All Reviews by MaamCakes

  • Bea Bea's 353 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 846-2327

    5 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    On Saturday I visited Bea Bea’s on Pass Ave between Oak St. and Alameda in Burbank, CA. The slogan on both their storefront and menu, “Breakfast is Everything,” is a perfect description of the class, creativity, and savor Bea Bea’s puts into their food. While I wasn’t quite in the mood to trek all the way to Burbank for breakfast, the drive was beyond worth it. The menu above pretty much speaks for itself. For a pancake-lover to attempt to choose only one dish off Bea Bea’s menu, is like asking a child to select their favorite toy in FAO Schwarz. Our server mentioned their most popular pancake was in fact the Just For You Pumpkin; but while I was debating between the Super Star, S’mores, Pacific Island, and Banana PB Crunch, I ended up choosing the Summer’s Dream. Although I was very much anticipating my pancakes, I also had a craving for eggs as well. Luckily Bea Bea’s, with its intensely diverse menu, gives you such option: It was at this point I combined the Summer’s Dream with Pooh’s Surprise, a dish I’d like to coin the phrase for: Dream Pooh. Props to Bea Bea’s for this opportunity- not all restaurants allow you to combine a specialty pancake with an egg breakfast. If at all, you’ll typically find this option with plain-pancakes only. Now for the review: Summer’s Dream was pure decadence. Although I am a fan of Nutella (a topping typically more popular on the east coast) I’ve never had this with pancakes. The breakfast was a wonderful combination of flavor and texture. The best part about this dish was that each item was just as amazing by itself, as it was together. The pancakes themselves may be the best pancakes I have ever had- and considering this is my second review, the bar has now been set pretty high. The pancakes are doughy, but not too filling, and cooked just right. As if they were just picked from a field and placed on my breakfast, the strawberries tasted incredibly fresh. And the Nutella was the perfect topping to this specialty breakfast. My only additional comment is that while I’d never before had mascarpone cream- this tastes like whipped cream combined with cream cheese- I’d say the dish needs way less than the scoop provided. When putting a small dabble on my bites of Summer’s Dream, I realized it was all I needed- if that, at all. The dish in itself is wonderful- and filling- enough, and I felt the addition of the mascarpone was in fact, too much. All in all, Bea Bea’s may officially be my favorite pancake stop in Los Angeles. The staff is incredibly nice, and while there is usually a slight wait for a table, the food comes quickly enough. Also, the option for gluten-free and/or vegan, makes Bea Bea’s even more special; this is certainly an option that not many restaurants have. The drive to Burbank is well worth it, and Bea Bea’s got it right: Breakfast IS everything. FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • Black Cat Bakery & Cafe 519 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 932-1500

    4 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    On Sunday I visited Black Cat Bakery & Cafe on Fairfax & Maryland in Los Angeles, CA. I was anticipating writing this review, as Black Cat is the spot I decided to write a blog in the first place (see first post of Ma’amCakes). While the menu is not as diverse as Bea Bea’s, their choices are certainly enough for any pancake-lover. Per my first post of Ma’amCakes, I decided to go with the Belgian Callebaut chocolate-chip pancakes for my review, which also happens to be their most popular pancake. While the meal looks (somewhat) simple, the taste is anything but. Perfectly cooked, these chocolate-chip pancakes are just what you’d need for a late Sunday breakfast. As you’re enjoying the taste of fresh buttermilk pancakes, the chocolate-chips melt in your mouth to the point where you might just crack a smile. Although not (technically) pancake-related, my recommendation is to wash down this delightful breakfast with an iced latte; Black Cat has some amazing coffee drinks, and they put in the time to make them look beautiful too! (Check out the Café au lai!) While they don’t have specialty pancakes (although depending on the day, they might have in their specials), all in all, I would definitely recommend Black Cat Bakery for a great chocolate-chip pancake breakfast. Be sure to take note they serve breakfast until 3pm, and have FREE PARKING in the back! Always nice to get your pancakes without having to worry about parking! FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • Blue Plate 1415 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310) 260-8877

