- 7:42 pm - Wed, Mar 2, 2011
Toast -8221 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 (323) 655-5018 RATING: 4 Stars (out of 5)
JV: I had a late morning meeting here today. I flipped through the menu quickly, because naturally the benny was the only thing I needed to see on there.
I might live in a nutty town like L.A., but I’m a pretty simple guy at heart. So it pleased my simple little soul when I saw a nice, classic benny on the menu.
I had my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t see a “Larchmont” type benny when it was brought to my table. Luckily, what I had in front of me was a benny with some thick-ish almost frothy-like hollandaise sauce.
The eggs were cooked nicely, not too runny. And I’m a sucker for good hollandaise sauce, so when the sauce is good I’m always wishing there was more. The hollandaise worked it’s way into the all ‘lil nooks and crannies of the english muffin, just as it should.
The fruit cup rocked! I’m so bored by restaurants that serve little bowls of nothing but cheap melon and try to call that a “fruit cup.” REALLY?? reeeeaaalllly. This fruit cup was just as it should be, with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and other yumminess. I contemplated getting the roasted potatoes this time to help fill me up, but I got potatoes at the last restaurant….soo…..
- 8:15 pm - Mon, Feb 28, 2011
EBT is now on Yelp as well. We will bring happiness and information to every hollandaise loving benny addict out there. www.eggsbennytour.yelp.com
We are not ashamed of our love.
- 8:02 pm
- 1 note
Larchmont Bungalow (107 N. Larchmont Blvd., LA, 323-461-1528) RATING: 2.5 Stars (out of 5)
Editor’s Note: Since we’d eaten here, there have been 5 reports of food poisoning involving 9 different people - read more here: http://ow.ly/4aB9a
Seriously, this was a joke! The line was INSANE, and this is after being told twice they could “probably hold a table” for us on the phone because we were a large party. Fug that. Also, the whole counter-ordering situation is for the birds.
I wanted to go here because the menu looked ridiculously good. Options for Benny were: a bacon version, smoked salmon, mole, steak, veggie, and lobster crab cake. Sounds DELICIOUS, right?
We were so frazzled and rushed in the mess of the line of 30 or so people in the messy line that we didn’t order every kind (which we obviously should have) although what difference would it have made? They all came out utterly cold.
I get that it was a busy time, but is that really an excuse to have poor Benedict? I say no!
Presentation was lovely, but the hollaindaise was skimpy and not too flavorful, the focaccia in my opinion takes away from the rest of the flavors because that rosemary is so overpowering. Not to mention it was soggy.
I got the smoked salmon, the capers took over all flavor and it was too fishy. PASS. Should have gone with the BST. I think that was the only redeeming one. One of the girls from my New York office came and got the mole. It looks super fancy but she wasn’t impressed either. Or maybe that was the hangover…
Mole Benedict: 2 poached eggs, spinach, roasted pepper, and mole-chicken sausage on brioche topped with hollandaise, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli and crispy tortilla strips: $12.95. Show below!
MS: Maybe it was because I was STARVING, or maybe because it was a gorgeous L.A. Sunday and I got a good night’s sleep the night before, but I was in good spirits and actually kind of enjoyed my Benny (although like Mollie said, it was COLD when it came. Major fail). I ordered the “BST Benny” - Applewood smoked bacon, spinach, tomato and 2 poached eggs topped with hollandaise on brioche.
The good: I liked the regular bacon as opposed to Canadian bacon, the spinach was sauteed nicely and the tomato was a nice addition. The bad: The brioche was a bit too much bread and there wasn’t enough hollandaise. And the hollandaise was kinda bland.
I’d be willing to give this place another shot on a not-so-busy day, but I have a feeling it’s one of those places trying to do too much and spreading themselves too thin (the menu is humungo).
JV: Tip = Don’t go on the weekends, the line/busyness makes it not worth it.
Unlike my fruit-consuming friends, I opted for the roasted potatoes with my BST. “Quantity” is as important as “Quality” in my world. I like to be full when I walk out of a restaurant. The potatoes were nothing to write home about. They were average…….and really…who wants average. And I didn’t walk out of Larchmont Bungalow full. Boooo.
Okay on to the BST - Here are my major issues in order of importance:
1) Not enough hollandaise sauce
2) The hollandaise sauce was too thin
3) The eggs were runnier than I like
4) I don’t like spinach with my breakfast in general…and specifically I don’t like them all muckin’ up my eggs and canadian bacon. And per the usual (when restaurants decide to mess with the classic benny by dropping spinach on it) the spinach leaked it’s spinachy juiciness onto my bread and made it all soggy before I could finish the benny. So it’s like..what…a race against the spinach or something? Can I consume it before it leaks and jacks up my breakfast? Frickin’ spinach wins EVERY time. And I don’t like being rushed.
