I've driven by this place 6 times a week for years but never stopped, until 3 weeks ago. We came in for breakfast and were suitably impressed. We've been back every weekend since. The decor is everything you'd expect from Topanga Canyon: rustic wood, outdoor patios, nice counter with stools, VERY dog friendly on the patios, a nice mix of old-hippy types, artsy canyon dwellers and "normal" types. Lots of regulars greeted by Pat and his wife by name. Very kid-friendly indoors and out.
The thing that sold me on this place was (and is) the ham steak. As a side it's $4.75; 2 eggs, ham steak, toast and home fries are $8.25. The ham is 1/2 a center cut with the bone, about 3/8 inch thick, with nice grill marks. It's moist and very flavorful. It's not country ham by any means (a shame) but for a city ham it's far superior to the Pantry (read soggy) and the pressed/formed thin slices that masquerade as ham steak elsewhere. After having some breakfast places refuse to fry my eggs "up and easy" with a wonderful runny yolk (the food police strike!), it was refreshing to find that Pat's does it cheerfully. The toast is unremarkable, neither the rye nor the sourdough had much character. The butter was just in the middle so I'd suggest getting toast dry with butter on the side. The home fries have so much potential...slices of potato and a little onion, but more often than not they tasted more steamed than fried. Once we got them and they were crispy and delicious. Order them well done to be safe.
Although we haven't tried them, the chorizo with scrambled eggs, beans and tortillas seemed very popular. On weekends only they have eggs benedict, florentine or oscar. The Belgian waffles look very good. Who would have expected biscuits and gravy? The fresh-squeezed lemonade is excellent. They also do lunch (no dinner) which is conventional burger (1/2 pound!) ($6.50), sandwich and salad fare.
It's a bit of a trek if you're not close to Topanga but if you want to dine with your pooch I recommmend Pat's. 1861 Topanga Cyn Blvd (310) 455-0533.
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