Cafe in Silverlake/Los Feliz??
I have some family coming in from the bay area and would like to take them to the nice little area of Silverlake and Loz Feliz. Can anyone recommend a nice cafe or casual restaurant (for either lunch or breakfast) with a patio or nice setting? They have never been to LA and I think this area is the nicest (to walk around, get a coffee, etc)
If on the weekend, either Edendale Grill on Rowena or Cliff's Edge on Sunset at Edgecliff, both with wonderful patios and both doing brunch.
No patio setting, meaning street-side seats, but Madame Matisse on Sunset, while tiny, serves quite good breakfast/lunch items.
I would recommend the Alcove, the nicest patio spot in the area with a great breakfast, although since 90% of the seating is outside it might be a bit intense for the current heat wave.
I'll mention the Figaro Cafe although I'm not its greatest fan, but the breakfast menu is dependable and the baked goods are above par. I have had bad luck getting stuck next to smokers at the outdoor tables, plus they've had a recent change of ownership and health dept. problems.
I live a few blocks from Fred 62 and have breakfast there 2-3 times a week, usually very early in the morning. It can be a mob scene on the weekends, but there is outdoor seating. House Of Pies, across the street, also has a few outdoor seats, with a plain but solid diner menu.
The Kitchen is a little off the beaten walking path, halfway between the pedestrian walking nexuses of Sunset Junction and Vermont. I'm especially a fan of the Belgian beef stew, but they have a breakfast menu as well.
Square One doesn't have a patio, but it's definitely the hot breakfast spot of the moment. I haven't been there, but it comes highly recommended for breakfast (which I think is the only meal.)
Square One Dining
4854 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Figaro Cafe Restaurant
1802 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Alcove Cafe & Bakery
1929 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
1854 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
House of Pies
1869 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
4348 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Actually Square One does have a patio, which is off the street and therefore more pleasant than some of the places with sidewalk tables right on the street. I would say their food is the best of any of the places mentioned, although all patios and sidewalks will be rather hot during this heat wave.
Square is really the best. Get the French Toast, it is really one of the most amazing things on the menu. It is made with Brioche bread, and i believe is best served plain with their mayple syrup. They also have great egg hot dishes and sandwiches. Although their salads are tasty, the presentation bugs me, a hugs mound of salad on a flat plate resulting in a messy table if you aren't careful, so I don't usually reccomend them.
Also to try is their mint ice-tea, it's great on hot days like the ones we have been having lately.
The French Toast at Square One was too sweet for me, even just with the maple syrup (they also have more elaborate options, I think, such as whipped cream and fruit). I think I also once found their pancakes to be too sweet and cakey.
But then, I like my French toast to be custardy and eggy, and my pancakes to be thin and not too sweet, with much of the sweetness in both cases coming from the syrup. In my view, making French toast with a bread which is already sweet and rich, such as brioche, is too much of a good thing. But that's just me.
One good thing at Square One was a baked egg dish with some frisee + mustard vinaigrette (I think) on top -- the salad greens provided a nice contrast to the egg.
Granted I haven't eaten at House of Pies since a "no, it's *not* pressed turkey" sandwich turned out to be just that, but (while the location is admittedly good), it's just not the kind of place I'd take out-of-town guests to unless they're crazy about kitsch. There are a lot of outdoor cafe-type places along Vermont in Los Feliz and I've heard good things about a Vietnamese place in Silverlake by the B of A (for the lunch option).
In my opinion, Cliff's Edge and Alcove are your best choices for good food and nice setting. To me, Edendale is a step down for food (although for brunch, maybe it's ok), but the setting is really great.
Edendale Grill for brunch, they'll love the old-fashioned photo booth in the back! Alcove's tasty, but it's really chaotic in there, both because of the constant volume of people, and the awful infrastructure of ordering/getting food, but it's great for star-sightings and making out-of-towners feel special. When it's really hot though, their baked goods get rather dreary looking, they don't keep'em cool. Cliff's Edge for quiet, fanciful atmosphere, a little bit of magic you wouldn't expect, near the 99 cent store. Their menu isn't my favorite, but the chocolate pot for dessert is pretty great. Maxzook is right about that beef stew at The Kitchen, it's incredible. Kind of kooky, right in the middle of the Sunset Junction is Town & Country restaurant, really good coffee and breakfast, not the greatest for ambience, but quirky, laid back and fun with good food, and right in the middle of good shopping! The owner likes to come and talk with you and ask you how you're doing, and there's a big chalkboard you can draw on, if you go there, try the stuffed french toast.