5) The bread: it was hard and dry (except for the parts that had been attacked by above mentioned vegetable.).
6) The breakfast was lukewarm, probably a result of the restaurant being so busy
TS: i’ll keep the train rolling on this one, with a nice big fat FAIL. my benny of choice was veggie . how can one mess with something so simple- bread, eggs, hollandaise, spinach (also, anything with avocado as an addition usually wins). in this case, the avocado was the best thing and thats about it.
one positive, the eggs benny did LOOK pretty. i guess.
- 10:03 pm - Sun, Feb 6, 2011
Prizzi’s Piazza (5923 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA, 323-467-0168) RATING: 4 Stars (out of 5)
MS: Yesterday morning I met up with my friend Jasmine at Prizzi’s Piazza on Franklin Ave. in Hollywood - not to eat, but to take advantage of the restaurant’s Bottomless Mimosas. Jasmine was running late, I was starving, I took a look at the Brunch menu and saw that they had Benny. And prosciutto Benny at that. I was in.
I don’t know if it was just my hunger, or the fact that I was a half bottle of champagne in by the time the food got to me, but this was some of the best Benny I’ve had in L.A. so far. No joke. English muffins toasted perfectly, thinly-sliced prosciutto replacing the Canadian bacon, perfect poached eggs and not-too-buttery, not-too-lemony Hollandaise.
My only gripes - and they’re minimal - are that I could’ve used more Hollandaise for the Benny, and I could’ve used a bigger fruit cup. I know I sound like a whiny bitch for saying that, but this fruit cup was tiny. Then again, it’s listed on the menu as a Fruit Garnish, so maybe I should’ve known better. I passed on the Prizzi’s Potatoes, so I can’t tell you if they’re any good.
The Benny at Prizzi’s is only $10, too, so I highly recommend hitting this spot up if you’re looking for a brunch spot with outdoor seating and awesome Benny goodness.
- 4:59 pm - Sun, Jan 23, 2011
Spitzer’s Corner (Rivington and Ludlow, NYC, 212-228-0027) RATING: 4 Stars (out of 5)
MM: This was a delightful VERY hungover morning. I woke up in a hotel room confused and still loopy to a text about a meeting I was clearly NOT at. Luckily chiquita was a good sport and waited for me to locate clothing and get the fuck out of there.
Spitzer’s is a great spot in general for anyone that frequents the lower east side of Manhattan, although I’d only been there for drinks and a few delightful dinners. Menu here: www.spitzerscorner.com.
We started out with Bellinis, and I filled my friend in on the escapades that led me to a hotel up at 6 in the morning. New York will kill me one of these days, I’m not sure how that many millions of people can function with out sleeping.
I decided to go with with the Crispy Eggs & Spinach Ricotta Terrine version of the ben, even though the Pork Belly was recommended to me. I just can’t bring myself to eat anything that sounds that intestinal.
I am not a ricotta fan as I acuse it of being the most boring of the cheeses, but this came out in a very interesting terrine soft patty mixed with the spinach. I wouldn’t say that I loved that, but it was a novel take, and I approve of creative approaches.
I did on the other hand LOVE the “crispy” eggs. Perfectly poached, and encrusted with bread crumbs, it added texture and flavor that I’ve never seen in a Benny before. DELISHHHHHHH.
- 3:18 pm
- 1 note
The Griddle Cafe (7916 W. Sunset Blvd., LA, CA - 323-874-0377) RATING: 3 Stars (out of 5)
MS: It was The Three Amigos minus one (Lauren) plus two for our Eggs Benny review at the Griddle Cafe - our two guests were Sue Drew and Josh Briggs, a pair of music biz colleagues from ASCAP, whose offices are conveniently located right next door to The Griddle.
It was a nice ‘summer-in-January’ day, so we decided to sit outside. Pots of French-pressed coffee were brought over (The Griddle’s coffee is some of the best in the city), and Josh and I both ordered the ONLY Benny option on the menu - the “Poached y Papas Benedict” (both with optional added avocado). Three words for you: Huge And Heavy. If you’ve been to The Griddle for their famous pancakes, you know about their gynormous portions. Same holds true for the Benny. It’s two poached eggs with some really fantastic hollandaise on top of a huge slab of ham (a bit salty for my liking but cooked well) - all on top of three big ol’ deep-fried potato skin halves. I haven’t spoken to Josh since our breakfast, and I hope he’s still alive. This thing is a gut-buster for sure, and I felt pretty lousy for the entire day. It tasted damned good going down though!