    4 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Through the recommendation of a friend, on Sunday I visited a restaurant I’ve never been to called Blue Plate, located on Montana Avenue and 14th Street in Santa Monica. I’m always slightly apprehensive to try a new restaurant, particularly because we all have our go-to spots- especially for pancakes! However, it is important for me, as a pancake-reviewer, to try new places in unfamiliar territory. Well, this little spot in the heart of Santa Monica is certainly a prize! Now, when a restaurant only offers basic pancakes (i.e. no specialty pancakes), it puts tremendous pressure on the quality of the pancakes available. After ordering the Strawberry Banana Pancakes, fortunately for Blue Plate, they succeeded in creating an incredibly tasty, yet basic, pancake breakfast. My biggest compliment about the Strawberry Banana Pancakes is that, to my surprise, the bananas were baked into the batter, and decorated atop with fresh & juicy strawberries. The glisten alone on the strawberries is a key visual indicator of the freshness of the fruit. After seeing this breakfast option on the menu, I figured both the bananas and strawberries would rest on top of the pancakes. Kudos to Blue Plate for creating such a small, yet important, switch in the norm of pancake breakfasts. While the pancakes themselves were fresh and tasty, the only comment I had about the pancakes was they were a bit dry. Typically, I barely put syrup on my pancakes; in fact, the true barometer of a tasty pancake is one that’s delicious enough by itself- without needing any syrup at all. Think of steak and steak sauce (see my Doughboy’s Review for reference). With my pancakes at Blue Plate, however, I found myself pouring way more syrup than usual. All in all, the compromise of the bananas in the batter and the strawberries on top is what made this basic pancake dish special. Thank you Jillian for this great pancake-breakfast recommendation in Santa Monica! FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • Jacks N Joe 2498 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007 (213) 748-4565

    5 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    This weekend I was fortunate enough to have my friend Leslie Jacobe, Publicity Coordinator for Wheel of Fortune and also Events Coordinator for Leslie Jacobe Events, join me as a guest reviewer for In the Mix. As Leslie is a resident of Downtown Los Angeles, and a USC alumn, at her recommendation we visited USC hot-spot Jacks n Joe on South Figueroa St and West Adams Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. As this restaurant was also recommended to me by a former intern (a current student at USC) I had pretty high expectations when pulling into the parking lot. Typically when my expectations are this high, I’m usually disappointed; in this case however - I was blown away with the first bite! So with my blog, as you know by now, I typically post a photo I take of the menu; however, because Jacks n Joe’s pancake options are so intricate, I wanted to do the menu justice, and display how awesome these choices are by posting the menu directly from their website. While dining at Jacks n Joe I found myself wanting to check out the creative names on the menu first, and then read the pancake descriptions! In fact, Leslie’s response to the menu was ”You know, I never go out of my way to eat pancakes, but I would definitely come back just for the selection!” When stalling (as I seriously couldn’t decide which pancakes to order), I asked our server, Sonny (below), which are JnJs most popular pancakes, to which he replied “the Jack’s Banana Pancakes and the WTF?!” Leslie jumped right in and ordered the Jack’s Banana Pancakes with no walnuts, and while I was eyeing the Hula Girl, I ordered the Pudgie Elvis. For a little added trivia, Sonny informed us that the Pudgie Elvis is actually named after the owners’ bulldog you see in the logo. Guess the dog ate too many pancakes! Now, if I haven’t already mentioned this: I love peanut butter. I love peanut butter probably as much as I love pancakes. And the fact that I’ve never combined the two is unheard of, I know. But from the smell alone, I knew this breakfast was going to be one for the charts. Well, the quality of the Pudgie Elvis soared off the charts. I’ve never had a pancake breakfast like this before. See, it’s actually somewhat easy to mess up a pancake-option like this, mainly with the peanut butter. You can easily pack on too much peanut butter, melt it too much, or not enough. Re-looking at this delicious drizzle of peanut butter over powdered sugar, fresh bananas, and fluffy pancakes, the Pudgie Elivs automatically receives 5 stars - er, stacks, as Leslie’s husband suggested. This dish was the perfect combination of peanut butter, powdered sugar, and banana. Somehow among all these luxurious ingredients, the pancakes were not a drop greasy, and can I tell you a secret? For the first time in my entire life I ate pancakes without putting on a hint of syrup. Leslie’s Jack’s Banana Pancakes (minus the walnuts) tasted just as amazing as they looked. “Wow, the texture is perfect, and not heavy at all.” In fact, by the end of the meal, Leslie’s reaction was “I can’t believe I ate half of these without syrup - and the syrup is really good!” Well Leslie, it all goes back to Ma’amCakes’ motto that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup. As Leslie boxed a tiny bit to go, she exclaimed “I didn’t mean to eat this much!” For our next visit to Jack’s n Joe, Leslie said she’s going to try the Ruby Belle, while I am going for the Hula Girl. In fact, while pondering “next time,” maybe the owners Jacks n Joe will let me interview them, and do a special feature on this wonderful USC-Family owned restaurant… thoughts? 0 : ) Hey, Leslie: I’d like to buy a vowel please, so I can give this restaurant an A+! All in all, if I were to slightly alter the slogan for Jacks n Joe, it would read “A breakfast all day is Ma’amCakes’ kinda place!” Thank you so much Leslie, for being a part of Saturday Brunch
  • Toast Bakery Cafe 8221 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (323) 655-5018

