The Scary Face Pancake at IHOP might be one of the most well-known Halloween dishes in restaurants, but it’s not the scariest.
The pancakes have make their annual statement at IHOP. With features formed by whipped topping, candy corn, and mini Oreos, they’re very kid-friendly.
But other restaurants go to the dark side, paying homage to horror movies, legendary characters and edgy pop stars, sometimes with a crude presentation.
Here are some monstrous menu items on offer throughout Southern California.
Ozzy Osbourne Burger
What: Grill ‘Em All is a heavy metal-themed burger restaurant created by winners of the first season of “The Great Food Truck Race” on the Food Network in 2010.
Co-owner Matt Chernus says the restaurant created a half-pound burger to pay tribute to the rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his latest album, “Patient No. 9”, released last month. They asked for Osbourne’s blessing and got it, he said.
The burger has a black bun, marking Osbourne’s years leading the Black Sabbath band.
“The next step was, can we do something a little spooky and macabre, because that’s our vibe and Halloween is right around the corner,” he said in a phone interview. “We decided that a homemade chimichurri would be fine, because the green color with the black color of the bun would be a bit scary. We paired this with blue cheese and a garlic aioli, added some greens and onion crisps for crunch. That was about it. We sent it to the Prince of Darkness, we got the OK, and here we are.
For the burger launch on Oct. 1, Grill ‘Em All secured the services of a 25-foot inflatable Ozzy who debuted at Comic-Con and was touring in support of the album launch. He was mounted on the roof of the restaurant for a few hours.
Although Osbourne is known for biting off the head of a bat, in recent years he has been cited for going vegan or vegetarian.
Other Grill ‘Em All burgers are named after rockers like Metallica and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. Chernus said they were all opposite.
Where: Grill ‘Em All, 19 E. Main St., Alhambra.
Information: 626-284-2874, grillemallburgs.com
Hands of Edward Burger
What: Beetle House LA describes itself as a year-round Halloween celebration. It started as a pop-up in New York in 2016 and expanded to Hollywood the following year, according to its website.
The menu is full of horror and movie references, including a tribute to Tim Burton’s 1990 film “Edward Scissorhands.”
Edward Burger Hands includes a half-pound beef patty, smoked bacon, pepperjack cheese and avocado, all held together with a pair of scissors for diners to keep.
The restaurant is open for dinner from Thursday to Sunday and recommends reservations secured by credit card.
Where: 7080 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.
Information: 929-291-0337, beetlehousela.com
Alfred Hitch cocktail
What: Reading Cinemas has a food multiplex in Murrieta which marks October with an Alfred Hitchcock film festival. It culminates on Halloween with the director’s 1960 thriller “Psycho.”
Menu specials include the Alfred Hitch cocktail, a sunrise mimosa made with grenadine, orange juice, prosecco and garnished with a maraschino cherry and strawberry.
There’s also a Master Sandwich of Suspense, grilled cheese with turkey, tomato, basil, and a side dish of marinara sauce.
Where: Reading Cinemas at Cal Oaks Plaza with Titan Luxe, 41090 California Oaks Road, Murrieta.
What: Cauldron Spirits & Brews is a witchcraft and fairy tale themed restaurant located across from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.
Gray Witch is a French 75 cocktail made with Nolet’s gin, champagne and crème de violette.
It’s not so much the menu as the atmosphere that makes the Cauldron a Halloween haunt. The restaurant encourages customers to wear costumes with a 10% discount on food and drink, according to its website.
Le Chaudron is reserved for adults aged 21 and over after 10 p.m.
Where: The Cauldron Spirits & Brews, 8028 Beach Blvd, Suite B, Buena Park.
Information: 714-484-2733, thecauldronbar.com
Don Bugito’s Creepy Creatures
What: Seattle-based Salt & Straw is an ice cream maker with a Halloween line called Ice Scream. It includes flavor made with real insects.
Don Bugito’s Creepy Crawly Critters is a light green matcha ice cream with chocolate covered crickets and butterscotch mealworms.
Other flavors include Black Cat Licorice & Lavender; the Great Candycopia, a salted caramel ice cream with homemade versions of popular treats; Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Bread; and Double Bubble Toil & Trouble, a coconut cream with fruits and spices combined for a bubble gum taste.
The Ice Scream series is available at scoop stores and can also be ordered by the pint online.
Where: There are 10 stores in Los Angeles County and two in Orange County: Newport Beach and Downtown Disney, Anaheim.