In an unassuming little breakfast and lunch restaurant tucked behind a Laguna Hills mall, a former executive sous-chef from the Ritz is showing some serious skills, says woojink.

Brunch here might start with a cinnamon sticky bun ($6), baked and served in a cast iron pan with coffee syrup, a pecan glaze, and plenty of pecan-studded whipped cream.

There’s also an incredible corned beef and sweet potato hash ($4.50) with char-grilled slices of succulent corned beef, tarragon-braised cabbage, and whole-grain mustard sauce.

Pork braised with “essence of five spices” (likely cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns) is a knockout, served with cornbread made with fresh corn, napa cabbage slaw with mango, and two poached eggs, tempura fried ($9.50).

Biscuit and gravy involves a buttermilk cheddar biscuit (that tastes a lot like polenta) and moist, chargrilled, Vietnamese-style pork ginger meat loaf sluiced with sausage-espresso gravy ($4.50).

At lunch, braised beef cheeks and tongue are tops, and shrimp noodles with fresh rice noodles are fab.

Break of Dawn [Orange County]
24351 Avenida de la Carlota #N-6, Laguna Hills
949-587-9418

Board Link: Break of Dawn–Gourmet Vietnamese inspired food–South OC. REALLY GOOD.

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