Breakfast at the Beach

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Business/Location: Uncle Bill's Pancake House
Address: 1305 Highland Ave
City: Manhattan Beach
State: CA
Zip Code: 90266
Phone: 310-545-5177

Posted by:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron
   Uncle Bill's Pancake House
I love breakfast. I love eggs, coffee, and carbohydrates. I love it for lunch, for dinner, for dessert, and as my mysterious Fourth Meal. I also love the beach. Like most Angelenos, I have a particular affection for Manhattan Beach, the purdy seaside community where the Beach Boys first saw people surfing. If you're going to hit MB on a warm weekend, you'll face a Hobbesian parking situation and you'll need to get up extraordinarily early. If you can beat the rush, why not celebrate with pancakes? Personally, I love it best on weekdays, when it's off-season and grey and the existential reverb is exquisite. I can usually force myself out of bed in time for Happy Hour, and I can usually make it to Bill's before it closes at 3 pm. (If you're still around when they're cleaning up, tip generously.) What makes this joint special? It's not the food, which is hearty but standard-issue diner fare. It's not that it's any kind of a secret--if you miss the weekend sweet spot by seconds, you may have to wait for hours. But, come on: It's breakfast at the beach. It's the view and the people and the smell of suntan lotion. More than that, it's the oddball decor and character, the sense that you're part of a small-town inside joke. That's worth another lathering of syrup.

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