Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Griddle Cafe

Our first night at a hotel near LAX Airport was supposed to include a continental breakfast. But it was the saddest breakfast of any sort I had ever seen. A few mini cinnamon rolls and coffee-flavoured water. Not even cold water for me to fill my water bottle up with. So, after taking some touristy photos in Beverly Hills, my family was ready to get some real breakfast. The Griddle Cafe serves just that. 

The Griddle Cafe in Hollywood
When I was researching for restaurants in Los Angeles, The Griddle Cafe quickly made it to my list. Humongous pancakes in eighteen different flavours? Count me in! For those that have read my Honolulu post probably know I love pancakes.

We arrived on a Tuesday at around 11:30am. Before going to find street parking, my dad dropped my mom and I off in front of the restaurant. There were a lot of people standing standing in the vicinity, of which all were people waiting for a table. I was so worried my mom would say "the wait is too long" and make us find another food source. My imaginary beads of worry sweat were wiped away when I put my name on the waitlist and was told there was a 15 minute wait. I was a bit skeptical at first, because there were at least 15 groups ahead of me. Where they using the Chinese "tell them the wait is shorter so they'll stay and we can get their money" tactic? Nope. The steady wave of people coming out of the restaurant and quick service made our wait, maybe even less than, 15 minutes. Hurrah!

Barry Yellow Pancakes at The Griddle Cafe
Their red velvet pancakes are very famous, however there is only one pancake per order, compared to three for all other pancakes. Since we would rather not have to go through the tedious process to decide what other food to order, I chose the Barry Yellow pancakes. "Raspberry and lemon folded into our buttermilk batter" is how the menu describes it. I was blown away when it arrived at our table. Each pancake could easily be 12 inches in diametre. And there's three of them! Eating one quarter of this plate is like eating a regular serving of pancakes. The staff are very efficient and provide extra plates with all pancakes, because realistically, everyone will have to share this...right? The massive pancakes here are dirt cheap at $10 to $12.

There was an astonishing amount of raspberries in each pancake. Almost too much. Fresh or frozen, it doesn't matter because they fulfilled their description. But not the lemon part. I couldn't taste any lemon. Probably because the sourness of all the raspberries covered all other flavours. This pancake isn't very sweet so maple syrup can still be used to balance the sourness of the berries. Yes, the have real maple syrup at every table! I can't say I loved the raspberry and (nonexistent) lemon combination, the pancake batter was perfect. Super fluffy~ I would recommend choosing a more 'decadent' flavour of pancake at The Griddle Cafe. Something with chocolate would have eliminated the need for maple syrup. 

Although the Barry Yellow pancakes aren't my favouritest (I know that's not a word...) pancakes in the world, I can say that The Griddle Cafe is the place to be for pancakes. I would come solely for the pancakes. Cheap, well made, delicious, must try.

Some Like it HOT Scramble at The Griddle Cafe
Eggs are the second best thing about breakfast (first being the sweets). My mom was in charge of picking an egg dish and she settled for the Some Like it HOT scramble. My family enjoys a little kick in their food at every meal. This scramble had a good amount of heat. There was chicken sausage scrambled with the egg and then pico de gallo, avocado, and spicy sauce on top. Oh, and a looooot of cheese. A choice of chilli cheese bread or tortilla chips comes with this egg dish. This scramble is really rich and can get a bit oily from the sausage and cheese. Still very yummy and my brother really enjoyed this. Can't go wrong with eggs and cheese.

Mama Mia Burger at The Griddle Cafe
Just to get a bit more variety into what we try, my dad chose a burger from the lunch portion of the menu. Unfortunately, this wasn't very good. The main complaint heard unanimously in my family was the soggy bun. I'm almost 100% sure that it is because after the burger was put together in the kitchen, it sat on the serving counter for a long time before getting to our table. We watched it come out of the kitchen, and stared at it wondering if it was ours. The waiters at here (no waitresses here!) only serve their tables. Just so happens our waiter disappeared during the time our food was beginning to come out so the tomatoes in the burger had begun letting out its water. The patty was very thick but my dad said it was too dry for his liking (he likes his patties medium rare). We chose a salad for the side and it was surprisingly very good! The dressing was light and there were a variety of fresh vegetables in the mix. A refreshing salad is always helpful in clearing the palate after some heavy, greasy grub.

There are many items on the menu that are much better than this burger. So I would recommend sticking with breakfast items.

Three dishes was more than enough for four people. Four very hungry people. Four people that didn't even have dinner the night before. Almost every customer coming out of those doors will leave with a paper box. My brother and I were the only ones that cleared our servings of food; mom and dad left a few bites of pancake on their plate because they just couldn't fit anymore food into their stomachs.

The restaurant is quite narrow, so seating isn't abundant. Be prepared to rub shoulders with a few strangers or waiters in this tight area. Many smaller groups will be seated at a U-shaped bar and groups of three and up usually get a typical diner table. There are even three or so tables outside, which some people prefer because it's quieter. Just be aware that all the hungry guests waiting in line are probably watching your every bite. 

If I had to describe the service in one adjective, it would be 'rough'. The Griddle Cafe is a very casual establishment. The waiters are speed walking around with filled-to-the-brim mugs, nearly crashing into each other, and it is very loud inside. Like very loud. When taking our order, our waiter was...a bit cheeky and curt. Not necessarily a bad thing but I was just a bit taken aback by the abrupt manner. He jokingly(?) made comments when we were still going back and forth between decisions even after looking at the menu for like ten minutes. Again, this is not a con about this restaurant. I look at the service, noise-level, cramped seating, and 'the feel' as all part of the experience.

I would definitely recommend The Griddle Cafe for both the locals living in Los Angeles or to tourists visiting the city. It's a fun atmosphere and my family had a good time. How can you not enjoy this family-friendly and casual-date-friendly restaurant? Kids are stuffing pancakes twice the size of their head into their mouths and parents are happy because it's cheap and good value. As a breakfast-lover, I can say Griddle Cafe is good at what they're famous of. The Griddle Cafe is the place to be for breakfast and don't let the long line-up deter your hopes. Fluffy pancakes and an eggcellent brekkie will soon be in your mouth.

The Griddle Cafe on Urbanspoon

Love from Coconut Crumpet's Corner ♡

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