Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Sep 11, 2008 01:10 PM

How About a Post about Breakfast! - Metro Cafe, Serving Spoon, CJs

I think I’m not alone when I say Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, I hardly ever have… Yes, we may have cup of oatmeal, cherriors or activa every morning, but it’s not really a MEAL. Those proper full course breakfasts are too often reserved for the weekend… even worse… ‘special’ weekends… Well, recently we’ve had a lot of special things going on… so we’ve managed to sneak in a few really great breakfasts in lately… Here are our top 3….

-- Metro Café --

This is a neighborhood joynt that we think we would visit more if it wasn’t so close… We often over look it even though for AGES we’ve heard raves, especially about their breakfasts… Well, I needed to kill a hour or so before heading over to quench a yarn craving and Metro Café was on the way there so we strolled right on…

P ordered the Bern Omelet wanting to be a bit healthy with spinach and mushrooms… and what came out still looked gluttonous a HUGE wonderful Chicken Sausage accompanied the great flavors as well and the Omelet was done astoundingly well… it was described as ‘soft cooked’, so we didn’t know what to expect… but it was fluffy and rich and complimented each component of the dish…

I struggled with my order and decided on the Montenegro because I was feeling a bit yolky. Again, we were so surprised when the dish came out, it was like an omlete of over easy eggs. I had NEVER seen anything like it… it was just so perfect… studded with bacon… it pained me to cut into it… But when I did a RUSH of perfectly warm yolk just covered the plate right into their wonderfully crisped potatoes. The addition of the feta and capers was GENIOUS because it provided just enough salt to make the egg yolks so much more flavorful. This is truly a destination dish… Even for us, basically around the corner…

--Serving Spoon--

Another issue we had with going out to breakfast is that often we have to rise rather early and very few good places are open by 7am! Not even Roscoes! I was madly searching and luckily came across the Serving Spoon. P. loves grits, it wasn’t a far detour to where we were going, so we walked right in at 7a…

And they were ready to serve…

They specialize in breakfasts and their menu is HUGE. Although Fried Catfish, Scrambled Eggs and Grits sounded DARN good. We had a long day ahead of us and didn’t want to start it by wanting to take a nap after this meal. So kept things simple…

He got a poached egg, which was done perfectly (you have no idea how many poached egg disasters we’ve had recently) and he just SWOONED over the grits…really one of the best we’ve had. They have a homemade Turkey Sausage patty that is also just out of this world…

I got a scrambled egg, again, the cooks behind the counter know what they are doing. Fluffy, Creamy and not the least bit greasy. The best part of coming in this early was the Biscuits, straight from the oven, SO tender and flavorful.

The breakfast was so simple (and CHEAP!!) but everything was prepared and served with such wonderful care. We haven’t felt more at home at a restaurant in a long time. We’ll be back to try that catfish for sure…

--CJ’s Cafe--

Usually our Sunday breakfasts are taken care for us… but even Church Ladies need a day off so, we wandered down the street and came across a bustling CJ’s Café.

Another neighborhood joynt, but this neighborhood is defiantly more colorful and you see it not only in the patrons… but the menu. Pastrami and Machacha. Patty Melts and Chile Verde. It was quite difficult making a choice… and it turns out we also ended up on opposite ends of the spectrum…

P. had the corned beef hash… He knew it was made from the can, and sadly even then it fell short of expectations. However, the plate did include wonderfully poached eggs and really great hash browns. But the winner for him was the Biscuits. Not as tender as the one as Serving Spoon, but MUCH more flavorful. Freshly baked, P. actually like it better!!

I could not resist but order the Chilaquilles. I was quite shocked at how MONSTEROUS the plate was... Although not as good as my beloved Pepys… they were GOOD. The tortillas properly stewed the salsa very flavorful. With the fried egg, this meal reminded me exactly why I LOVE breakfast…

And so, after these three wonderful meals, our love for breakfast has just grown… the tough part, with all these choices relatively nearby… which will we return to first…


Metro Café
11188 Washington Pl.
Culver City, CA 90232

The Serving Spoon
1403 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302

CJ’s Cafe
3655 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90016

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Places Link!

