in this city. I'm talking about ones like the multi-grain pancakes at Mani's bakery or Swingers. They tend not to be light and fluffy, but rather a bit dense with a less smooth texture, but more interesting flavor than the traditional ones. I think they are an acquired taste, but I've come to prefer them to their lighter fluffier counterparts.

                                    Also -- you can't forget The Griddle on Sunset. Tall stacks of pancakes the size of the plate in every variety imaginable.

                                    1. My south bay faves are the banana pancakes at Polly's on the Pier. They are pretty dense and chewy, and they cook them long enough that the bananas carmelize. They are really big too and will fill you up for a while.

                                      1. The Café Blueberry Cakes at The Peach Café in Monrovia are Uptown style pancakes (like the Ritz). The buttermilk cakes are delicate with a hint of orange and the whole blueberries are baked into the cakes. The Peach Café lives up to the name “Café “ by offering a true coffee bar menu with a good selection of coffees to go with breakfast. Sometimes, however, when the owner is not there service can slip. Nevertheless, although I like other places I can tolerate the lack of perfect service for these pancakes when the desire hits me.

                                        For a more down-home version of Blueberry cakes I like the Blue Stack at Egg Heaven Café. These are a little more thick and hardy and with a side of the very good link sausage this breakfast will hold you over until dinner time.

                                        Sometimes I like large thin chewy pancakes and for these I agree with the other post for The Original Pancake House. IMO the 49er Flap Jacks are perfect for that craving. They have a flavor of egg and the texture is perfect. Another place that can make this style pretty good is Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena.

                                        Peach Café ( Café Blueberry Cakes)
                                        141 E Colorado Blvd
                                        Monrovia, CA 91606
                                        (626) 599-9092

                                        Egg Heaven Cafe. (Cash Only – Very good breakfast and burgers. Blue stack, sausage, omelets are all very good. I like everything but the hash and biscuits and gravy
                                        )4358 East 4th St. (Corner of East 4th and Ximeno St.)
                                        Long Beach, CA
                                        (562) 433-9277

                                        Original Pancake House (49er Flap Jacks)
                                        18453 Yorba Linda Boulevard
                                        Yorba Linda, California 92686
                                        (714) 693-1390

                                        Original Pancake House (49er Flap Jacks)
                                        1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy.
                                        Redondo Beach, California 90277
                                        (310) 543-9875

                                        Original Pancake House (49er Flap Jacks)
                                        1418 East Lincoln Avenue
                                        Anaheim, California 92805
                                        (714) 535-9815

                                        Pie 'n Burger (Large thin slightly chewy pancakes
                                        )913 E. California Blvd.Pasadena, CA 91106
                                        (626) 795-1123

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JeetJet

                                          I tried the Peach Cafe blueberry pancakes based on your suggestion today, and I loved them! What a nice little cafe. I got a half order of the blueberry pancakes and a vanilla late. It was wonderful. I love the hint of orange in the batter. So yummy. Thanks for the suggestion!

                                        2. Concur with many of the above posts:

                                          Du-Pars for Buttermilk cakes

                                          Griddle Cafe for pure decadence

                                          Coral Tree Cafe for choc chip cakes

                                          Four Seasons' Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes

                                          More than Waffles for fruity cakes

                                          Newsroom Cafe for whole grain hotcakes

                                          John O'Groats for Buckwheats

                                          Original Pancake House for Dutch Baby

                                          A Votre Sante for Bluecorn, yellow corn, or oat bran (wheat free!) cakes

                                          Toast for Multigrain, Cinnamon (leave off the walnuts please), or Berry

                                          Barney Greengrass' Apple Pancakes

                                          1. The pancake (it's just served as one large pancake) at Axe Restaurant in Venice on weekend mornings is unbelieveable. It is a dense nine-grain delicacy that has whole grains in it. It can be ordered with fresh, organic berries in the batter and the whole thing is browned to perfection and served with a pat of butter and a small container of maple syrup. So good...I crave it on weekends. Not a typical buttermilk, flour, or buckwheat pancake...that's why I like it so much!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: venicejoshua

                                              The Pantry, yes The Pantry. I get 1 Regular and I Buckwheat with my Breakfast. I Ham and Egg Breakfast is soo big I share it with my son.. The Buckwheat cakes are sort of tangy in taste and are an aquired taste, I just love them..

                                            2. Best pancakes...hell, best breakfast anywhere is SQUARE ONE!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: olivethegreat

                                                I know!!! Everything is so fresh and tasty I'm amazed there isn't a line around the block. So, thanks for the second.

                                              2. I prefer moist and chewy pancakes, not the fluffy kind which tends to be drier, but moist doesn't mean wet. Moist pancakes retain more flavor and don't need much syrup, unlike fluffy pancakes which need more syrup because the flavor has evaporated from being drier. My favorite pancakes are at Kate Mantilini at the edge of Beverly Hills on Wilshire, which are almost as thin as crepes. Unfortunately, the last time I was there a few months ago they seemed to be somewhat smaller which is a bummer because they're expensive -- c'mon now, pancakes must cost pennies to make! Oh well, at least the flavor is consistently yummy after all these years.

                                                1. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at Bloom Cafe.

                                                  Not necessarily THE best but they're the first thing that came mind (and they're pretty great).

                                                  Bloom Cafe
                                                  5544 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: meatlessinla

                                                    Speaking of Bloom, I really like the almond granola pancakes there. And while not a traditional pancake, I loooove the apple pancake at 3 Square.

                                                    1. re: meatlessinla

                                                      If you like that combo at Bloom, check out the Gardens at the Four Seasons for their Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes... had them for the first time the morning of my mom's second wedding as room service, and have gone back many a time since cravy those fluffy little buggers!

                                                      1. re: revets2

                                                        Regarding what make a pancake Great! To me its all in the total package.. Nice hot/warm right off the griddle, dark golden brown, rustic home made look, not those pale blonde cakes that are limp and some what warm/cool. Fresh creamy butter not those ice cold pats with the paper on top and bottom and lastly a good tasting syrup. Does not need to be a Boutique Vermont vendor. Something that had good flavor and not thin. Well to me this is what make a pancake GREAT! A tall cold glass of milk or a nice French Roast to wash it down would be nice too..

                                                      2. I'm a big fan of the cakes at BC Cafe in Claremont (also has a location in Rancho Cucamonga). The regular pancakes are light and fluffy, yet still very moist. They'll make 'em with fresh blueberries, strawberries, bananas, pecans, and even stuff them with half-a-pound of cream cheese, then burry them in strawberry sauce. They are also huge, which is a plus, given that they're so good. I like to get mine with blueberries and pecans. They've also got something they call a "panjack" which is a single giant pancake, thin and a bit sour, served on a pan way to small to accommodate it and loaded up with eggs, ham, cheese, avocado, salsa and sour cream: drooling at the thought!

                                                        1. Griddle Cafe on Sunset.

                                                          Jinky's on Ventura in Sherman Oaks.

                                                          1. lemon ricotta at the four seasons on doheny & third.
                                                            mostly light and very little flour - i don't know how they do it!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: icecreaminbed

                                                              it's not too hard. I make a "pancake" with no flour.