Skip bed and head straight for the pancakes at The Griddle Café
November 20, 2011
LOS ANGELES, USA – On weekend mornings, the lines for the manhole cover-sized pancakes at The Griddle Café snake out the door and around the block. It would be the kind of place you’d want to wake up early for in order to secure your spot. Except, with its vaguely rock-’n-roll vibe and its hangover cure offerings, it’s more the kind of place you decide to just stay up for after partying into the wee hours, LA-style.
Starting at 7:00am weekdays and 8:00am weekends, you can roll into this greasy spoon in whatever’s close at hand when you roll out of bed (or whatever you still have on your back from the night before)–I’d go with jeans and a t-shirt. Though it’s a little grungy in this hole-in-the-wall, the hipsters next to you in line aren’t at all put off by the worn surrounds and the blasting stereo. You’ll glimpse lots of creative types, everyone from out-of-work actors to bona fide celebs (the Directors Guild Theatre Complex is right next door). It’s no accident that The Griddle’s known for hot waiters–they sling pancakes while waiting to be discovered.
But the hottest thing here is definitely the gargantuan hotcakes–the best and biggest I’ve ever sampled. Definitely worth the wait! If you need to address that hangover immediately, go with the “Saturday Morning Fever” pancakes spiked with Kahlua and Bailey’s. Otherwise, let your sweet tooth take over and guide you to choices like the “Banana Nana” pancakes (brown-sugar baked bananas cooked in buttermilk batter), “‘Tis the Season” pancakes (made with pumpkin pie filling and topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar), or the “Chocolate Chip Cookie Crusted French Toast” (which speaks for itself).
Though this is definitely a carbohydrate haven, I’d be remiss not to mention the amazing scramble and omelette combos. Those continuing last night’s party should head straight for the “Tequila Sunrise,” their version of huevos rancheros smothered in tequila-spiked sauce and served with chicken tequila sausage. For those ready to detox, there’s the protein-laden “Muscle Bound Scramble,” egg whites with spinach, tomatoes, and chicken breast or turkey sausage, which is what I opted for. It’s hard to imagine coming to The Griddle for anything other than breakfast, but there’s also a full selection of tacos, salads, sandwiches, and burgers in the lunch hour.
If you want to get your paws on their dreamy pancakes but simply can’t suffer the wait, you have a few options. One, go at off-hours. Two, try their takeaway service (though you run the risk of soggy pancakes–ick). Or three, head to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf across the street while you wait and nurse an Ice Blended Mocha to take the edge off your hunger…and get that much-needed caffeine pumping through your party-weary system.
Read more about The Griddle Cafe (and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) in our LA guide.
Rachel Levin contributed to this post.