From the creator of waffle joint Bru’s Wiffle comes a second whimsically named Santa Monica breakfast spot: Flapjax. While Wiffle is a play on words for waffle, Flapjax is a nod to the new diner’s signature dish of pancakes (or flapjacks as they are commonly known in the South).
This playful energy is expressed throughout the bright and cheery atmosphere of Flapjax and the menu itself, which while anchored around breakfast staples, draws on flavors from cuisines around the world.
For example, diners can try turmeric pancakes served with goat cheese and honey or pancakes with karaage, a Japanese style fried chicken. Pancake purists need not panic as Flapjax also offers all your classic varieties including plain, chocolate chip, cinnamon, banana, and berry. In fact, restaurant owner and menu creator Ebru Fidan Caplan would recommend all first time diners order the chocolate chip pancakes.
“We make it with our homemade whipped cream and homemade chocolate sauce. I literally melt down dark chocolate and Belgian chocolate and then use dark chocolate and Belgian chocolate chip pieces. Really good quality [chocolate] makes a huge difference. This is one of my favorites,” said Caplan.
Another sweet treat highlight is the orange creamsicle french toast served on brioche bread in an orange cream sauce with crispy coconut flakes and orange zest.
For those craving something more savory, Caplan recommends the Flapjax burger served with cheddar, crispy onions, avocado, fried egg and basil pesto aioli. And for the adventurous, there’s the spicy red curry omelet with chicken, zucchini and Spanish rice.
Flapjax also offers fresh fruit smoothies and several refreshing lemonades including pineapple, hibiscus, and cucumber flavors. And, for the adults, there are also mimosas and other brunch cocktails made with freshly squeezed juice.
The diner opened in the former Bread & Porridge space at 2315 Wilshire Boulevard, which was a longtime locals favorite. While Caplan brought in a fresh menu and decor, at the core she wanted the restaurant to retain its community feeling.
“Making people happy is the most important thing and just having my regular people coming over, and over, and over, happily ever after,” said Caplan.
The restaurant indeed feels like a happy place filled with bright and cheery green and blue tones, low comfy booths and plenty of luscious plants. Interior design is Caplan’s second love (after breakfast of course) and she designed the entire space herself.
One of the most exciting changes is the opening up of a new backyard patio. Tucked behind the bustling Wilshire Boulevard, this sun dappled dining space feels like a mini oasis and sits beneath a canopy of tree leaves.
“When I came here there was a huge tree and I thought oh my gosh this is so beautiful, I have to use this space it feels like a perfect yard picnic area,” said Caplan.
For Caplan who hails from Istanbul, the art of hospitality is in her culture and her blood. In Turkey, it is the norm to lavish guests with endless food, drink and attention. She also spent many years working in her family’s boutique hotel in the small seaside town of Kemer where she perfected the art of professional hospitality.
She visited Santa Monica many years ago during the tourist off season in Turkey and quickly fell in love. She applied for the green card lottery on somewhat of a whim and won. Taking this as a sign, she packed up her bags and headed to Santa Monica where she has remained ever since.
Flapjax Diner is open for dine in and takeaway from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.