While I do tend to like variety, I find myself coming back again and again to Cora’s on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica because they serve, hand’s down, the best pancakes on the Westside. Big giant orange pancakes with blueberries in them. Mmm, mmm good. I have, in fact, never had a bad meal there. My second fav: the polenta with sausage and peppers and onions in a tomato sauce. Really tasty. (Food pix and more info after the jump.)
According to the wisdom of the web (which you know can”t be wrong) Cora’s has been around since the 1920s. It used to be a true hole in the wall greasy spoon, but is now owned by Bruce Marder, who owns Capo next door, so it’s not surprising the food is so good. Lately they’ve been featuring a beef short rib taco, see below, which is amazing as well. Click pix to embiggen and get the full effect of those meat morsels and little onion bits. Mmm mmm. So good.
There is parking in the back. It’s not a vast lot, but usually there is a space. There’s always a line out in front on a weekend morning/afternoon, but it never takes terribly long to get seated (just add your name to the list that sits on top of the newspaper machines). They have a nice patio (which is testimony to what a good trellis and some climbing plants can do for a stretch of sidewalk), but if you’re willing to sit at the bar you can usually get seated almost immediately. My only other warning is prepare yourself for the outrageousness of the beverage prices. I personally get morally offended by a $5.00 lemonade, and it’s often a dealbreaker for me and a restaurant, but the pancakes make up for it at Cora’s.