Whether you call it a hotcake, flapjack, griddlecake or latke, the pancake has been around since the Greeks turned a mixture of wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk into breakfast. Whether it’s a pannekoek, rishiki, salukara or palatschinken, every region around the world has its own version.
We’ve come a long way since then, elevating the humble cake into a work of art with ingredients from potatoes to caviar. Today is National Pancake Day and we’ve got six ways to celebrate in L.A.
Myke's Cafe has locations in Sherman Oaks and Pacoima offering specialty pancakes like the Rock Star, a stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with vanilla ice cream, bacon, whipped cream and cotton candy pop rocks, or the Banana Split pancake stack of buttermilk pancakes and bananas topped with vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream, lemon curd, chocolate sauce and sprinkles. The Notre Dame Killer combines Southern red velvet flapjacks with cinnamon, topped with cocoa powder and cream cheese frosting. Or build your own with toppings that include everything from crumbled Oreos and Cocoa Pebbles to lemon curd or sausage.
The landmark Griddle Cafe in Hollywood is another institution for oversized, insane griddlecakes, offering more than a dozen choices. The Mounds of Pleasure combines coconut and chocolate topped with whipped cream, while the Yellow Brick Road is a journey of butterscotch-, caramel- and walnut-filled cakes topped with whipped cream. The Saturday Morning Fever is a wakeup call that swirls Bailey’s and Kahlua into the buttermilk batter and also gets topped with whipped cream.
If you're a purist in search of a less dramatic, more old-school experience, Dupar's at the Original Farmers Market has been flipping flapjacks since 1938. The Legendary Buttermilk Hotcakes are available 24 hours a day and the legendary Tiny Naylor family recipe is so treasured that it’s kept under lock and key.
Granville Cafe in West Hollywood offers Heavenly Hotcakes, three buttermilk pancakes served with pure maple syrup and the option to add bruleed bananas, blueberries or chocolate chips. Or try the Pumpkin Chai Hotcakes, topped with candied pecans and bruleed orange, or the Dutch Pancake, with your choice of prosciutto and Gruyère or pure cane bacon and an egg.
If latkes are more to your liking, chef Lior Hillel of West Hollywood neighborhood spot Bacari West 3rd gets his inspiration from his Israeli background for shareable small plates like Dalia’s Homemade Latkes. They're served with salted caramel apple butter, dill crème fraiche, watermelon radish, pomegranate seed, fig and apricot to perfectly complement the crispy potato pancake.
There is no better place to get your potato latke fix than the newly reopened Milky Way, a kosher dairy restaurant serving New American Kosher food in the heart of Pico-Robertson. Recently reopening after the passing of its matriarch, the iconic Leah Spielberg Adler, the menu features many of the restaurant's original family recipes updated with an elevated, modern spin. The revamped menu preserves the longtime, much-loved signature dish, the potato latkes, which are served with house-made apple compote and sour cream.