John O’Groats is a Rancho Park institution. Come here on the weekends, and you will see a large crowd of people waiting outside, waiting their turn to eat pancakes and their famous “Biscuits from Heaven.” Is the wait worth it? For some, yes. Would we wait in the giant crowd for our turn? With a kid, forget about it! We make sure to come here on off-hours or super early before the crowds form.
John O’Groats was originally just the one room, with a u-shaped counter and a smattering of tables. The waits were excruciatingly long, but we didn’t have a kid so we could enjoy the free coffee and water outside while we waited…
They have since expanded to three rooms, which have helped to absorb the crowds. Now, the entrance leads to the host stand in the middle room (which is my least favorite). More often that not, Paul is behind the desk. Paul, who took over the business from his parents, is very friendly and good at remembering names and faces (an important skill in the restaurant biz).
I always order something with biscuits. I think there have been two times in the past 20 plus years that we’ve been coming here that I didn’t. Fool me twice, shame on me. Orders come with two biscuits, which I will immediately slather with butter and raspberry jam.
My favorite thing to order is the Road House Turkey Chili with a side of biscuits. This last time we came here it was a little too early for chili to be hitting my stomach so I ordered the Baxter omelette (grilled onions, spinach, avocado and mushrooms) instead with sliced tomatoes (you can choose from tomatoes, home fries, cottage cheese or melon – the home fries aren’t my favorite so I’m forced into ordering something more healthy).
I prefer the chili. It’s an omelette I could have made myself. My husband also got an omelette (maybe the ZB#2 with egg whites, spinach, mushrooms and goat cheese) which came with sliced tomatoes.
My daughter loves coming here because of the chocolate chip pancakes…
These pancakes are laden with chocolate chips. I’ve heard the pancakes in all their variations (buttermilk, pumpkin, oreo cookie, etc.) are amazing. I can only manage to eat one or two pancakes so I never order them.
I have ordered the vegetarian hash and eggs, which the menu will tell you was feature in Sunset Magazine. It’s a mishmash of vegetables, apples and home fries and eggs. It didn’t knock my socks off. I even ordered it another time just to see if the other time was a fluke. Nope. I’ll stick to my turkey chili and biscuits. Sadly they removed the smoked pork chop from the menu which was a gem. If you like bacon, John O’Groats serves good thick-cut bacon.
John O’Groats is very family friendly. We see families from the neighborhood here all the time. The kid’s menu also features activities to keep the young ones entertained.
So if you’re in the mood for some tasty pancakes, bacon or biscuits (or all three) in a friendly neighborhood restaurant, John O’Groats is the place for you! Just make sure to time it right and get here early or be prepared to wait and enjoy the free coffee. If you order something that gives you a choice between biscuits or toast, always choose the biscuits.
Location – 10516 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90064.
Website – http://johnogroats.us
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes