Far from the reach of East Coast blizzards is a place where the sun always shines, the palm trees rustle in the warm January breeze and no one wears a tie to work. And from the avocado toasts of East L.A. to the classic flat-top fare of the city’s best 1950s diners, there’s a reason the meal L.A. gets right the most is also the most casual one of the day. We made some extra copies of our screenplay and headed out in search of the city’s best breakfast spots.
Downtown: On weekends the line to get your hands on one of Eggslut’s fried egg sandwiches can run over an hour, snaking around their counter and out onto the sidewalk. Is it worth it? That depends entirely on how hangry you are. After graduating from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar stall at the Grand Central Market, this breakfast spot has quickly risen to the top of L.A.’s breakfast ranks. The egg-bacon-cheddar sammie, served on a pillowy brioche with a dab of chipotle ketchup, is a fine specimen, as is the Slut, a coddled egg poached in a glass jar on a bed of creamy potato puree.
The Order: Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich; Slut; cold-brew coffee.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 ⇱ | eggslut.com
Santa Monica: Belcampo‘s vertically integrated farm-to-plate philosophy is one of the most innovative food concepts to hit California since Alice Waters got started in Berkeley. As such, organic meat from their ranch makes its way to a network of Belcampo’s top-notch butcher shops, burger shops and casual fine dining restaurants from downtown L.A. to Silicon Valley. Hit up their flagship Santa Monica location and order the breakfast burger loaded with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, fried egg and hollandaise, plus an order of Polish doughnuts with pastry cream, apple puree and maple butter for the table. That is if you can resist the allure of their perfect California-style cheeseburger for breakfast (good luck).
The Order: Breakfast burger, Polish donuts, bloody Mary with house-made bacon and cracked pepper vodka.
1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 ⇱ | 424-744-8008 | belcampo.com
Inglewood: No L.A. brunch list is complete without a mention of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles — so there it is. The smart order, however, is at Pann’s. Food aside, this 1958 diner is one of the best remaining examples of classic SoCal “googie” architecture, a living time capsule of L.A.’s golden age. Pann’s famous Belgian Waffle and Wings, however, are just as noteworthy as the setting. The waffle is pillowy and golden brown, the wings crispy and moist. Devour yours with melted butter, maple syrup and Red Rooster brand Louisiana hot sauce (plus a side of whipped cream and fruit if you know what’s good) and you’ll understand what makes Los Angeles the best place to eat breakfast.
The Order: Pann’s Belgian waffle and wings, Uncle Bud’s Mississippi cheese eggs, grits, super deluxe Oreo shake.
Echo Park: Simple, ubiquitous and trendy as Drake on a hoverboard, avocado toast is a staple of L.A. breakfast and the best place to get it is this outdoor storefront on a shabby stretch of Sunset. Dinette is short on frills (they don’t have a customer restroom or any inside seating) but the spectacular quality of their baked goods makes up for any shortcomings. The avocado toast is served on perfectly crusty house-baked sourdough, austerely anointed with a squirt of lemon juice and a dusting of chili flakes and salt. The menu changes constantly, but keep an eye out for the breakfast pizza complete with ham, mozzarella, poached egg and a perfectly blistered crust.
The Order: Avocado toast, Intelligentsia coffee, breakfast pizza.
1606 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 ⇱
Silverlake: It’s located in a nondescript East L.A. strip mall, but there’s nothing ordinary about chef Ludo Lefevre’s fusion of French techniques and Mexican flavors at his newest restaurant. While it’s also open for lunch and dinner, the breakfast offerings at Trois Familia have helped establish it as one of the city’s best new restaurants. Dishes like churro french toast, served with straw vanilla ice cream, salt and Mexican chocolate are standouts, while the toasted garlic butter croissant sandwich with chili and black beans show that French and Mexican are a culinary marriage made in brunch heaven. Who knew?
The Order: Churro French toast, toasted garlic butter croissant sandwich, horchata.