Pancakes in Pacoima

Foodie recommendations in Pacoima are hard to come by, so it says a lot when a place that’s been around a month is on everybody’s must-try list.

Myke’s Cafe owner Rafael Andrade says the word-of-mouth buzz has been out of control. “One Life to Live” actress Florencia Lozano stopped by for Micheladas the other day (the “Mexican bloody Mary” on the menu comes regular or spicy), politician Richard Alarcón paid a visit, and an Arkansas resident even braved the barrio after flying into Burbank Airport and Yelping “pancakes.” He was not disappointed.

“I wanted it to be different but still very authentic,” says Andrade. When Andrade’s father, who has owned the building for 40 years, approached him about opening a restaurant, Andrade made sure to get the point across. He agreed to open a restaurant, but it would be on his terms and nothing like the previous eatery to occupy the space, a run-down mariscos place called El Azteca.

So in came the hot pink and unusual name spelling (pronounced my-kees after Andrade’s daughters, Mylisa and Kelsey). The burger topped with tortilla chips and set on a Portuguese bun. The carne asada fries with lengua, tripa or al pastor substitute options. And the red velvet pancakes.

Oh, the pancakes. The 17 different kinds are a treat anywhere, but especially on this side of the San Fernando Valley, where the toughest menu decision usually boils down to tortillas de maiz or harina.

Raspberries in buttermilk pancakes topped with lemon curd

“You come in and expect a place like this to be on Ventura Boulevard,” says Andrade. “It’s about bringing variety to the area.”

Andrade got his taste for variety when his youngest daughter dragged him to trendy cupcake shops. He tasted flavor after flavor and thought, “I can do better than this.” Soon enough, Andrade was baking cupcakes for school functions and family weddings. He was a hit and quickly deemed the “Cupcake Man.”

Now, Andrade brings that same confidence and curiosity to his pancakes; if something doesn’t sit quite well, he works until it’s perfect or takes it off the menu. But his customers haven’t been quite as fickle.

Myke's Cafe owner Rafael Andrade likes to experiment with the menu.

Most first-timers are lining up for the Southern red velvet pancake cooked with cinnamon and topped with cream cheese frosting; the homemade frosting alone is worth the order. The buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd and whipped cream are also big sellers, and kids are eating up the chocolate pancake with cocoa pebbles and powder sprinkled on top.

Andrade is still working out kinks in the expansive menu. The carne asada fries, served with nacho cheese and a light salsa, may leave you yearning for a grittier take on the San Diego classic. And the American breakfast items could use some attention, but, then again, with the pancakes and traditional Mexican food as solid as they are, Andrade has got nothing to worry about.

What: Myke’s Cafe

Where: 13171 Van Nuys Blvd., across the street from the new Frida mural

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Rating: **** 4/5 stars on the standard scale, ***** 5/5 stars on the “hood good” scale

Try: any pancake depending on your preference; chocolate or red velvet for the sweets-inclined, fruit pancakes with lemon curd for a safe bet or bacon in buttermilk because, well, bacon

More information: Free wi-fi. Call 818.890.4815 for delivery.

 

written by

i am san fernando is April Aguirre, a writer born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. April bounced around the Valley throughout her upbringing and lived outside of California for a quick minute but always felt most at home in the city of San Fernando. To get at April's heart, FedEx puppies to her door, offer In-N-Out cheeseburgers by the dozen or introduce her to a beer tastier than the last.

30 Responses to "Pancakes in Pacoima"

  1. Marvellous says:

    I’ve been there twice and the pancakes are awesome!
    Been there for lunch too. Had a burger and it was yummy!

    Reply
  2. Doris says:

    Everyone in the Valley has got to try the Velvet Pancakes at Myke’s… they are to-die-for! I’ve been to Myke’s a few times, and the food is absolutely amazing, (and great service too)! I’ve tried the Huevos Rancheros, Chilaquiles, and tacos de lengua with tortillas hechas a mano,, and of course the velvet pancakes…mmmm!

    Reply
  3. Hyacynth says:

    Congratulations Ralph! This is great news! I can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
  4. JT says:

    Been here! Had the bacon pancakes and LOOOOVED THEM!!!

    Reply
  5. Frederic says:

    Excellent Job Ralph! Will have to drop by one of these days…

    Reply
  6. Rosa Andrade says:

    So happy for you brother !!! May the LORD keep on BLESSING you on everything you due !! Love always your sis!!!

    Reply
  7. Manu. says:

    Love to see Pacoima prospering. We all educated sons of the immigrants that made Pacoima our homes must remain in the area and make it better. This is our space so we must cultivate it with education and culture.

    Reply
  8. maria says:

    keep up the good work:P
    can’t wait to go back,it’s worth the drive from san diego, for my favorite lemon curd pancakes:P if you haven’t try cafe de olla you must it’s delicious!

    Reply
  9. Thanks, Myke’s Cafe! | i am san fernando. says:

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  11. Eat Some Pancakes, Help the Battle Against Cancer | i am san fernando. says:

    […] Life team, Paint the Cure, is holding their first large fundraiser. All you have to do is drop by Myke’s Cafe in Pacoima, eat a yummy breakfast and tell them you want 15 percent of your bill to go to our […]

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  16. Cynthia says:

    Breakfast is AMAZING!!! Ralph’s red-velvet pancakes are the BEST!!! I had the Bacon pancakes as well and they are delish!!! Congrats Ralph!!! This place is awesome! So happy for you!!!

    Reply
  17. Lily says:

    Good food… Horrible service! You offer a pancake sample since its my first time… Then say there will be a 10 min delay… Fine… Then you come back 20 min later and say sorry we have to many orders and won’t be able to give you the free sample… Which you offered! Not worth it!

    Reply
  18. Another Mural Goes Up in Pacoima | i am san fernando. says:

    […] the same team, Kristy Sandoval, R@h and Levi Ponce, is simultaneously cranking out another mural at Myke’s Cafe down the […]

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    […] Friday, stop by Myke’s Café for the unveiling of the much-anticipated community mural on Van Nuys Boulevard and Ralston […]

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  20. Photos: Mural Unveiling at Myke’s Cafe | i am san fernando. says:

    […] past Friday evening, there was a buzz outside the eatery Myke’s Cafe on Van Nuys Boulevard. Crowds gathered as Councilman Richard Alarcon unveiled the mural on the […]

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    […] a whopping four hours, first talking to Levi about his work from 6:20 to 9 a.m. and then heading to Myke’s Cafe (reviewed on i am sf one year ago!) at 9:40 a.m. for some pancakes and a chat with owner Rafael […]

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    […] by the lovely ladies of Telfair. On Friday, June 14, there will be a DIY arcade and showcase at Myke’s Cafe. Register online for a free all-access band, which includes an evening of games, complimentary […]

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    […] and a play tonight, June 14. Have I got your attention? Good. If you won’t be heading to Myke’s Cafe for the free arcade created by local girls, you can drive down to Cesar Chavez Learning Academies […]

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