    4 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    This weekend I had the honor of actress Jessica Luza (who some of you may know from “The Lost & Found Family,” and most recently from her guest starring role on “House”) join me as a reviewer for Ma’amCakes. Jessica and I visited the infamous - and I say infamous based on the line in the photo above - Toast Bakery Cafe on 3rd St and Harper Ave in Los Angeles, CA. Toast typically is this crowded partly because it has been featured in TV shows such as “Rachel Zoe,”The Hills,” “Entourage,” “Rachel Ray,” and even the movie “No Strings Attached.” Or perhaps Toast is typically this crowded because of its fantastic food - especially, their pancakes! When Jessica and I were deciding on pancakes, I immediately went with the Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes, while Jessica was debating between the Tri-Berry Pancakes and the Multigrain Pancakes - which happen to be Toast’s most popular pancake. “I definitely appreciate all their pancake options,” says Jessica, “I’ve been here a hundred times, but never even thought about checking their pancake menu!” Enter, Ma’amCakes! After the waiter came and went several times, we finally decided on the Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes, and the Tri-Berry Pancakes. Good. Choices. First of all, as Jessica and I were not starving, one of the main pros of our order was we had the option of choosing one specialty, or one Buttermilk, pancake for $5.99, as opposed to a full order of three pancakes. Keep in mind, though, this option is only included inside the restaurant, and not in Toast’s online menu. The Cinnamon Walnut Pancake, a specialty pancake I’ve never had, was a perfect blend of cinnamon, walnut, and pancake fluff. The pancake was lite, not greasy, and tasted just as fresh in the first bite as the last. The Cinnamon Walnut Pancake was perfectly topped with extra fresh bananas - they couldn’t have picked a more appropriate topping. This dish was wonderfully tasty and creative. Jessica’s Tri-Berry Pancake was a beautiful assortment of pancake, fruits, and pecans - but did it taste as good as it looked? “Wow, these are great. They’re definitely lite and airy, and actually taste healthy - but wait, is that even possible? I mean, they’re pancakes!” They probably tasted lite and airy (as did mine) due to the fact they weren’t first run through a butter churn - as many pancakes are - before placed in front of us. Jessica’s only note was “I’d actually prefer the fruit inside the pancake, only because it would make it less dry, juicier, and more flavorful.” When taking a bite of Jessica’s dish, I actually agreed with her. As per my review from Jinky’s Cafe, perhaps Toast should adapt the option of where to place the toppings. But in my dish, however, I did prefer the bananas on top only because the walnuts were already embedded in the pancake. While the Tri-Berry Pancakes look beautiful, at the end of the day, it’s all about how they taste! Ma’amCakes’ motto right there. When asking Jessica which specialty pancake she’ll get next time, she replied “definitely the Banana Chocolate Chip.” All and all, while the restaurant is called Toast, fortunately for the pancakes, they’re lacking the butter! Thank you so much Jessica, for being a part of Presidents’ Day Brunch with Ma’amCakes! FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • Hugo's 12851 Riverside Dr, Valley Village, CA 91607 (818) 761-8985

