10516 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9006434.044827 -118.419353
M-F 7-3, Sa-Su 7-2, W-Sa 6-9
Neighborhoods: West LA, Rancho Park
This mom and pop shop has over 30 years experience of serving breakfasts of champions (meaning pancakes, biscuits and gravy and other carb-heavy goodness) to west side brunchers.
nice – been once. food is tight and good. place is clean.
Pancake Review at: JOHN Oâ?? GROATS – 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.
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One of my faves but be careful with hostess – After coming here for over 10 years I moved out of the area. I decided to meet a friend for breakfast and the hostess was so condescending I almost walked out. I told her my friend had texted me that she was up the street and I needed a table for 2 and she very condescendingly informed me that she "simply does not seat incomplete parties", not an apology for the inconvenience, not even a smile or a good morning. Or perhaps an explanation as to why she is the only one to inform me of this policy when in all the years I have been coming here and bringing large groups no one has ever enforced this "policy'. Perhaps, "I'm terribly sorry but our policy has changed" or something similar rather than the condescending tone I received would have been nice. It was disappointing to have a place I love to come to so much treat me as if I were an annoyance to them.
Some of the best food in LA – John O’ Groats is simply lovely. (Said in a Scottish accent)
So, I go out to lunch only about once or twice a week. Yes, I actually bring my lunch to work the other days. Usually some bland salad or soup or something extremely healthy. How else can I avoid becoming as big as a house?
I usually go out with “Nancy” of “Sid and Nancy” and “Grace Slick.” I usually have referred to Grace Slick as A.V. in the past, but, as she’s a bit crazy (in a good way) I think I’ve found a better name for her.
“One pill makes you smaller…”
SO. I ordered the Vegetarian Hash and Cilantro Potato Pancakes.
Good and Yum.
Who in their right mind does not like a potato pancake?? I don’t think I even want to know. I certainly wouldn’t want to become friends with them, nor would I recomend them for jobs or bank loans.
Anyway, the pancakes are basically delicious fried cilantro-infused mashed potato patties which are MILES above your typical dry as a bone latkes.
The vegetarian hash was just sauteed vegetables. I was hoping for a bit more. But I still enjoy sauteed vegetables, so here’s what I did:
Smashed the entire plate up into one big delicious potatoey pile of sloppy goodness.
Then, it became the perfect dish.
Oh! I also added the obligatory ketchup and hot sauce on top! Consider yourself lucky I did not capture the final product in a photo, as it no longer appeared edible.
Breakfast is what this place is famous for. In fact, while we were waiting for a table, some lady (who had a little too much face work done) asked me what she should order and I told her “Get the Huevos O’ Groats and a better surgeon!”
Let’s see…what else… the service is great, everyone here is so freaking nice.
If you want the opposite, go to Factor’s Deli on Pico where the woman with the grey mullet will literally roll her eyes and sigh deeply if you’re not ready to order when she is!
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Yum Yum Yum – After passing by many times, we finally walked down to have breakfast. We were seated immediately, the service was fast and super friendly and I can't even tell you how delicious the food was. I'm not a fan of bacon, but that was the thickest, most deliciously cooked bacon I've ever had. Even though I did't wait (I got there around 9ish) I would certainly have waited and still been extremely satisfied!
Best Service in Town – Last weekend I was in the neighborhood and stopped by. They have the friendliest staff imaginable in this city! We had our dog with us so we called ahead to see if they had outside seating, and though though they didn't they pulled one of their inside tables to the patio. Not only did they do that, but they had a bowl of water for the dog waiting at the table. The waitress was extremely attentive, and the manager (possibly owner) was also super friendly! The food was great (especially the biscuits) and came out quickly. I highly recommend this place to anyone in the area.
Beware: OVERRATED!!! – This place is so hype. Hype hype hype...I can't say it enough. It's fine..nothing specatucular and certainly nothing to wait in line for. The service was awful--so awful I questioned leaving a tip--and this is coming from a former server. Eggs, average. Pancakes, average. The only thing above average was the biscuit-- delicious. If you really want to wait in a ridiculously long line: try Uncle Bills in Manhattan beach--it's a breakfast worth waiting for. Trust me.
A place where everybody knows your name – I first went to John O'Groats with a co-worker who swears by their buttermilk bisquits, gormet pancakes and coffee. When I walked in we were greeted with a warm welcome and the owner knowing it was mine and another co-workers first time sat us immediately and brought out samples of the lemon pancakes, bisquits and pumpkin pancakes. The lemon pancakes were tart and sweet and delicious. The second time I went in I got a Chinese chicken salad and it was both fresh and flavorful. The chicken was grilled and not greasy. All of my requests, "please put this on the side and please go easy on the wonton chips and peanuts," were followed to the T. The portion sizes are large and every time I've been in there the service was amazing. The atomsphere is definately family oriented and I love that it seems like every diner in the place is known and appreciated.
Don't Bother – This place for you if you like your meals nutritionally challenged, in a noisy chaotic environment and often with poor service. Experiencing temporarily memory loss and seeing people waiting on the sidewalk, I decided to try this neighborhood "favorite" again. . .to my dismay. Only the convenient location and the fact that most waiting customers choose to wait outside on the busy boulevard can explain why this deservedly cheap eatery continues to draw customers. When you too are no longer willing to eat "comfort food" that no nutritionist would approve of in an environment not conducive to enjoying your meal, a little effort to find and eat at several of the better eateries in the neighborhood will be well rewarded.
Just Average – There is always the longest line up for this place. Having eaten there a few times, I have to wonder why. They do have a special during the week, which is cheap, but that shouldn't be enough to have such a following. The biscuits are good, but everything else is pretty ordinary.
I'm giving Average because it's clean, and they have good service. While the food isn't anything all that it's still fresh and it's quality
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