Discover LA, Discovering Ma’amCakes

Discover LA, the official tour guide for the city of Los Angeles, asked Ma’amCakes to write a feature on the best pancakes in LA – check out the feature here!

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guests, E! Dating Coach Laurel House and IVY Members

This weekend I had an extra special brunch with E!’s “Famously Single” Dating Coach, Laurel House AND members of The Ivy!

Over the past few months I’ve joined fellow young professionals across the country as a member of The Ivy. The Ivy, aka the world’s first Social University, was created to unite thoughtful individuals through inspiration and connections. The Ivy’s mission is “to trigger transformative ideas and collaborations that lead to unprecedented human unity, progress, and fulfillment.” As a member of the Ivy, there are various monthly social opportunities to attend, including discussions with distinguished leaders, art nights, cocktail and dinner parties, film screenings, theater and symphony performances, fitness and wellness activities, getaways, and more. Ivy Chapters are located in major cities across the country including LA, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC, and chapters are opening soon in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, South Africa, Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Dubai, and more!

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Photos from The Ivy Summer Soiree White Party

As part of my Ivy membership interview we discussed Ma’amCakes at length, and soon after being approved as a member, my concierge mentioned that we should throw a Ma’amCakes-specific event! In brainstorming the perfect Guest Reviewer for the brunch, I came across this super interesting interview with Dating Coach (and Ivy member) Laurel House (unfortunately, only Ivy members can read the interview), and decided Laurel would be the perfect candidate.

Laurel, best known for her “tough love” approach, is a Dating Coach on E!’s“Famously Single,” co-host of “The Great Love Debate” podcast on PodcastOne, a Dating Coach for Three Day Rule Matchmaking and CupidsPulse, and has been a featured expert on KTLA Morning News, E! News, Good Morning America, Nightline, Glamour, AskMen, Brides.com, Thrillist.com, and dozens of other print, online, and television outlets. Her FIFTH(!) book “Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love” was recently published with Running Press. Laurel is an expert on how-to advice, specifically how to empower clients to move on from breakups, learn how to have successful first dates, and turn those dates into healthy, fulfilling relationships.

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In spite of the frequent city-wide “no reservations” brunch policy, Doughboys graciously allowed me to make a reservation, and the lucky first 15 Ivy members to sign up had a guaranteed seat. While it was originally suggested that this be a girls-only brunch, as the main topic was about the dos and donts of dating, I thought it was crucial that this be a diverse discussion; as a result, almost half the attendees were men.

After glancing at the brunch menu and drooling over all the pancake options, we landed on the Black & Whites, Malted Cornmeal, Rice Krispy, and the Blueberry Flax pancakes, which were all split among the table.

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As brunch was being served, our table sure had a hot conversation over those delicious hotcakes. The Ivy guests were definitely not shy around Laurel, as they kicked off brunch by asking “what would you say are the biggest mistakes/trends of dating these days?” “Defining gender roles,” said Laurel, “it’s important to let the man be the man and the woman be the woman. A man should always pay, unless the woman offered to take the guy out. And also, clearly stating your intentions from the beginning – uf you’re looking for a relationship, or you’re just looking for a hookup, that’s something you need to make clear on the first date.” After all, we’re not mind readers, people!

After one of the Ivy dudes mentioned how guys are in trouble from the get go, as they have to live up to Prince Charming, Laurel explained why you should screw Prince Charming – but not literally; Prince Charming swoops you up from the life that you know, locks you up in a castle and only sets you free on his terms. Um, well THAT’S an interesting way to look at it! Laurel went on to talk about how you should be open to meeting a spouse in any surrounding (i.e. airports, Starbucks, the grocery store and more), how dating apps have seriously affected dating (and, unless you app-date with a strategy, it’s hard to find love), and how imperative it is to keep an open mind.

Overall, we shared funny stories, interesting relationship lessons, and most importantly, DELICIOUS pancakes! Laurel’s favorite were the Blueberry Flaxseed while mine, of course, were the Rice Krispy pancakes – look at those melted marshmallows! Doughboys’ Pumpkin Pancakes are some of my favorite in LA, but keep in mind, they are only served seasonally.

Thank you so much to Laurel House for being a Guest Reviewer with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Laurel’s website for more tips and tricks – and especially if you’re looking for a dating coach!

