We need to talk about the pancake at Canelé in Atwater Village.
I mean, look at it: it’s totally outrageous. It’s puffed up like a blowfish and it’s filled, almost defiantly, with a Meyer lemon custard. Dusted with powdered sugar and served with a lemon wedge, this pancake puts all other pancakes to shame. Is it a Dutch Baby? A riff on the David Eyre’s pancake? Possibly.
When it arrives at the table, steaming hot, your best bet is to peel off the crispy exterior and to dip it into the creamy custard at the center. Then, as it cools, you can stab your fork in there and get to the softer, more traditionally pancakey interior.
If you want to make this at home (assuming you don’t live in California or won’t fly cross-country to experience a pancake), I think two things are important: the small ceramic dish it’s baked in (this retains heat well and helps the pancake puff up) and a hot oven.
Otherwise, you can skip the custard and use more traditional maple syrup or pile up berries in the middle. If you are lucky enough to eat it at Canelé, though, be sure to order it with the pastrami hash with sauerkraut:
Then you get very savory with one bite, and sweet citrusy with your next bite. It’s a little bit like waking up in heaven.