    Metro Cafe
    11188 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90232

    Serving Spoon
    1403 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

    C J's Cafe
    5501 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

    1. We love Metro Cafe as well but didn't even consider them for breakfast - until now - thanks! Among other things, I enjoy the perceived simplicity of their food, where quality and execution is what shines. That easy-over "omelette" you had is a standard at our home (learned it in Malaysia - I wonder who brought it over from Montenegro or vice versa?), but we never had it with feta and capers - looks great and the combination sounds amazing with the bacon pieces...

      3 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        Oh, you've been missing out! Their cooked banana hotcakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods in all of L.A.

        1. re: J.L.

          Wow - this post of mine is just about five years old. I've actually been going to breakfast here for a while now, and yes, the sauteed banana pancakes is my knee-jerk response when ordering breakfast.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            D'oh - Forgot to read the time stamp... My bad.

      2. I love C&J, though I try to go not too often as their portions are humongous. My bacon and eggs are always perfect. I love the grits (disclaimer: being French, I have no idea what grits are suppose to taste like, but I really dig the ones at C&J). The pancakes are always too big for me to finish my plate. And I love their service, sweet and kind and polite.
        Weekdays when I want my French fare it's espresso & croissant at La Maison du Pain. The breakfast at Bloom is pretty good too. I used to think their service really sucked but the last 2 times I went it had in fact noticeably improved in speed and amiability.

        1. how much do breakfasts set you back at Cjs?

          4 Replies
          1. re: blackbookali

            Since you've decided to resurrect this 5 year old post of Dommy's I'll once again place my vote for the chorizo bowl at Ronnie's out there on the very eastern edge of where Culver City bumps up against Mar Vista and the Marina just before you climb over the top of Lincoln Blvd. and head down into the Ballona wetlands and Playa Del Rey.

            Don't forget to ask for your potatoes done "crispy!"

            See one of my prior posts about Ronnie's and the chorizo bowl here:

            1. re: Servorg

              Uh. I've kinda been avoiding reporting back because I hate to be a debbie downer... but we DID try and it was kinda 'meh'.

              In all fairness though, I did not get it with the potatoes... I got with the black beans. The precious dollop of chorizo they put on top of the bowl was no WAY flavorful enough to add any zest to what other wise was a pretty borning bowl of black beans (The black beans tasted straight out the can... not a hint o herb or onion or anything). The eggs were the best part of the bowl...

              They might make the chorizo in house and they get kudos for that, but if you compare the taste of their house chorizo v. the house chorizo of a place like Taqueria Las Anaya or EK Valley, the level of spice and luciousness doesn't compare. A pool of grease and spoon full of paprika does not a good chorizo make...

              Maybe I just got a bad batch and I really need to try it with the potatoes... However, to be honest, with the recent discovery of Del Rey Deli, it'll be a while until our next visit to Ronnies...


              1. re: Dommy

                With the potatoes crispy and the other ingredients, including the eggs with nice runny yolks, I can't see this being anyplace near a "meh" description as it has a flavor profile that absolutely sings like the fat lady with the horns on her helmet at the last part of the opera...But you've definitely put me off of ever trying it with black beans...for all time.

                (and just to let you know how I eat my bowl with the potatoes. First I add some of their salsa that is already on the table. Then I take my knife and I cut through the eggs and the tortillas at the bottom and just sort of get a good mix of everything, including the sour cream. Then I dig in...and I usually let out a little moan of pleasure that I try to keep from reaching the ears of the other patrons (if there are any on a Sunday morning at 7:30).

            2. re: blackbookali

              You know, I don't recall...but it's a pretty inexpensive place... If I were to rank the prices of the three above it would be:

              Serving Spoon
              Metro Cafe

              And none were in the price range of bruch at Jar, for example...


            3. "(you have no idea how many poached egg disasters we've had recently)"

              If it's anything like I've had recently then yes I do...
              I love poached eggs.
              In the last 3 weeks, while on vacation, I've ordered them regularly for breakfast. I'm amazed how many chefs have no clue as to what they actually are. Some were overcooked, some so runny they resemble soft boiled...
              Strange how they can hold a job not knowing how to make them.