BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — I went to John O’Groats intending to order pancakes and some bacon, maybe an extra side.

I did get pancakes, but not the kind you top with syrup. Once I read “cilantro potato pancakes” on the menu, I did a 180 and decided on a savory breakfast instead.

Crispy bacon at John O’Groats.

Ultra-smooth and mixed with grated asiago cheese, the pancakes were browned on the outside and soft as a pillow within, with just the right amount of cilantro. The herb didn’t overwhelm the dish. My order came with two eggs and biscuits, and I added a side of super crispy bacon.

After a few shakes of Cholula Hot Sauce, and with staff regularly topping up my coffee, it was hard to imagine a happier start to a Saturday morning.

John O’Groats has been drawing crowds for decades to its Pico Boulevard location in West L.A. I arrived when they opened at 8 a.m. The place was packed by the time I left about 40 minutes later.

The food’s great, but the personal touch certainly plays a role in attracting such loyalty. I overheard at least three people, apparently regulars, greeted by name. Generations have feasted on John O’Groats’ waffles, corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy. It’s easy to see why they keep coming back.