MM: There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that like potatos and those that don’t. I’m of the latter catagory so I decided to invent my own Benny, going back to my ever-favorite ‘Fairfax High’ from Fred 62 for inspiration. See my beautiful creation below! It was delicious and perfect and went in my mouth and then down to my belly and we were all so happy to be involved in the activity.
Another thing to note for anyone that hasn’t been to The Griddle (known for its pancakes www.thegriddlecafe.com) is that their wait staff are definitely the sexiest of any breakfast joint in Los Angeles. They appear to be actors and actresses, every time I’m there I fall in love. Now, seeing as that industry is so spikey and random, you probably won’t see that pretty face the next time you go due to the high turnover rate of WB shows or whatever. But no matter, they are sure to replace the Adonis or Helen of Troy with someone equally lovely. Yeaaw.
- 11:21 pm - Tue, Jan 18, 2011
Q: Do u know if anyone in LA does a raw eggless benedict?
MS: That sounds sacrilegious. How dare you. Get off my lawn!
MM: I’m not sure if its raw or vegan but a few vegetarian places like Newsroom that you could ask for no eggs.
- 7:27 pm - Mon, Jan 17, 2011
- 1 note
Marston’s Restaurant (151 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA, 626.796.2459) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5)
MS: Happy New Year! Later this week, the three musketeers (Mollie, Lauren and I) will be back together for a Benny review, but I used this MLK Day off to meet up with friend and colleague Monica Hopman for a nice Benny breakfast in Pasadena (Monica is a fantastic - and very pregnant - independent music publicist - check out her site at http://www.thinkpress.net).
We decided to try a cute little spot in Downtown Pasadena called Marston’s. We’d both heard good things, added to that the fact that they were open on a Monday AND had two different types of Benny on the menu, so we were in.
After about a five minute wait (there was a long list, but they moved people in and out really fast) we got a table outside on the porch. Monica ordered the classic Eggs Benny and some OJ, and I went for the Pulled Pork Benny and a coffee.
Super-quick service at Marston’s, that’s for sure. Monica’s Benny looked and tasted fantastic - nothing super-mind-blowing, but the hollandaise was perfectly-made and the ham was just thick enough without being too overbearing.
I was VERY pleased with the Pulled Pork Benny. Damn good pulled pork with a hint of BBQ-flavoring, and the hollandaise had a touch of cayenne and paprika - just enough to give it a little kick. The eggs could’ve been cooked a tad more, but I was pleased. Both orders came with potatoes - usually I’m not a big fan but these were tasty.
Overall I would absolutely come back to Marston’s - preferably on a weekday (or non-holiday) - it was super-crowed and kinda loud. But the Benny was great, the service was quick, and it’s always a treat to head over to Old Town Pasadena.
- 3:55 pm - Thu, Dec 23, 2010
Home (1760 Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz) RATING: 3 stars
MM: Home is a very cool restauarant on the east side, although it can be pretty busy. Like my idiot ass, my ex boyfriend Steven and I showed up there on a Sunday at noon. Seriously crowded. Luckily that sneaky Scot knew the manager so we got in ahead of the crowd. Fancy us, yes?
The way the benny works there is that its a “build your own” with the options of crab cakes, spinach, tomato, smoked salmon or ham.
I made a bad decision here (am I just the queen of that?) I keep trying to recreate the Fairfax High benny from Freds 62 and I just need to admit they are the king of salmon benedict. Here is your medal Freds…my undying devotion and commitment to eating with you as much as possible.
So, as you gathered if you know the Fairfax High (check it out if you don’t!) I got the smoked salmon benedict. The hollandaise was pretty tasty but the salmon was WAY too fishy for me.
Don’t look at me like that! I know salmon is in fact, a fish, and a fishy-fish at that, but there is a distinct difference between a light and tasty lox that hints at the aquatic and a full on undersea fish barrage. Yuck.
I will definitely return back there and attempt another benny experience, ambiance and sauce definitely thumbs up. Plus, they have good mimosas and a firepit. Yeaaaaaah!
- 2:58 pm - Sat, Dec 4, 2010
Bottega Louie (700 S. Grand Ave., L.A., CA, 866-418-9162) RATING: 3 Stars (out of 5)
MS: I met my good friend C.C. for Saturday brunch at Bottega Louie in DTLA. Friends have raved about the dinner there, and we’ve received a few Benny Recommendations from readers, so we figured we’d give it a shot (C.C. had been here before a few times so she knew what was up).