Special shout out to The Ivy for helping me put this together, and a huge thank you to the guests who came to dine with Ma’amCakes and Laurel. If you’re interested in learning more about the Ivy, email teresa@ivy.com so that she can personally make sure you are guided through the membership process.

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IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with special guest, Co-Founder of Tinder, Jonathan Badeen

This weekend I was very fortunate to have Co-Founder of Tinder Jonathan Badeen join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

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Tinder, created in 2012 by Jonathan, Justin Mateen and Sean Rad, is a popular dating app that facilitates communication between mutually interested users. The app encourages users to either swipe right (or press the heart) if you’re interested, or swipe left (or press the “x”) if you’re uninterested; the only way you can message a user is if you are both a mutual match. While this feature is beneficial to prevent communication with any crazies, one of the best components of the app is that it requires a Facebook account in order for you to register. Although Tinder has received some complaints about this, Jonathan informed me that the Facebook requirement was actually created to make its female users feel somewhat safer about using the app (i.e. perhaps you might be more inclined to meet a dude when you see that you have four Facebook friends in common).

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On that note, I should mention that I actually met Jonathan because… we matched!

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Although Tinder was originally popular with students between the ages of 18-23, the demographic is slowly shifting to upper 20s-early 30s. In fact, because of these original demo statistics, the speculation began that the app was meant for just “hooking up.” Yes folks, the idea that Tinder is meant to be a straight version of Grindr is just a RUMOR! Jonathan mentioned that because college students have a (somewhat) easier time meeting their relationship candidates, students typically use Tinder strictly for hooking up, thus the rumor began. Like I suspected, Tinder can be meant for everything: finding new friends, relationships, or even a special someone you can share pancakes with. So there you have it people; calm down in those initial messages, and maybe keep it in your pants a little longer!

By definition, Tinder is “dry, flammable material, such as wood or paper, used for lighting a fire,” hence the origin of its name. As a result, when choosing a spot for this pancake review, I thought we’d keep it thematic, and visit 3rd St. hotspot Toast!

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Upon choosing our pancakes, I decided to go with the Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes (btw, it should be noted that the chocolate chips are sprinkled into the batter, while the bananas are on top of the pancakes):

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These pancakes were delicious, and considering they were filled with chocolate chips, they actually tasted rather lite. I will admit I did use syrup (which, as you can recall, Ma’amCakes’ motto is that a truly delicious pancake doesn’t need syrup) BUT, what can I say, I like chocolate chip pancakes with syrup! It’s my go-to. The cherry on the cake of this pancake were the bananas on top. De-lish!

After asking the waitress which pancakes she recommended, Jonathan decided to go with the Multigrain Pancakes topped with fresh berries, bananas, and candied pecans:

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“These are definitely healthier pancakes,” said Jonathan, “they don’t feel too heavy.” Jonathan needed some syrup on his pancakes as “the fruit is a little tart,” but he otherwise enjoyed the meal. “I really liked the candied pecans- I’ve never had pecans in pancakes before.” I guess when you’re developing a super popular app, you don’t have time to get out much! “These definitely don’t feel gluttonous, so I won’t feel bad after.” Agreed – in fact, that’s the best part about (well-made) Multigrain Pancakes!

Thank you so much Jonathan, for being a part of Sunday brunch with Ma’amCakes! When I suggested there be a “back button” feature to the app, Jonathan said Tinder is working on it, and that while he is sworn to secrecy, we should “stay tuned for exciting new features that will allow you to engage with your matches to a new level!” Swipe right.

A Brunch Burger with… Pancake Buns?!

Check out this crazy brunch concoction from Littlefork, that was recommended by a very special FanCake!

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See the feature on UrbanDaddy here.

So Grateful for All the Yelp Compliments!

HUGE thank you to my FanCakes on Yelp for all of the wonderful compliments; I am so appreciative!

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Westside Rentals Considers Ma’amCakes a “SoCal Expert?!”

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I consider WSR a SoCal Expert for apartment hunting – so honored they consider me an Expert for pancakes!

Officially A Scout for CitySearch!

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I am incredibly honored to announce that CitySearch has asked me to be one of their Scouts for LA and NYC, due to high traffic volume from Ma’amCakes! So, when deciding where to spend your Saturday night, where to take your wife to dinner, or where to host your next birthday party, I hope you’ll check out my reviews on CitySearch!

