I admit I was suspicious of sweet potato pancakes because I want my pancakes to taste like pancakes, not sweet potatoes.
I first ate at Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar on a trip to Venice in 2016, before I moved there in 2018, and ended up living a mile away from it. I remember my dad telling me about Nighthawk on the phone after it had just opened, he animatedly described a delicious burger with a fried egg on it. Looking at the menu in person, I was instantly sold on the description of the Big Bird and Short Stack: “buttermilk fried chicken, sweet potato pancakes, cookie dough butter, apple-cinnamon gastrique, scallions, maple syrup.” I can tell you that this description and the accessory ingredients have changed ever so slightly over the years but the pancakes are always fucking delicious. I admit I was suspicious of sweet potato pancakes because I want my pancakes to taste like pancakes, not sweet potatoes. I am happy to report these pancakes taste nothing like sweet potatoes. I’m not even convinced that’s an ingredient they really use. If you are looking for pancakes that have a sweet potato flavor you better go elsewhere. But if you are looking for super fucking delicious pancakes that elate your taste-buds in ways you might not have thought possible, Nighthawk is your spot. They hit a 10 on every category.
These pancakes arrive in a delightfully fluffy stack of three, topped with fried chicken. The fried chicken is not to be overlooked. I usually need to order a second breakfast dish to get my protein in, but Nighthawk has done the work for me. I’ve been on several dates here, and while none of the guys have been super savory, the pancakes never let me down. I won’t bore you with the dating duds but I will say that on one of my dates the guy placed a second order of the Big Bird and Shortstack, which instantly impressed me. I like men who can eat. I had to fight him for some of the second order of pancakes though. For some reason they’ve started garnishing this dish with scallions, which I find questionable. Perhaps it’s for presentation and the Instagram foodie crowd. Despite this minor critique, these pancakes get a 10/10 on the Tasty Stacks rating. I suggest going here on an off hour, or at least not during weekend brunch. It’s possible one of the reasons I moved here from Boston was to be closer to Nighthawk and their pancakes.
Just the Stacks – 10/10 Tasty Stacks
Overall Taste: Heaven in cooked batter form.
Mouthfeel: Exploding pleasure.
Size: Like Goldilocks finding the perfect chair or bowl of oatmeal, these are just the right size.
Presentation: A beautiful stack of three pancakes, topped with two pieces of fried chicken, and for some reason scallions.
Price: $17 (A small price to pay for perfection.)
Location: 417 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292