As I’m sure you’ve heard/read elsewhere, the place is gorgeous. White marble everywhere, super-clean, shiny-and-new(ish). You can go to Yelp and read about 2000 reviews that mention the bakery, the pizza station, the bathrooms, etc. We’re about the Benny experience here. Since C.C. and I usually get together at bars at night, however, brunch-time drinks were in order. We both got the Champagne Cobbler (prosecco, maraschino liqueur, muddled lemon, orange and cherry). Didn’t taste quite right, but we realized it was because we had just brushed our teeth! After a few sips of (really good) coffee, the drink was much smoother. Still, not something either of us would order again.
The brunch menu was solid – smart, not too crazy, little twists on classics, and fairly reasonable, price-wise (the Champagne Cobbler drink was $12 though. Thumbs down for that!). Only two types of Benny – a classic Eggs Benedict (with spinach), and Smoked Salmon Benedict. I went, of course with the classic (can’t do salmon in the AM for some reason). C.C. dropped the bomb that she wasn’t into Benny (boo!), and instead ordered the Breakfast Flatbread. This was a baked egg with prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula on a pizza-like dough.
So here’s the good: English Muffin very well-toasted and the Canadian bacon perfectly-cooked. The hollandaise was quite nice – just enough acidity and not runny at all. The eggs could’ve been a tad more cooked, but I lived right through it. I’ll take runnier than too-cooked any day.
The bad: I’m a fan of sautéed spinach, and even straight-up steamed spinach is good when I’m going all healthy, but soggy wilted green stuff mucking up the flavors of the bacon eggs and hollandaise was a HUGE spoiler. You know how spinach gives you that dry, metallic, iron-y taste on the roof of your mouth? Well it’s an hour after I ate and I STILL have that nastiness lingering. Also, for $12, you should get some kind of side. The Benny looks pretty on the plate all by itself, but my stomach was disappointed.
C.C.’s Breakfast Flatbread was OK. It was WAY doughier than we had thought, and it should’ve been described by the waitress as more of a ‘breakfast pizza with eggs’. And now that I think about it, this is Bottega Louie, not Subway - come up with a cooler name for this dish!
Speaking of the waitress, let’s talk about service for a sec. C.C. is a pro – she’s run bars and restaurants all over town. That said, our level of expectation was probably a bit higher than most. But C.C. pointed out so many inefficiencies in the operation as we were sitting there, I now feel like writing a strongly-worded letter to the owner imploring him to hire C.C. as a consultant. She’d whip that staff into shape!
Overall, a so-so experience. I wouldn’t go back for brunch, honestly, unless Mollie or Lauren wanted to try it and get the Salmon Benny. I WILL, though, go there for dinner, and experience what makes this place so well-received and talked-about. <—>
- 11:28 am - Fri, Dec 3, 2010
Hugos (8401 Santa Monica Blvd, W. Hollywood, 323-654-3993) RATING 3.5 (out of 5)
MS: After a handful of solo runs, the Three Musketeers reunited for a Benny breakfast in West Hollywood at Hugo’s Restaurant. I’d been here before, but hadn’t tried the Benny. Sso it was ON.
I kept to the classic, got a fruit cup on the side, and some coffee. Maybe it’s because I was hungry, maybe it was because of my last lousy Benny experience at Pacific Dining Car, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Hugo’s Eggs Benedict. English Muffin toasted well, eggs perfectly cooked (nice runniness without being slimy), and the Hollandaise was nice as well. It was more ‘buttery’ than ‘citrusy’, and I did have to hit it with a sprinkle of salt, but I was more than satisfied.
Know what else I loved? The fruit cup on the side wasn’t one of those rip-offs where they just give you some cantaloupe, honeydew melon and some grapes. Hugo’s hooks it up with strawberries, apples and pineapple too. Sometimes it’s the little things!
Coffee was strong enough, company was (as always) awesome, and while my mind was not blown, I left knowing I’d be back again some time.
MM: Well well my Benniers! I made a grave misstep here. I ordered the Eggs Blackstone (wanting to be rebellious! Wanting to be the girl on the edge. Experimental in all ways. A hero of the under-tried-benedicts.)
Alas, this was stupid as fuck.
To make it stupider, I put in veggie sausage instead of regular which ended up being something like a eating thin disc made of rubberbands. The chipotle sauce was watery, the eggs over cooked, and the bean cakes had the texture of a mash up of paste and watery potatoes. AVOID!!!!
- 4:56 pm - Wed, Dec 1, 2010
Bea Bea’s (353 N. Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505 - 818-846-2327)
LH: Today was an unexpected Benny mission. I joined my pal Wilson for lunch and he took me to Bea Bea’s in Burbank. I normally don’t trust restaurants that are located in a strip mall and are not called Panda Express, but I was along for the ride so I threw all caution to the wind.
