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The Griddle Cafe - A Quick Review


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The Griddle Cafe - A Quick Review

David Kahn | Jul 4, 2006 07:49 PM

Tried the Griddle Cafe (7916 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (at the corner of Sunset and Fairfax), (323) 874-0377, over the weekend for the first time, and came away with mixed feelings. Overall, the food was pretty good, and they have an interesting menu that looks like it would be fun to explore. On the other hand, the service blew, they appear to have no functioning air conditioning, and the restaurant is crowded, loud, and slightly dirty.

Got there at about 9 am, and the place was just starting to get crowded. We were seated right away. The restaurant has six or seven small booths that look like they would be great for two people and a bit tight for four. About a dozen movable two-tops run down the center of the space, and then there's a cool curved counter. (I tend to like counters, and I think I would choose that if I go back.)

The tables feel like they've been varnished with raw pine sap, so that they're not exactly sticky to the touch, but after a hot plate has been sitting on the surface for a bit, it melts into the finish and becomes glued to the table. Sort of odd, and slightly unsettling.

The food, in contrast to the setting, was pretty good. I ordered a breakfast burrito (the "Caballero" which is filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, potatoes, green chiles, & chicken chorizo, and served with sour cream, avocado and hot spiced tortilla chips). Huge and good. The Missus ordered a "Muscle Bound Scramble" which is scrambled egg whites with turkey sausage, spinach, tomatoes and green onions and comes with "Honey-Wheat Müesli" toast. Also huge, and also good. In addition, we shared a single pancake, which was gigantic -- about 12 inches in diameter and approximately one inch thick. Nothing like the refined sourdough pancakes one finds in the great New England pancake houses, but still, reasonably tasty and definitely visually impressive. They have a bottle of real maple syrup on each table, which is a definite plus.

Other stuff: Cafe latte was bitter and watery. Service was friendly but incompetent. (Maybe it's better if you have a SAG card.) Also, call me old fashioned, but the four day old scruffy beard and dingy knit ski cap is not a particularly appealing look in someone who's serving food.

All-in-all, a mixed experience. I think I may return, but I'll probably wait for the weather to cool down so that the lack of air conditioning isn't so apparent. (And then again, it's kind of hard to see how the breakfast experience here could ever equal the Pacific Dining Car downtown.)

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