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Coffee & Tea 12

Breakfasts at Caffe Latte, Pann's, Dupar's

Jeff Shore | Feb 13, 200212:58 PM

(pardon me if this is a duplicate posting...)

Caffe Latte:
The trick for me about this place is remembering that a restaurant with a kind-of cheesy name (doesn't it sound like something that a wanna-be hip place in Canoga Park would call itself?) and a strip-mall location is actually quite good. Tried two very unique breakfasts – tofu veggie scramble (no eggs, no cheese), and tofu/sun-dried-tomato/goat cheese scramble (again, no eggs). Very different, and while the veggie scramble was a bit watery (blame the tofu), it was still distinctive and worth repeating at home. Hash browns good, but just not up to Sam & Woody’s; coffee excellent (that is really their thing). Service was, uh, relaxed (we were fine with it, but a woman next to us seemed to really be tweaking that her server wasn’t moving faster).

What a gorgeous restaurant. Built in 1958, this really is one of the best preserved examples of Googie architecture. The food strikes a fascinating and impressive balance between coffee shop comfort food, and somewhat boundary-pushing (for a coffee shop) mod-soul food. We got a veggie omlette with Louisiana Sauce, and a salmon croquettes with poached eggs, grits, and sautéed spinach. Both were impressive, and the sauce was like an upscale “Spanish” sauce. Coffee was decent, service quite friendly. Prices moderate, though frankly their dinners look like a better deal. $10 for fresh fish. Great fun.

We'd visited the Studio City location a few years ago, and enjoyed ourselves. This is a very different experience, closer to the Pantry in feel than other famous LA coffee shops, as it was built in 1938, and feels like it. (Actually, the booth benches feel like they were built in 1838. They were more like pews; I kept looking for the bible in front of my seat.) One Spanish omelette, one Italiano with a layer of marinara sauce on top – impressive eggs. Almost like a quiche. There must have been 5+ eggs in this thing…so thick, so yolky, so fluffy. I’d love to know how they cooked these omelettes, because without seeming different on the surface, these were unlike any eggs we’d had in a while. Gorgeous, too – almost a bright yellow. We tear through food in the morning, but we could not finish our eggs. Coffee decent, hashbrowns distinctive, but…not up to Sam & Woody’s.

It must be noted that thanks to the additions at the Farmers Market, parking is abysmal. Nightmarishly bad. We got there by 8am and I wouldn’t have wanted to arrive any later…

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