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Breakfast potatoes

n
nick_r Aug 15, 2007 10:23 AM

As anyone who has eaten breakfast with me can attest, I have somewhat of an obsession with good breakfast potatoes. (I know that terms like home fries, hash browns, and so forth all connote specific types, but it seems to me they're used incorrectly more often than not, so I just go with my catch-all phrase to avoid confusion.)

As such, I'm constantly in search of L.A. restaurants with reliably good breakfast potatoes. My current favorite is Overland Cafe in Palms: good-size chunks, right amount of seasoning, cooked all the way through but firm enough to be easily speared with a fork.

I love Doughboy's numerous potato options, but the taters themselves are insufficiently crispy and not seasoned (presumably since the mounds of toppings are supposed to fill that void).

Cheesecake Factory's "pile of tiny cube-lets" approach is a huge, huge turn-off. As is any place that serves au gratin potatoes for breakfast -- to me, those are only appropriate for dinner.

What are other people's top picks for potatoes in the A.M.?

  1. m
    miffy Aug 15, 2007 10:27 PM

    Pepy's galley- Mar Vista on Venice
    Maxwell's - Marina Del Ray

    1. ipsedixit Aug 15, 2007 09:38 PM

      Julienne in San Marino.

      The kitchen cooks them slightly charred on the outside, without making the skins tough, and the high heat seems to sear in the flavor of the potato, keeping them soft and fluffy (not dry), so that each bite is like releasing a gush of starchy-goodness.

      www.juliennetogo.com

      -----
      Julienne
      2649 Mission St, San Marino, CA 91108

      1. d
        Dogbite Williams Aug 15, 2007 07:08 PM

        I love the "Vegi (sic) Potatoes" at More Than Waffles (17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino). Home fries with the crisped skins on, mushrooms, grilled onions and bell peppers are generously smothered in cheddar cheese. It's well worth the current $7.25 price, and I'd also say it's the single best potato dish I've had in my 31 years here in L.A.

        1. la vida dulce Aug 15, 2007 01:00 PM

          Rick's on the corner of 2nd & Main St. in Alhambra---ooh!

          1. DiveFan Aug 15, 2007 12:37 PM

            Great recs here for the humble potato.
            Original Pantry - great in a old school, buttery, greasy way
            Original Pancake House - potato pancakes are amazingly thin and crispy

            Got to mention Dinah's potato pancakes - thicker but good.
            Aversion therapy at IHOP - awful, industrial press style potato pancakes

            Place links with maps below.

            -----
            Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
            6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

            Doughboys
            8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

            Joe's Diner
            400 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

            Original Pancake House
            1756 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

            Overland Cafe
            3601 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

            Dinah's
            6521 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

            S & W Country Diner
            9748 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

            Rose Cafe & Market
            220 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291

            Original Pantry Cafe
            877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

            1. WildSwede Aug 15, 2007 12:34 PM

              Went to Gaffey Street Diner on Sunday and they had very good home potatoes. I always ask for them well done. They were good.

              1. tatertotsrock Aug 15, 2007 12:17 PM

                I used to love the potatos at BLD...the ones with chorizo, lomo, and some other meaty bits sprinkled throughout...unfortunately, last week, they were horrible...I wanted to cry.
                I had loved them since they opened, the time before last, they were just ok, this time they were unforgiveable...now what can I do.
                Hoepfully someone will inspire me to love something new.
                I do enjoy the potatos at Larkins that they serve for sunday brunch...spicey and good.

                1. h
                  Henry2054 Aug 15, 2007 10:37 AM

                  The legendary Pantry downtown has great potatoes that come with all their breakfast orders and are served with certain other items throughout the day. They are chopped in small cubes and served in a heap browned crispy on one side with the remaineder cooked soft and moist. If you've never been (impossible?), then as a potato enthusiast you must try them.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Henry2054
                    w
                    woofer Aug 15, 2007 12:06 PM

                    i second the pantry potatoes. they are like a meal in itself.

                    1. re: Henry2054
                      t
                      TomSwift Aug 15, 2007 10:41 PM

                      The potatoes are one of the few remaining reasons to go the Pantry, even for breakfast (served all day). I find them good but ordinary unless you order them "well done" or "brown" in which case you'll get an extra ration of the crispy crust. When "well done," the potatoes are a joy with a crunch rarely found.

