If you frequented AXE, Joanna Moore’s Abbot Kinney restaurant that closed in 2014, you will remember the pancake. It was a thick, hulking thing, nearly the size of an LP, that was left on the griddle until the edges were the color of coffee beans. On top was a pat of salted butter and on the side was a carafe of dark maple syrup, but what people remember most was the texture.
Crisp, lacy edges framed a porridge suspended in time; the multigrain batter was studded with brown rice, oats, barley, rye and enough poppy seeds that Dennis Hopper is rumored to have failed a drug test after eating one. When Moore closed the restaurant and moved to Northern California, it seemed like the pancake would disappear forever, but in late February she began selling one-quart tubs of frozen AXE pancake batter for $24 at General Store in Venice.
The pancakes it makes are a time machine, identical to those served at AXE. Moore says she drives from her home in Bolinas to Sonoma to pick up fresh eggs and Jersey milk from farmers she knows by name and then to a commercial kitchen in San Francisco, where she makes the batter. Then she drives a trunk full of quart containers down to Los Angeles in coolers packed with dry ice. Her first run of 130 quarts sold out in two days, but she has plans to restock Venice by mid-March and expand sales to General Store’s San Francisco outposts in the near future. One quart of pancake batter makes three 12-inch pancakes, and lasts for one week in the fridge. General Store is also stocking AXE’s granola, olive oil and dark maple syrup.
General Store, 1801 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, (310) 751-6393