Forget the International House of … LAME. When I want myself a flapjack, a cake-made-in-a-pan, an American Crepe Suzette … I want the best, the leader … the original. So when my Great Uncle Moses GRUB (And yes … that's really his name … minus the GRUB part) kept telling me about The Original Pancake House … it was only a mater of time when we'd make the pilgrimage to the pancake holy land down in the South Bay. On the journey to Redondo Beach (they've got a few other locations … but the allure of cruising up and down PCH one week before Carmageddon was too intriguing to pass up) I got to learn the ins-and-outs of the traffic system from the former Godfather of the industry. But really as each red light took too long or the coordination between two lights was off, the pancake monster inside of us was growing, and getting stronger, and plotting its attack. So when we showed up at the hallowed breakfast shack and got seated at our table, there wasn't really any questions about what we were getting … we threw down for the legend … the giant … the gut-busting apple pancake and an order of their light, fluffy strawberry French crepes … to share of course. And as we sat back, waiting for our delicious breakfast GRUB to arrive, Great Uncle Mo. did what he does best … make conversation with everyone around us. And you know what I found out? This place is more international than the HOP ever was or ever will be … I mean, we've got Uncle Moses hailing from Shanghai, at the table next to us we meet a gregarious woman from Jordan, and one more table over sits a nice couple from Israel. But politics aside, we were all there for some pancakes … and when they gracefully arrived at our table … I'm not going to lie, I was a little overwhelmed with emotion. First off, the quote / unquote "apple pancake" (yeah, I know I could have just typed "apple pancakes" but when do you have an opportunity to type out that expression … air quotes are coming out next time) was a giant flying saucer of apple goodness. Crispy, cinnamon edges, a some-how-not-fried-tasting, soft-and-fluffy interior, and a generous layer of baked apples … all ensconced by a blanket of sweet, rich syrupy goodness. After mustering up the willpower to take our eyes off of the beast, we basked in the glory that were the French crepes … super moist, chocked full of strawberries, tickled with some powdered sugar, and accompanied by a mind-blowing strawberry syrup. Screw Brunch as a combination breakfast and lunch, I think we just invented …air quotes … "Bressert" (I tried to warn you it was coming) … because somehow I felt like we were leapfrogging lunch and dinner altogether and pulling off that magical blend of a hearty breakfast and a sweet-tooth, saliva-inducing, decadent dessert. Both of The Original Pancake House creations were incredible. The kind where you shake your head after every bite … smiling at how good everything is … and wondering if you have the courage to take down the entire meal. And as your belly starts to hurt, and you lay your fork down and throw in the napkin … you somehow still manage to take down a couple more bites as the waitress delivers the check … it's just that good. And as we wrap up our meal, Uncle Mo revisits one of his favorite topics … something that has driven him to success throughout his life … it's not enough to be average. A lot of people are average … but to really do well … you've got to (and I quote the great ChinaMoses) … "be better than average." Well that's really what this epic journey through the food countryside is all about … and to that we thank you The Original Pancake House for not just being better than average … but for being some damn GOOD GRUB.