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Canelé – Los Angeles, CA

Let’s get straight to the point: I’m obsessed with Canelé’s Baked Pancake with Meyer Lemon Custard. A simple concoction of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and too much butter, it’s so good I’ve spent the past four Sundays in a row hunched over the ethereal puffs, wondering if I’d discovered nirvana.

Like many discoveries, I stumbled across greatness by accident. The pancake sits inconspicuously on the menu, snuck in between a salad and sticky bun under the “sides” section. On my first pass, I missed it and had a forgettable fennel-cured salmon with creme fraiche on pumpernickel. I was a few bites in when someone else’s order of baked pancakes caught my nose and eye. The alluring scent of butter and sugar practically strong-armed me into ordering one on the spot.

***

Fresh out of the oven, the poof of a pancake stands nearly as tall as it is wide. Swelled and toasted at the edges, its golden center covered by a generous dollop of fragrant lemon custard, it looks and tastes like a cross between a souffle, popover, and pancake. Though the journey from the oven to the table is short, the dish visibly deflates with each passing second. A squeeze of lemon and I quickly dig in.

The law of diminishing returns does not apply here— the pancake seems to get better and better each time I order it. It’s simultaneously sweet and tart, light and eggy, and with a smear of lemon custard, represents all that is good in this world.

Canelé’s brunch menu also has other delights: the french toast, four inches high and well-browned on the edges, is otherworldly in both sight and taste. Thick house-cured bacon, crisp on the outside with a slight chew on the inside, is sublime. The restaurant’s fried chicken sandwich, served with an enormous slab of pickled green tomato, would make a Southern grandmother proud.

But at the end of the day, it’s really all about the baked pancake. This past weekend, I brought my aunt, grandma, and sister to try it for the first time. Amidst all the other food, we ordered two pancakes: one for me and one for everyone else. The table fell silent as taste buds quivered with glee. Their verdict? The best $4.50 you’ll ever spend.


Canelé
3219 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 666-7133

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Steph #

    OK Matt and I must eat here. That looks insane. Popover + pancake + souffle? Sold.

    May 27, 2011
  2. Pinoy Panda #

    Looks fantastic!! I was sorely disappointed at the version at the Original Pancake House in Orange. I jaunt in Atwater Village might be in order this weekend.

    May 27, 2011
  3. One order of nirvana, please. kthxbai.

    June 2, 2011
  4. How have I never ordered this at canele before???? Tweet me the next time you go — I MUST have this souffle/pancake/popover deliciousness!

    June 26, 2011

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