Welp, Highland Park had a good run. For generations the neighborhood was an enclave for Latino families, creatives, and a refreshing milieu of Eastsiders, but in recent years the suddenly hip stretches of York and Figueroa have been inundated with arcade bars and vegan street food stands and retro bowling alleys, often against the protestations of those who actually live there — and now comes Slappy Cakes, complete with DIY tabletop griddles for making individual pancakes right at your seat.
Slappy Cakes, which sounds like a Nathan For You segment, is a real company based out of Portland, Oregon that works like any other tabletop cooking restaurant setup, except instead of soju and galbi, it’s pancakes and mimosas. The restaurant, founded by Ashley Berry back in 2009, first found success at a location off Belmont in Portland, Oregon, but has since spread to Maui, Hawaii, and Singapore. While brunch is the place’s signature time to shine, the tabletop griddles also work for savory pancakes and other options across breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Not unlike, say, the doomed Au Fudge in West Hollywood, Slappy Cakes bills itself as a great DIY brunch destination for kids, with a little something (read: alcohol and coffee) for adults as well. The restaurant has officially applied for a full alcohol license at 5022 York Boulevard, formerly the site of French restaurant Cote Est and, before that, Recess. Eater reached out to the company for more details on the specific expansion, including an opening date and any other nuances, but so far has not heard back.
The arrival of the goofily-named Slappy Cakes is sure to further ruffle some feathers in Highland Park. Many vocal community members have already been pushing back on the proliferation of bars and alcohol-serving restaurants in the neighborhood, particularly along York, and have raised concerns that some longtime restaurants and small businesses are being pushed out in favor of higher-paying tenants that may not reflect the long history of the area. Even the New York Times, which always seems to get LA wrong when discussing its culture, came under fire back in October of 2019 for a story discussing the gentrification of the neighborhood.