                    2. j
                      jencounter Aug 15, 2007 10:35 AM

                      I really, really love the hash browns at the Rose Cafe in Venice. They're grated, not cubed, sufficiently crispy (can't stand mushy potatoes) and they add chives and something creamy to the potatoes before they cook them...divine.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: jencounter
                        mollyomormon Aug 15, 2007 12:15 PM

                        I second this rec! Those hash browns are awesome.

                        1. re: mollyomormon
                          j
                          jencounter Aug 15, 2007 01:01 PM

                          I know the OP specifically stated that they didn't want au gratin and I know that Rose Cafe calls them au gratin, but they're not really au gratin. At least not as I know au gratin potatoes. I don't know what it is they do to them to make them so good, all I know is that I dream of those potatoes.

                          CiCi's Cafe in Tarzana does an au gratin potato for breakfast...I'm not a fan. No matter how well done you order them, they're never very crispy.

                          1. re: jencounter
                            n
                            nick_r Aug 15, 2007 02:55 PM

                            I did go to Rose once recently but I wasn't a huge fan of their breakfast menu (since I'm a vegetarian, I like customizable omelettes, and they didn't allow that). I think I ended up getting the french toast. If I go back I'll be sure to get something with potatoes.

                            1. re: nick_r
                              j
                              jencounter Aug 15, 2007 04:01 PM

                              The omelette thing is funny...every time I go with my girlfriend (who is a semi-regular there) she makes all sorts of substitutions in her omettes and they never bat an eye. I sit there quietly and let her do all the ordering.

                              1. re: jencounter
                                n
                                nick_r Aug 15, 2007 04:04 PM

                                Oh reaaaaally? I'll see if I can get away with that. Or maybe I'll have my girlfriend order for me as well.

                                1. re: nick_r
                                  j
                                  jencounter Aug 15, 2007 04:09 PM

                                  I'm not sure how she gets away with it, but they don't even blink at her. I have to assume it's because they know her.

                      2. j
                        JeetJet Aug 15, 2007 10:31 AM

                        In my opinion potatoes are the foundation of a good breakfast much like the bread makes, or brakes, a sandwich. On your side of town I like Original Pancake House, Eat at Joe's and Pann's. I recently added S & W Country Diner to my "To Try" list because I hear good things about the Chicken Fried Steak and their Home made Hash.

                        Original Pancake House ( 49'er Flapjacks, Buttermilk pancakes, Crepes, Dutch Baby, Potato pancakes, Bluebarry, sometimes a long line but go-for-it)
                        Redondo Beach
                        1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy.
                        Redondo Beach, California 90277
                        310-543-9875

                        Breakfast, lunch or dinner
                        Eat At Joe's (Any omelet, I always seem to get the John Wayne Special)
                        400 N. Pacific Coast Highway (5 min. drive from Del Amo Mall)
                        Redondo Beach, CA 90277
                        (310) 376-9570

                        Pann’s (Fried Chicken wings and waffles, pea soup, Chicken Fried steak, Hash and eggs, Burgers and shakes all in a Googie Dream)
                        6710 La Tijera Blvd
                        Los Angeles, CA 90045
                        (323) 776-3770
                        Cross Street: La Cienega Boulevard
                        http://www.panns.com/

                        S & W Country Diner (Cash only – Request home-made hash crispy, meatloaf w/ eggs. Sides include hash brown potatoes, pancakes or waffle. Also, Pancakes can be customized with crumbled Oreos
                        )9748 Washington Blvd (Cross St. – Hughes Avenue)
                        Culver City, CA 90232-2722
                        (310) 204-5136
                        Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JeetJet
                          n
                          nosh Aug 15, 2007 12:50 PM

                          S & W does hash-browns right! I order them crispy, and they come with a great crust and softer but cooked within. My favorite side at S & W, and I try to go with friends who will order and share the huge pancake side as well. S & W does a great homemade hash (they have a canned option for a buck less but why?) and they cook things correctly to order. I've tried the meatloaf hoping it would be great but it was pretty bready and loose -- no competitor to the hash or sausage or bacon. Now if only they would make a proper baked biscuit rather than a soft cakey square cut from a loaf... S & W is absolutely my favorite big-appetite breakfast place -- John O'Groats with their dry biscuits, overcooked eggs, and higher prices doesn't even compare in my experience.

                          1. re: JeetJet
                            kiwi Aug 15, 2007 07:19 PM

                            How is it that you haven't been to S & W yet? They do basted eggs.
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/309264

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