Traditionally, the week leading up to Ash Wednesday was a time to purge one’s kitchen of all rich and dairy foods like milk, butter and eggs in preparation for Lent. Since these items are the main ingredients for pancakes, it was just a matter of time before some pancake enthusiast declared it National Pancake Week. February 10 to 16 is that glorious week when flapjacks, hotcakes, griddlecakes and pancakes will be honored in all their glorious goodness. Whether you want them thick or thin or covered in ricotta or cream cheese, fruit, walnuts or chocolate chips, you’ll find the best pancakes in town at these five Los Angeles restaurants.
Jacks N Joe
2498 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
www.jacksnjoe.comNational Pancake week or not, Jacks N Joe is the place to go for a wide variety of tasty flapjacks. Known as “a breakfast all day kinda place,” here you get to choose from Pudgie Elvis (three pancakes with peanut butter and bananas), WTF!? (six crazy shaped pancakes topped with sweetened cream cheese and seasonal berries), Tree Hugger (three buckwheat pancakes with granola, fresh fruit and orange butter) and Totally LA (three thin pancakes topped with fresh fruit and lemon butter). There are more on the menu so it’s a good thing NPW is all week. Courteous staff is always a bonus!
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7450 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
www.bldrestaurant.comEveryone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day regardless of what time you roll out of bed. Serving morning goodness from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., BLD gives even the latest of risers an opportunity to start their day right. Fresh pastries, French toast and a wide selection of eggs are definitely worth rolling out of bed before 3 p.m. However, in honor of National Pancake week, BLD will be offering their signature pancakes (stack of two with fresh ricotta cheese and blueberries folded into the batter served with Berkshire maple syrup) from open to close for the entire week giving the Hollywood hipsters another chance to hit the snooze button. And for the morning-after incapacitated hipster, BLD also delivers.
7916 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
www.thegriddlecafe.comPancakes are pretty amazing in general but the ones at the Griddle Café are mind blowing. Butterscotch chips, caramel, walnuts, Oreos, bananas, streusel, Baileys, Kahlua and quite a few other things folded into the batter will have you drooling before you can get through the rest of the menu. For National Pancake Week, there will be an off-menu selection you won’t want to miss. In case Feb. 12 and 13’s “Hop, Skip, and a Jump” Pancakes (brown sugar-baked bananas and a hoppy beer, yes, beer!) don’t sound amazing, come back for Feb. 14 and 15’s “Not So Smooth Criminal” Butterfinger Pancakes (buttermilk batter with loads of Butterfinger pieces, topped with whipped cream) and “Sweet Fantasy Baby” (carrot cake pancakes topped with cream cheese icing).
107 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
www.larchmontbungalow.comWhile Larchmont Bungalow may not be actively participating in National Pancake Week, the restaurant’s pancakes are still a cause for celebration. The red and blue velvet pancakes (topped with cream cheese spread and homemade whipped cream) or vegan chocolate chip (topped with sliced bananas and chopped walnuts) will have you wanting pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Blu Jam Cafe
7371 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
www.blujamcafe.comAs far as breakfast items go, The Blu Jam Café is best known for their crunchy French toast. However, executive chef and owner Kamil Majer is happily participating in National Pancake Week. In addition to his traditional, yet spectacular on-the-menu homemade blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar, he promises specials like chocolate chip walnut with warm chocolate sauce and fresh banana and Nutella pancakes, just to name a few. He plans to be creative so stopping in Blu Jam Café this week should result in a delicious payoff.
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.