I'm not normally one for the Brobdingnagian portion-sizing so dear to the traditions of Americana, but the Griddle Cafe has my heart.* It's a sidewalk cafe along the difficult-to-park stretch of Sunset and Fairfax, with a perpetual gaggle of beautiful people waiting for tables.
Great and Merciful Lord of Unheeded Moderation, what possessed us to each order hotcakes? We knew what perils we faced: plates laden with three thumb-thick discs of buttermilk devastation, each the circumference of a soccer ball, topped with a sheet of powdered sugar and a handful of melting butter--and yet superbly griddled, neither doughy nor fluffy.
The hotcake choices have names, and they ride on a pale horse: The "Hear Me Roar" has strawberries cooked in, yes, and also Frosted Flakes: a perfectly respectable fruity bite with an occasional sweet cronsch. The "Eyes Wide Open" has the semisweet chocolate chips you might order when you're sweet-toothy, but also has espresso in the batter. Know what? There's also a "Black Magic" with crushed Oreos if you really want to get stupid. All this is accompanied by a dark amber maple syrup, because your world isn't saccharine enough.
I could have, in my days of foolishness, finished off a plate of this. I got through about half, eating from the center out. Bianca ate nearly a third.
So, besides hotcakes: the "Over-Sized Slice of Ham" is truly such. The turkey maple gourmet sausage is greasy and brilliant. Both are charred just enough for beauty. The coffee comes in a French press, so will be better than normal while not quite up to Intelligentsia or LA MILL standards. There's lunch too, featuring goodies from Chili My Soul; the cafe is open until 4 in case you have one of those breakfast-any-time-except-morning complexes.
Bianca, dreamy from sugar ingestion and meditating on a recent trip to parts boring: "Sitting on Sunset looking out at Fairfax makes me feel real lucky... that I live in an area that's so cool and not 'normal.'"
* And cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. In a vise.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Hollywood, Diner, American, Coffee/Tea/Desserts )
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