Over the next week or so, it might be fun to wander into some place for breakfast, look around the room at the heavily bearded men eating pancakes and play "Hipster Guy or L.A. Kings Fan Growing Out His Playoff Beard?" Because although the city's closet is stuffed with jerseys in purple and gold, dig hard enough and you'll find the ones in black, silver and white: The only hometown team left in contention for a championship title this season is the Kings, and they've already won the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils.
As the series continues, you likely will see L.A.'s hockey faithful at breakfast, carrying out a makeshift tradition that goes back to January, when left wing Dustin Penner threw out his back while eating pancakes. Fittingly, pancakes became both a nickname for Penner and a post-victory meal for fans. Whether you've been following the team even before the era of Wayne Gretzky, or just now hitched a ride on the bandwangon, here are five great pancakes to fete Penner and the Kings. Bring on the beards.
5. Oatmeal griddle pancakes at Salt's Cure:
On an already stellar weekend brunch menu, the oatmeal griddle pancakes at Salt's Cure stand out: These are thick, dense concoctions that are the very definition of hearty. The pancakes go particularly well with the shop's slabs of bacon. And, maybe, a glass of milk. 7494 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 850-SALT.
4. Pancakes at the Original Pancake House:
The Original Pancake House is out in Redondo Beach, and there's often a line, but if you've waited this long for the Kings to make their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals -- their only other trip was back in 1993, when Gretzky was captain of the ship -- you probably won't mind holding out a little longer for great pancakes. Once you do snag a seat, you have your pick of everything from straightforward buttermilk pancakes to crepes. We're partial to the massive 49'er Flap Jacks. 1756 Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach; (310) 543-9875.
BLD's ricotta blueberry pancakes are the size of dinner plates and served with a small log cabin-shaped tin that houses pure Berkshire maple syrup; it's a charming, if not a little kitschy, accessory to the one of the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes in town. Further east is Los Feliz's Little Dom's, which also serves superb ricotta blueberry pancakes. Unlike BLD, Little Dom's pancakes are smaller in size -- but also smaller in price. BLD, 7450 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 930-9744; Little Dom's, 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 661-0055.
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1. Snickers Pancakes and Beer at Beer Belly:
Beer Belly's brunch is served only on Sundays. As it happens, Sunday falls neatly between Game 2 and Game 3 of the Finals, so you can both recover from Saturday's match and prepare for Monday's with a short stack topped with Snickers. To this, they suggest you pair a pint of Cismontane Session Saison. Beer and pancakes: Now, that's breakfast fit for a King. 532 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 387-2337.
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