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Jul 24, 2006 04:17 AM

Square One -- A Short Review

So, gave this Hollywood breakfast hang a try this morning, for the fist and probably last time. Square One (4854 Fountain, (323) 661-1109) is located on Fountain, right behind the giant slate blue Scientology center, just south of Kaiser. There is no restaurant parking, and finding street parking within reasonable walking distance is a challenge. After driving around for 15 minutes or so, we found a spot about two blocks away, and hoofed it on over. The place is small and cute, with some indoor seating and a nice looking patio (for when it's not 100 degrees out). At 9:30, we walked right in, but the place filled up as we were eating. There's a big chalk board on the wall with a long spiel about how they're into organic, local, sustainable, etc.

I ordered a baked egg dish with chorizo, that was, I thought, terrible. Served in a small cast iron skillet which appeared to be unseasoned (probably because they run it through a dish washer), it turned the food it came into contact with grey/black. It also burned the crap out of the portion of the egg it touched, while the center of the dish was uncooked. Clear, jiggly, uncooked egg white is a big turn off for me. The dish had egg, chorizo, a tortilla (I think), and about a quarter cup of chili paste, and was garnished with two little pieces of untoasted bread. The chili paste was overwhelmingly spicy, masking the flavor of the other ingredients, which was actually in this case a good thing.

The Missus ordered a pressed scrambled egg sandwich, which wasn't as bad as my dish, but wasn't good either. Rubbery scrambled egg with tomato, basil (I think) on grilled brioche/egg bread. The bread was good, and it must have been lonely. Served with grits, which were undercooked and bland. Oh, they had very good fresh squeezed oj. Tea, etc. was unremarkable. Service was friendly and attentive.

All-in-all, I might return to this place if I lived within walking distance. Maybe there are items on their menu worth eating, but we didn't find them this morning. Don't know why I'd spend the time hunting for a place to park given that I can get a considerably better breakfast (with no parking hassle) at Ammo or the Pacific Dining Car.

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  1. Wow. I have to say I really like this place. The eggs benedict with house cured smoked salmon is my go to dish. The nueske bacon rules - blows Hungry Cat's out of the water(size thing I guess). The only flaw to me is the sloppy service which is anything but attentive but friendly. I would say try it again but parking is a bitch and you only get one first impression. But i have to say in a town of glorified diner food passing as coveted breakfast havens; Square one is a god send. But please feel free to let me on some other spots - my stomach will thank you.

    PS - dont say Griddle - PLEASE.

    1. I actually liked this place the two time I've gone there. The second time, the service was painfully slow, but the food was great (as were my friends' meals). The parking situation pretty much have to risk being cornered by Scientologists since the only parking is around the massive Center.


      1. I'm surprised by your review, too. I've had the chorizo eggs skillet and it was great; in general, baking eggs is a challenge because of the issue of uneven cooking, but the skillet I got was perfect. I've also had the pressed egg sandwich, the BLT (the neuske bacon!), the caramelized citrus french toast, and the flank steak sandwich with hollandaise, and all were, I thought, excellent. No raw-burnt-rubbery issues and the only weirdness I noted was the fact that they serve cream instead of half-and-half. Service may be overwhelmed but they are very pleasant and I'm willing to forgive that in such a small start-up establishment.

        Wonder if the regular chef was on vacation the day you went?

        1. The chef was apparently taken to the hospital on Sunday, just before my SO and I tried to go eat there. The manager/owner/whoever apologized and said that they'd be closing the kitchen early.

          I think the food there is fine-- not necessarily worth driving from Ktown for, but fine. I normally get omlettes, though. The SO, on the other hand, will usually drive us over there (from Los Feliz, mind you) if I have no particular craving for something available in some random part of town. He thinks they have the BEST eggs benedict (the one with Canadian bacon), and really, really, really loves the baked egg dish with brioche and-- again-- Canadian bacon. I'm not sure why he's so into the Canadian bacon, but whatever. We both agree, however, that the side of (non-Canadian) bacon is worth breaking our usual policy of eating only super-crispy bacon.