The Scary Face Pancake at IHOP may be one of the best-known Halloween menu items in restaurants, but it’s not the scariest.
The pancakes have made their annual return to 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 tribute to scary movies, legendary figures and edgy pop stars, sometimes with a gross-out presentation.
Here are a few monstruous menu items being offered throughout Southern California.
Ozzy Osbourne Burger
What: Grill ‘Em All is a hamburger joint with a heavy metal theme created by winners of the first season of “The Great Food Truck Race” on the Food Network in 2010.
Co-owner Matt Chernus said the restaurant created a half-pound burger to pay tribute to rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his latest album, “Patient No. 9,” released last month. They sought Osbourne’s blessing and got it, he said.
The burger has a black bun, marking Osbourne’s years fronting the band Black Sabbath.
“The next step was, can we do something a little creepy and ghoulish, because that’s our vibe and Halloween’s around the corner,” he said in a phone interview. “We decided a house-made chimichurri would be nice, because the green color with the black color of the bun would be a little creepy. We paired that with bleu cheese and a garlic aioli, added some greens and onion frizzle for crunch. That was pretty much it. We sent that off to the Prince of Darkness, got the OK, and here we are.”
For the launch of the burger on Oct. 1, Grill ‘Em All secured the services of a 25-foot inflatable Ozzy that debuted at Comic-Con and was on tour to support the album launch. It was mounted on the roof of the restaurant for a few hours.
Although Osbourne is famously rumored to have bitten the head off of a bat, in recent years he has been quoted about going vegan or vegetarian.
Other burgers at Grill ‘Em All are named for rockers such as Metallica and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. Chernus said they’re all in-your-face.
Where: Grill ‘Em All, 19 E. Main St., Alhambra.
Information: 626-284-2874, grillemallburgs.com
Edward Burger Hands
What: Beetle House LA describes itself as a year-round celebration of Halloween. It started as a New York City pop-up in 2016 and expanded to Hollywood the following year, according to its website.
The menu is loaded with horror and movie references, including a tribute to the 1990 Tim Burton film “Edward Scissorhands.”
Edward Burger Hands features a half-pound beef patty, smoked bacon, pepperjack cheese and avocado, all held together with a pair of scissors diners can keep.
The restaurant is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday and recommends reservations, which are secured with a credit card.
Where: 7080 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.
Information: 929-291-0337, beetlehousela.com
What: Reading Cinemas has a dine-in multiplex in Murrieta that is marking October with an Alfred Hitchcock film festival. It culminates on Halloween with the director’s 1960 thriller “Psycho.”
Special menu items include the Alfred Hitch-cocktail, a sunrise mimosa made with grenadine, orange juice, prosecco and garnished with a maraschino cherry and a strawberry.
There is also a Master Sandwich of Suspense, grilled cheese with turkey, tomato, basil and a side of marinara sauce.
Where: Reading Cinemas at Cal Oaks Plaza with Titan Luxe, 41090 California Oaks Road, Murrieta.
What: The Cauldron Spirits & Brews is a witchcraft and fairy tale-themed restaurant across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.
Grey Witch is a French 75 cocktail made with Nolet’s gin, champagne and creme de violette.
It’s not so much the menu as the atmosphere that makes the Cauldron a Halloween hangout. The restaurant encourages guests to wear costumes with a 10 percent discount on food and drinks, according to its website.
The Cauldron is for adults aged 21 and older 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 Crawly Critters
What: Seattle-based Salt & Straw is an ice cream maker with a Halloween lineup called Ice Scream. It includes a flavor made with real insects.
Don Bugito’s Creepy Crawly Critters is a light green matcha ice cream with chocolate-covered crickets and mealworms made of toffee brittle.
Other flavors include Black Cat Licorice & Lavender; the Great Candycopia, salted butterscotch ice cream with house-made versions of popular candy bars; Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Bread; and Double Bubble Toil & Trouble, coconut cream with fruits and spices combined to taste like bubble gum.
The Ice Scream series is available in scoop shops and can also be ordered by the pint online.
Where: There are 10 shops in Los Angeles County and two in Orange County: Newport Beach and Downtown Disney, Anaheim.