Nobody will ever call them fluffy, but multigrain pancakes--chewy, sometimes crunchy, often formidably weighty--are gaining in popularity as a healthful alternative to the ubiquitous buttermilk flapjack.
* Axe: This stylish Santa Monica coffeehouse has moved to a far roomier location on Abbott Kinney in Venice, but the kitchen still serves its famous multigrain pancake. This nine-grain cake--a single plate-sized flapjack--has a very moist, chewy, almost custardy interior consistency; it's nourishing, satisfying and surprisingly addictive. Served with maple syrup. (Nine-grain pancake, $6.) Axe, 1009 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 664-9787.
* Blueberry: The cheerful little coffee shop now inhabiting the former Axe location in Santa Monica offers its own version of the multigrain pancake: a combination of seven grains, cottage cheese, yogurt and almond chips. There are three cakes to an order, which comes served with butter and maple syrup. (Multigrain pancakes, $6.95.) Blueberry, 510 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 394-7766.
* Basix: The griddle cook at this always-busy West Hollywood coffeehouse makes big, delicious multigrain pancakes studded with blueberries. Each order includes two of these formidable cakes, which are served with butter and real maple syrup. (Multigrain pancakes, $5.50.) Basix Cafe, 8333 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-2460.