QUESTION: You said in a recent review that the pancakes at the Griddle Cafe are not the best pancakes in Los Angeles. Pray tell, where are the best pancakes in L.A.? (Mmmmmm, pancakes . . . !)
ANSWER: The inevitable answer to that question is always “At one’s own house,” isn’t it? I stand in permanent debt to Marion Cunningham, who is to pancake recipes what Shakespeare was to sonnets. The zeppelin pancakes from her The Breakfast Book are the best of many, many good ones: buttery, crisp and gossamer light.
Anyway, I like the pancakes at John O’Groats a great deal (although not quite so much as I like the baking-powder biscuits), and the flannel cakes served afternoons at Musso & Frank even better than that — they taste like floppy fortune cookies. The apple pancakes at the Original Pancake House in Redondo Beach (among other places) are almost worth the insane wait for a table. I am fond of the German pancakes at Dinah’s in Culver City, which are the size of butter-dripping satellite dishes. Manhattan Beach is rich in flapjack emporia, of which Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is particularly renowned. But I still have to go with the wonderful pancakes at Marston’s in Pasadena: tangy, light buttermilk pancakes; dense buckwheat-based blueberry pancakes that explode with flavor; and macadamia pancakes that are essentially thin scrims of batter holding together enormous heaps of nuts. Marston’s, 151 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, (626) 796-2459.
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