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OP Cafe on Ocean Park in SM

igj Nov 7, 2006 10:27 PM

When I used to work on Ocean Park near 28th, I would often have lunch at the very comfortable and very dive-y place called Ocean Park Cafe. It was homey and had Mexican-inspired breakfast foods that I liked, as well as a good selection of veggie options.

That place has been gone for about 8 months, but since I no longer work over there, I haven't had time to check out the place that opened in that spot which is called OP Cafe. I went today for the 1st time. The physical space has been spruced up a bit and is bright and cheery. The food, however, seemed really pretty unexciting and basic. The menu contains eggs in numerous incarnations and a small selection of wraps and salads. Today they had one special: a barbeque tofu sandwich - which is what I ordered. The french fries were nice, crisp and seasoned well; the sandwich was grilled tofu and crispy fried onions bathed in a very sweet BBQ sauce. Eh... maybe the egg dishes are better?

I believe OP Cafe is open until 3pm. It is located on Ocean Park at 31st.

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  1. b
    bijoux RE: igj Nov 7, 2006 10:34 PM

    the eggs *are* good, as are the burger (the ever-popular arugula/caramelized onions/stinky cheese combo), the OP wrap (chicken/dried cranberries/walnuts), and especially the sweet potato fries.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bijoux
      susanCl RE: bijoux Apr 15, 2008 04:31 PM

      The OP Cafe is really nice , we all friends used to have lunch their on weekends regularly now. I like egg dishes and omelet dishes the most here.

    2. k
      kjs RE: igj Nov 9, 2006 03:57 PM

      i'm in santa monica on biz next week - i have to get up very early to beat the traffic so i figure i'll check this place out - the guy i'm meeting lives in that area so i asked him about this place - he loves the place ( now granted, he ain't a "foodie" in that i asked for details he didn't have much to say except he liked the food ) he said he eats there 2-3 times a day - mainly for breakfast - he said the chefs ( would it be chef or cook ? ) are from a place called marmalades...now i'm wondering if i'm a foodie because i've never heard of marmalades - is it in santa monica too ?

      anyways, i will report after my meal. i love old style diner places with a modern twist..i hope this hits the spot

      1. dotrat RE: igj Nov 11, 2006 04:06 PM

        I live close to the OP cafe & initially i had a few very good meals there including breakfast & lunch though lately omlettes have been over cooked & uninspired (my proscuitto was clumped together & cooked till hard as rock). My last salad was fine but not something I'd crave. My husbands burger was well done despite his request for medium rare.......

        for breakfast locally i like amondine on wilshire at bundy..... the pastries are very yummy and the croque madam devine......but my last omlette was also overcooked...

        1. t
          ten474 RE: igj Dec 10, 2006 04:48 PM

          OP cafe is great. Service is quick and they are the friendliest bunch you will find anywhere.

          You can literally have a big breakfast for two for about $10.

          TEN BUCKS!

          You can't find that anywhere else in LA with food of this quality.

          1. h
            hoover14 RE: igj Apr 24, 2008 04:17 PM

            I liked the omelets and egg dishes at the OP Cafe. Due to shortage of time at morning I usually have my breakfast at this cafe only. Also ,they provide a lot of options for lunch too. I love this place and it had now become my favorite breakfast spot.

            1. Phood RE: igj Apr 24, 2008 10:11 PM

              Historically the OP Cafe was green and a lovely dive. It was run by folks who were quirky and made good food. About a year ago I went in and there was a new and soulless attitude. The familiar folks and diveyness was gone, replaced by well scrubbed cheeriness and ordinary food; wraps and such. The old Mexican/diner crossover was gone. Sadly it's another mom and pop sold out to ordinariness with a business plan. IMHO

              1. p
                posh RE: igj Apr 25, 2008 01:07 AM

                I want to shed a tear every time I drive by the new Ocean Park Cafe. It looks so pretentiously bland.

                I really loved the old one. Most of the menu was unremarkable, but there were touches that made it ideal for regular trips: the coffee, the salsa, the grime. The family that ran it was really nice too.

                Alas. The landlord raised the rent astronomically (I think 300%) and they had to leave--after the new tenants offered to hire them for minimum wage to run the newly decorated place. I have no idea what happened to them, but I'd like to. For a while they were looking to open a new cafe.

                There was a great diner/cafe/dive on 14th and Wilshire. Really cheap early bird special and fantastic pancakes.

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