And of course, a HUGE thanks and hugs to all my FanCakes for such positive support, shout outs, and encouragement! So grateful.

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, Actor, Michael King

Dec 23, 2012

Last weekend I was very excited to have Mike King join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

While some of you may know Mike from CSI, Up All Night, or Last Resort, I’m fortunate enough to call Mike a friend, AND he just happens to be the husband of former Guest Reviewer, Kelle King!

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When attempting to choose a restaurant for the review, our options were pretty abundant considering, (similarly to Ma’amCakes), Mike has quite a sweet tooth. After finally settling on one place, Mike then changed his mind, and arrived at the perfect location: Kings Road Cafe!

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Kings Road Cafe, located on Beverly Blvd. and N. Kings Road in Los Angeles CA, is actually a restaurant in which I’ve never been! As I hadn’t eaten pancakes in almost two months (I know, right?!), I was definitely in the mood for some good ye olde fashioned buttermilk pancakes.

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Well. Not to be too critical, but I will give this a D for decor (what?! That’s what it starts with!). When re-looking at the photo, you know the pancakes aren’t that memorable when you want to lick your screen upon seeing the bacon and eggs, forgetting about the two buttermilk pancakes underneath. All in all, these pancakes were…decent. They were old fashioned, plain, buttermilk pancakes – or, plancakes, if you will. I have had good buttermilk pancakes before, (what up, Black Cat Bakery!), but these are nothing to write home about. That being said: if you are looking for pancakes when you are hungover, these should be your go-to breakfast. Because they’re plain – yet filling – the buttermilk pancakes at King’s Road Cafe are the perfect meal when you need something in your stomach, but also want to keep it down!

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Hey Mike, you want a side of pancakes with that butter?

Mike decided to go with the Whole Wheat Granola Pancakes with blueberries inside – a combination Kings Road Cafe allowed him to order (nice job, KRC!). “These are freakin’ delicious,” yelled Mike, “I forgot how good they are.” Mike then continued as he said, “Unlike most granola pancakes that are very heavy and weigh you down, these are actually lite. These make you feel good about what you’re eating, and the granola combined with the whole wheat gives you energy for the rest of the day.” Hey fitness gurus, you hear that?? It is possible to eat something as heavy as pancakes for breakfast, and actually still feel making your Saturday productive. “Pancakes are great, but it sucks when an hour later you want to take a nap; I can hike after eating these! That is of course, unless I slather them in honey or syrup.” Na Mike, I think you have enough butter on those bad boys.

At the end of the day, while I’d recommend my buttermilk pancakes mainly if you’re hungover, Mike is ready to trek up Runyon after his. Overall, the pancakes Mike and I ate at Kings Road Cafe were fluffily delicious; some might even say… they were fit for a King!

Thanks so much Mike, for being a part of Saturday brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Mike on the last three episodes of Last Resort on ABC, beginning tomorrow, January 10th.

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Ma’amCakes’ Review is Featured in Yelp’s Weekly E-Letter!

Ma’amCakes’ Pudgie Elvis Review at Jacks N’ Joe has been mentioned in Yelp’s Weekly E-Letter, “Yelp’s A Nutter For Peanut Butter!

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Huge thank you to Katie B. for the compliment!

Pancake Review at: BLD

Sept 27, 2012

Having heard great things about BLD Restaurant, located on Beverly Blvd and N. Vista St. in Los Angeles, CA, I was stoked to finally try their pancakes!

Since the “B” in BLD stands for Breakfast, I figured the menu would have an abundance of pancake options.

Well. I guess BLD doesn’t consider breakfast to include a large pancake menu. That being said, fellow coworkers consistently rave about these Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes – having never experienced ricotta pancakes before, I was doubly excited to try a new spot, and a new pancake breakfast!

The Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes at BLD were actually…. fantastic. Because the ricotta was so subtly baked into the meal, the chef created one of the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Cooked to perfection with a crispy topping and velvety inside, these pancakes were quite the Sunday morning treat.

To top off the BLD experience, my pancakes were accompanied by the sweet decoration of a log cabin home, for my log cabin syrup.

While I absolutely recommend the Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes at BLD, it is important to recognize – that’s your only option. So BLD, my advice for you is to create a more diverse pancake menu, with at least two or three more selections; if your only pancake option is this good, imagine how much more popular your “Sweets” section would become!