Obviously, when I saw the list of bennies I had to do it. So I chose the corned beef benny. Two of my favorite dishes together at last.
The cunty waitress asked me what I wanted for my side dish and then scowled at me for inquiring about bacon (bitch please – girl likes her meat. Don’t hate.), so I begrudgingly went along with the home fries.
At last my sick/delicious benny arrived and I couldn’t wait to take a bite out of it. The first taste was pretty good. Not fancy. They definitely bought the English muffin and probably all of the other ingredients at the Albertson’s next door. I digress.
With the second bite one of my worst fears came to life: a globule of chicken fetus dropped out of my mouth and landed on my lip/chin as I pulled my fork away. Look – I know what eggs are and where they come from. They’re gross in theory. A poultry abortion, if you will. But the WORST is when you get the undercooked egg white snot-ball. Like I had just hocked a cold, alien loogie and spit it up. I literally almost puked in my lap, but I recovered.
After a minute or so of rationalizing and regaining composure, I decided I would give it another chance. The globule is an occupational hazard when you are a frequent egg eater. But then I dug into my home fries. There, hanging from my fork and fried to the potato chunk was a thick, course hair.
Moral of story: don’t eat at strip malls.
- 2:30 pm
- 2 notes
Pacific Dining Car (1310 W. 6th St., LA, CA - 213-483-6000)
MS: I, too, went on a solo Benny mission - I couldn’t fight the addiction, and as much as I wanted to hold back and wait for Mollie and Lauren, I just couldn’t. Damn you, Benny! I had an obnoxiously early business meeting in DTLA, so I decided to hit what I was hoping to be a great discovery - the Pacific Dining Car. On paper, this place looks fantastic. Operating since 1921, open 24/7, with EIGHT kinds of Benny on the menu. WHAT?! (for the full Benny list, click here - http://www.pacificdiningcar.com/breakfast.html )
I was feeling fancy (this place is one of those old-school, red-booth spots where you’d take your aunt and uncle in town from Michigan for a steak), so I ordered the Creole Benedict. Had some coffee and a glass of OJ, too.
Let’s start with the good: Creole-style hollandaise sauce is fantastic. I dunno what’s in it that makes it special - paprika? Really tasty. The crabcakes were nice, although a bit dry, but the sauteed mushrooms were awesome. My monster glass of freshly-squeezed OJ was very refreshing - this was a rich breakfast.
Now the bad: Not sure what kind of special “Benny mold” they poach their eggs in, but they were creepily round, almost fake-looking. And overcooked. No drippy runny yolk. At all. The hollandaise sauce was good but there was NOT ENOUGH! So now I’ve got overcooked, dry eggs, dry crabcakes, really rich-tasting mushrooms, and an upset stomach ‘cuz I’m eating this stuff at 8AM. Oh, and it was $18.95! And my glass of OJ was $7.95. Are you fuckin’ kidding me or what? I mean, I get it - this place is for old, rich, Downtown L.A. financial guys, but still!
Sadly, I have to say I’ll pass on any more Benny at Pacific Dining Car. I’d still be down to eat one of their steaks or something after a Laker game, but only if someone else is buying.
- 6:53 pm - Tue, Nov 30, 2010
Millie’s Cafe (3524 W. Sunset Blvd., LA, CA - 323-664-0404)
MM: This was a solo Molls mission today (although only 2 days before I get to share the ben ben with my EBT teammates, my partners in crime, the fellow pirates on this mission to unearth the best Benedict gold that Los Angeles has to offer.)
Millie’s menu online looked enticing with 6 kinds of Benny, and I’ve previously enjoyed their “messes”, so for a business meeting this morning I suggested we try it (www.milliescafe.net).
I decided to venture for the Vegetarian Bennie, and I have to say it was disappointing. The hollandaise was very bland, although they did provide enough of it. I only made it through half the bennie before disregarding it altogether and just enjoying my side of cottage cheese and conversation with Erik about kid snot.
- 4:03 pm - Mon, Nov 22, 2010
MM: Lauren, Mike and myself are going to hit Hugo’s on Santa Monica in West Hollywood next thursday. There are only 2 kinds of ben there but we feel that spot is an LA staple and therefore must be partaken in, AND JUDGED.
Til then happy Thanksgiving. We wish you all a hollandaise filled week. (Some people put that on asparagus right?)
MS: I’d like to add, “HAPPY HOLLANDAISE!” (Credit for that gem goes to music publicist and future EBT guest-eater Monica Hopman)