Wednesday, April 06, 2005


L.A. Breakfast Spots

I am a girl who lives in a world of hyperbole. There is no aspect of my life that doesn’t include an exclamation point or an over the top description. “Fantastic” and “terrific” are almost as good to me as a well cooked meal. “Spectacular” and “divine” run neck and neck with a bottle of fine wine. So when I write about food, or as I am today, restaurants, just keep in mind, I mean every word I say, I just happen to think everything is better when it's big, wow and pow! Inspired by the ethereal Tiffany, and my own blessed little existence -- I have had the supreme pleasure of dining at more than my fair share of joints around these parts and (lucky lucky!) have an opinion for one and all -- I give you a list of the places I have been in the last month or so:

C & O – Washington Blvd. Venice. Are garlic knots are part of your breakfast regime? Do you require all mimosas to have more sparkling wine than orange juice and enough food on one plate to feed a family of four? This is the spot then kids! Gorgeous outdoor seating and freaky-people watching. I know this place is top notch kitch at night, but trust me, for breakfast by the water, it kicks ass.

Café 101 – Franklin Blvd. – It’s a coffee shop. It was in the movie Swingers. They play rock and roll on the jukebox. No outdoor seating, no liquor license, and yet I return. Go figure. Must be the blueberry pancakes.

Coffee Shop at the Beverly Hills Hotel – Sunset Blvd. Yes, its geriatric, but the food is good, the orange juice is fresh squeezed, there is never a wait and they have a touch of class a girl and her hangover sometimes needs.

Eat Well, Various locations – You're young, you're hip, you need your coffee fix. This is it kids. Outdoor seating, delicious food, swishy boys and random celebs (Breakfast with Jack Black anyone?) dogs welcome and cheap eats.

Flora Kitchen – La Brea Blvd. Miracle Mile. My first choice, always. It’s a flower shop that serves breakfast, and they pour them like they know me. High quality food, open air room, and flowers, flowers, flowers. Smells like heaven, perhaps because it is?

Fred 62 - Vermont Ave. Los Feliz. Another common stop for me. Verges on “Too Cool For School” but worth it. (And besides, Too Cool For School is just right by me!) Totally scrumptious food. Liquor license and excellent outdoor seating if you can get it.

Hamburger Marys – Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood. Its early on a Sunday, your broke, hung over, and want breakfast. The choices are boundless, but the best bang for your buck, including (sort of sketchy) $2.00 Bloody Mary’s is this West Hollywood spot. It’s a little disco, a lot of fab and the food is just ok, but at these prices, who are you to complain!

La Dijonaise – Washington Blvd. Culver City. – French breakfast food. Pastries and the like. Outdoor seating. I don’t care for this place, but it makes do in a pinch. (The pinch being someone wants to either A. hang out in Culver City or B. Go furniture shopping afterwards next door at HD Buttercup.)

Original – 3rd Street. I love Original, but man, oh, man is the service bad. Always. Huge portions, great food, no liquor license. Outdoor seating but never a wait since they are on the shady side of the street.

Pacific Dining Car – Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica. Are you old school? How about a Republican in a sea of liberals? Does your idea of a star spot include seeing Richard Meier live and in the flesh? If so, and you crave eating poached eggs in the dark (good when that hangover is just too glaring) along with a really good Bloody Mary, this is the spot for you.

The Rose Café – Rose and Main, Venice. I love the food here, I really do. The French toast is perfection on a plate. But they don’t serve drinks and ever since they put up that huge awning over the patio, I don’t know, it just lost its appeal. Why sit outdoors in the shade?

Toast – 3rd Street. I go back and forth with this joint. Yes, its on the sunny side of the street. Yes the food is spectacularly good and yes it is the hippest, trendiest place in the area. But if there is a wait, you can bet, I’m out of there. Outdoor seating, but no liquor license.

Urth Cafe - Beverly Blvd. Beverly Hills. This is the spot that hits the spot. Huge mugs of delicious coffee, counter service and a sunny outdoor patio. Sensational pastries, divine food, all together the tops. Just ignore all the other people there and enjoy.

Normandie Towers - West Hollywood. This is the perfect little hideaway. The service is smooth as a babies bottom, the food is better than any, anywhere, ever. Outdoor seating only, champagne and Bloody Mary's are always on the house. Heaven can't possibly hold a candle to this decadent little spot.


A hearty and well deserved congratulations to Carpal Fish for his Paper Chef winning Garlic Chive and Goat's Cheese Ravioli with Sherry Vinegar Reduction and Prosciutto Shards. Recipe! I too would have chosen that as the winner! And thank you to Fatima at Gastronomie for judging, it certainly seemed like a challenge!

"Several big food and beverage companies are looking at a new ingredient in the battle for health-conscious consumers: a chemical that tricks the taste buds into sensing sugar or salt even when it is not there.
Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup are all working with a biotechnology company called Senomyx, which has developed several chemicals, most of which do not have any flavor of their own but instead work by activating or blocking receptors in the mouth that are responsible for taste. They can enhance or replicate the taste of sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate, or MSG, in foods.
By adding one of Senomyx's flavorings to their products, manufacturers can, for instance, reduce the sugar in a cookie or salt in a can of soup by one-third to one-half while retaining the same sweetness or saltiness.
Now, for instance, a 10 3/4-ounce can of Campbell's Home-style chicken soup, which the company says contains two and a half servings, has more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That would probably be cut to a little over 1,500 milligrams when the chemical is added. (The government recommends consumption of no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day.)
Unlike artificial sweeteners, Senomyx's chemical compounds will not be listed separately on ingredient labels. Instead, they will be lumped into a broad category - "artificial flavors" - already found on most packaged food labels." –


You seem like a breakfast girl :) - with a few 'getting over the hangover' joints in there. Off to cook your Yogurt Chile Chicken (did I name that right?) for dinner!
I am -- without a doubt -- a girl who loves her cocktails. Oh, and breakfast too, I mean, of course, I LOVE breakfast.
Oh yes, of COURSE you meant breakfast ;) . Just had to note, I love your little interesting facts at the bottom of each of your posts. On this particular one I would have to say, oh great let's dump more chemicals instead of sugar into our food, that'll be better for us :D ! And your one down below on the yogurt and chile chicken recipe (delicious, btw) about carrots turning your skin yellow - the same applies to babies if you feed them too many with baby food, I had that happen just the tiniest bit to my first born!
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