Owner Rafael Andrade set his sites really high and took a calculated risk when he opened Myke’s Café, in an area that was once blighted. But it paid off big time and now people are flocking from all over Los Angeles to taste all of the goodness that Myke’s Café has to offer.
Pacoima is not what you would call Restaurant Row, and the existing eateries are just neighborhood spots that cater to a predominately Latin crowd. Myke’s café has really put Pacoima on the map. Why, because the food is just plain great! Owner Rafael Andrade has so many interesting takes on things, and would never settle on mediocrity. He takes an everyday pancake recipe and makes it something to write home about, or in this case, write to everyone about! Rafael’s passion for all food is such that he try’s new little tuck away restaurants all over Los Angeles at least 3 times a week. When I asked him if he does this as inspiration for Mykes’ Café he says, “maybe I just find something new for a sauce, but that’s about it.”
Myke’s Cafe is going on 3 years now and has been featured on many major Los Angeles TV shows, like Good Day LA, and KTLA 5’s Burrow’s Bites where Chris Burrow’s has become a huge fan and has done quite a few telecasts for his segment. The Huffington Post Online has done a feature and of course now, the crowning jewel, Jodi Jackson’s Hollywood!
The day I was there all kinds of people from different walks of life were enjoying their meal. There are locals as well as people who travel quite a distance to get their very favorite breakfast.
My server Araceli Nieves is from the neighboring city of San Fernando, but visits Pacoima regularly due to her who Grandma living close by. She claims that the crime rate has decreased in the past few years and the once notorious projects across they way are now a safe family living facility. Also, the city is in the midst’s of a beautification project.
Anyway, back to the food and here’s What I tried:
Berrylemonicious – Raspberries in buttermilk pancakes topped with lemon curd. Wow, I am hooked; the raspberries pop in your mouth coupled with the lemon curd on top makes for many delicious bites. All pancakes are made fresh and dusted with powdered sugar.
Notre Dame Killer-Southern red velvet pancakes made with cinnamon, topped with cocoa powder and cream cheese frosting. This is such an ingenious concept, really. It just lingers in your palate and lets you know that few pancakes are in this class.
Cinnamon with cream cheese topping. I can only describe this as a cinnamon sticky bun with icing on the top, it just taste the same, and is spectacular.
Feta, bacon, tomatoes and chipotle mayo. You could never imagine all of these ingredients in one omelet; especially the chipotle mayonnaise drizzled on the top. One of my all time favorite omelets ever.
Huaraches – Handmade oval tortilla with beans, tomatoes, sour cream, onion, lettuce, cheese, grilled chicken. The tortilla is thick and the grilled chicken is tender and flavorful, a true winner.
Tacos – Handmade tortillas with cilantro, onions Asada. This is a soft shell taco, but they do it such justice, it is perfectly seasoned.
No Joke – Hamburger patty, pastrami, egg, Swiss cheese, mustard, mayo, lettuce, pickle “Big Brother Fire Dept. Style” with Thousand Island dressing and hash browns. This is so much more then a burger, it has many elements that you would never put together in-between a bun, but it really works.
Mole Burger with Mole, mayo, lettuce, crispy Monterey and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado. The Mole sauce oozes out of the bun onto your lap or hopefully napkin. The combination of all of the toppings is really delightful.
Aguas Frescas – Horchata, pineapple and fruita, this is a very sweet drink, but has just the right amount of fruit as well, on a hot day this drink will give you lots of joyous refreshment.
Hot Mexican Coffee, with cinnamon. It has such a nicely rounded consistency adds with the cinnamon and it will blow your hair back. By the way, they only use Intelligentsia Coffee.
Flavored Iced Vanilla Latte, nice refreshing creamy flavors, guaranteed to make you happy.
Upon entering, the interior surfaces feature lots of local artists and as you move further in, there is a lovely dining area with pink walls and pink banquets. The other side of the restaurant is painted olive green with nice little arches. Also, there is a coffee bar and a big flat screen TV featuring sports. Don’t forget to check out the unbelievable graffiti art on the outside walls, also created by local artists.
I think the secret to this place is in the back story. Rafael’s parents were in the food business for 40 years so it was pretty much in his blood. At 18 he started to bake, and cook, and enjoyed making his own concoctions. He says he took a chance on the area after people told him it was bad, so in other words…someone told him he couldn’t!
Rafael would like to open up another place soon. His food is unique and different and no one else is doing his ingenious snicker burger. I met Rafael at The LA Weekly Burgers and Beer event, and he was serving his very famous Snicker Burger. He has told me that when he saw people trying the snicker burger they would immediately text their friends to come by and try it. Literally he melts a mini snicker bar on a hamburger with some other amazing ingredients, and that’s his masterpiece.
Rafael like’s to be active in local events not only to get the brand out there but because at heart he’s a community guy through and through. They participate in; Made in America, 626 Night Market just to name a few. One of his charitable offerings is if your in the local high or elementary school and you have perfect attendance you can come to Myke’s Café and get a free order of pancakes. Also he’s involved in lots of charities with the local Fire & Police Dept. In fact, there is a mural at the LAPD Foothill Division and Rafael’s face is on the inside door. He says some of those past inmates have frequented his restaurant and recognize him from that mural.
On the weekends Myke’s Café has up to an hour wait, so come early, but only until 3pm everyday, which is when they close and enjoy all of the bounty that is Myke’s Café.
13171 Van Nuys Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91331