    3 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    This weekend I had the honor of having my old boss, Amelia, and my new boss, the SVP of my company, Lesley-Anne, join me as guests reviewers for Ma’amCakes. The three of us had Sunday brunch at celebrity hot-spot Hugo’s, located on Riverside Dr. and Coldwater Canyon in Studio City, CA. I’d previously heard the phrase “celebrity hot-spot” in affiliation with Hugo’s, and it was proven true when we saw Elizabeth Olsen dining in the restaurant as well. As Hugo’s has such a diverse menu of pancakes, my first thought/suggestion, is the menu needs to highlight such options in a separate section, as opposed to getting buried among the eggs: I began my review by asking Lesley-Anne and Amelia their preferences for pancakes. Amelia’s initial reaction was she “was surprised they don’t have chocolate chip pancakes,” while Lesley-Anne stated, “I appreciate they have gluten-free pancakes- especially because they don’t make you feel so bloated.” Now, I appreciate gluten-free pancake options for all those with Celiac Disease; but if L-A is right, and they make you feel less bloated, I am all for it! After enough of a debate that the waiter came and went three times, we finally agreed on the: Almond Energy Pancakes. It should be noted that between the nuts, spiced agave syrup, and the gluten-free factor, I was a bit skeptical that I’d enjoy my breakfast- well, I was pleasantly surprised. After the first bite of my Almond Energy Pancakes I quickly realized I’ve never had pancakes like this before: they tasted exactly like churros! These pancakes had the perfect combination of nuts, spice, and flavor, and by the second bite, I was immediately transmitted to a fun day at Disneyland. While we all loved the pancakes, Amelia and I preferred the Maple Syrup over the Agave; its spice and after-taste were a bit too strong, and, I felt, counteracted the sweetness of the pancakes. That being said, the pancakes were delicious, and props to Hugo’s for creating such a unique dish. Lesley-Anne was proven right, and we didn’t feel incredibly full after eating these gluten-free pancakes. In fact, Lesley-Anne even stated, “I don’t feel guilty eating these.” Perhaps Hugo’s should add some of these quotes, along with “tastes like churros” in the Almond Energy Pancakes’ description, so patrons aren’t as intimidated to try this dish. It should also be noted that Hugo’s has two other locations: one in West Hollywood, and one in Agoura Hills. Thank you so much Amelia and Lesley-Anne for being a part of Sunday brunch with Ma’amCakes! FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • John O'Groats Restaurant 10516 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (310) 204-0692

    3 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    On Saturday I visited John O’ Groats on Pico Blvd and Patricia Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. If some of you recognize the logo, it could be because the restaurant was actually featured in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. From the moment I entered the restaurant, I felt somewhat of a West Palm Beach Florida vibe, particularly with it’s (mainly) elderly crowd, and diner-food aroma. It was at this moment I knew the pancakes would be good, but also knew they would be different than the other pancakes I’ve been reviewing. Well, I was right. While John O’ Groats definitely has a diverse menu, I’m not the biggest fan of fruity-pancakes (i.e. the Applesauce, Mango Macadamia Nut, and Lemon Pancakes), and therefore decided to go with the Clements’ Sisters Chocolate Chip Pancakes- minus the whipped cream. While these enormous pancakes were delicious, and clearly homemade, they definitely tasted like diner-food pancakes. Yes, diner-food pancakes can be amazing (like in this case); but I often think of diner-food pancakes as the solution for hangovers, not so much for Saturday brunch. Granted, many can disagree: sometimes you need that diner-food pancake if you’re homesick, and miss vacation breakfasts with your grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale. But while these pancakes are great for what they are, in a town of such intricate pancakes with varying batters, I can’t say John O’ Groats pancakes are the best ever. Then again, if diner-food is what you’re looking for, go for it! The difference between Chocolate Chip Pancakes from, lets say, Black Cat Bakery, and John O’ Groats’, is that BCB’s pancakes don’t make you feel so full after. I’m not quite sure what the difference is in the batter, but I want to say one has way less grease. I enjoyed John O’ Groats pancakes and give them a great review for what they are, but I do suggest wearing stretchy pants- otherwise your button will shoot across the room once you’re finished. John O’ Groats has a diverse menu selection, and certainly gives you enough of a portion size for the cost; I just don’t feel that in a town of such an assortment of tasty pancakes, this dish compares. As per their motto, I do believe John O’ Groats gives nothing but the best; but, maybe for the best for the elderly. FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com
  • Jinky's Cafe 1447 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 917-3311

    5 stars Posted on 03/11/2012 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    -Hidden treasure people, hidden treasure. After a 40-minute ride in traffic, followed by a drive through two full parking lots, I (finally) made it to Jinky’s Cafe on 2nd street and Broadway in Santa Monica, California. Fortunately for the sake of the restaurant (and the review) we didn’t have to wait in line upon entering. Based on the ambiance of the restaurant and the diversity in the menu, I had a feeling breakfast would be worth the trek. Well, not only was I right, I was very pleasantly surprised with the deliciousness of this entire meal. The photo itself (see above) pretty much speaks for the decor of the restaurant, as well as the creativity in the menu. According to the blurb at the beginning of the menu (see below), the food is a “fusion of American, Southwestern, and international flavors.” It is this fusion which generates a delicious breakfast at Jinky’s Cafe. When checking out the menu and attempting to choose from one of the 15 PANCAKE-OPTIONS (Jinky’s automatically gets major brownie - er, pancake - points for this alone), there were a couple of major pros I wanted to first point-out. First of all, Jinky’s has pancake-options I have never seen before (i.e. Tropical Pancakes, Oaty Oaty Cakes, and Caramel Creme Pancakes). Between the creativity of the menu and the hippie coloring along the border, this read more like a menu of pancakes from Ben & Jerry. Uh, yes please! Secondly, and major props to Jinky’s for this: per the menu above, the option to choose the location of your toppings (“Fruits inside the batter only on request”) is a major pro, and almost makes your breakfast customizable. This is a fantastic option, particularly if you’re a blogger, but also equally wonderful if you’re simply a pancake-lover. Now for the best part. Choosing my meal and enjoying every bite! Besides pancakes, I was craving eggs as well - it was a long drive! - and luckily, Jinky’s caters to such cravings. I went with the 2+2+2 option of eggs, bacon, and buttermilk pancakes BUT for $2 more, you may also substitute for a specialty pancake. So, I substituted for the Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes. You should know that unless asked, ALL toppings remain on top of the pancakes. I, however, decided to put the chocolate chips inside the batter, and keep the bananas on top. I must say, looking at this photo my mouth is watering again. From the second the plate was placed in front of me, the smell was overbearingly amazing. I was instantly tempted by this pungent scent of fresh bananas, warm chocolate chips, and homemade pancakes practically made by Aunt Jemima herself. Sure, the eggs and bacon were wonderful too; but these pancakes were just incredible. The Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes were fluffy on top, yet soothingly crispy on the bottom. The chocolate chips appear as little dots in the pancakes, but instantly melt in your mouth within the first bite. When looking at this photo, you can see the morning glisten on the bananas atop of the cakes; as per my review from Blue Plate I explain how important this glisten is in determining the freshness of the fruit. Well, these bananas must have been collected directly from the banana tree - aka the local Saturday Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street - before being placed on my pancakes. And finally, the end of the meal was not capped with the button of my jeans flying across the room; these pancakes were not greasy at all, and they don’t cause you to faint upon completion. As I was smiling from ear to ear after the first bite, the Banana Chocolate Chip Cakes from Jinky’s are a wonderful way to say “Good Morning, Sunshine.” Jinky’s Cafe is now officially my second restaurant with a 5 star rating. It should also be noted that Jinky’s serves breakfast ALL DAY! All in all, for a Cafe called Jinky’s, it’s anything but. FOLLOW MY PANCAKE BLOG ON FB, TWITTER, AND TUMBLR: maamcakes(dot)tumblr(dot)com