Hollywood Farmer's Kitchen
The theory behind this place is that they cook with local fresh produce, dairy and meat. They have signs showing where the meat comes from, where the produce comes from, etc. And the menu changes daily depending on what they have.
They have an army in the kitchen. I counted 8 people back there... which is a lot considering there are only16 seats in the place. These are at 4 tables which you share with others if you have fewer than 4 diners in your party.
So last weekend, while recovering from Halloween, we got two big pancakes with fresh apple baked in, and a peach sauce over the top. It was served with half a baked peach. They were large, fluffy pancakes, if a touch sweet for my taste. And the apples could have been caramelized for a slightly more complex flavor. But it tasted fresh, which I liked. The peach sauce and baked peach were spot-on.
We also got the traditional Eggs Benedict, which comes with a ¼ inch slice of ham and perfectly cooked eggs. The hollandaise sauce was nice and creamy, with a touch of citrus. It was served with freshly made hashed brown potatoes that were the best I’ve ever had. The potatoes were simply grated, pressed into a patty with some seasoning and fried. This was delicious, and served with a dollop of sour cream and fresh applesauce, which was just that: grated Granny Smith apples. No sugar, no nothing except the apples. This was quite a change, and the tartness perfectly balanced the hollandaise and sour cream.
Alongside, we had an order of heirloom tomatoes. This was a generous portion of 8 thick slices of different tomatoes. So they literally used 4 tomatoes to make this dish, providing 2 slices of each tomato so you can taste the difference and enjoy the different textures. Over the top, they drizzled some balsamic vinegar. This was outstanding, and like the other items, very fresh.
It’s right next to the Hollywood Farmers’ market. So after breakfast, if you go on Sunday, you can also buy your weekly produce. They also have lunch items on the menu.
They’re only open for lunch, except Sunday when they’re also open for breakfast. And they’re closed Monday and Saturday.
The Farmer’s Kitchen
1555 N. Vine Street (actually on Selma, a block west of Vine)
1555 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
I like this place a lot. The SO and I go just about every Sunday morning before buying our produce at the farmer's market. The important thing to remember is that it's a little inconsistent. Sometimes an item is fantastic and sometimes its only OK. (The potato pancakes mentioned by Lil Mikey were actually way better when they made them six weeks ago or so. They were OK this latest time, but absolutely phenomenal the first time.)
I think the inconsistency is because the staff appears to be mostly culinary students who seem to change pretty much every week. The chef is about the only person in the kitchen who seems to be a constant. The menu is also different every week. Certain dishes reappear although they're usually a little different in execution each time.
A lot of people will not like the fact that the food is not heavily salted or sugared. I happen to appreciate this. Think of it as eating at the home of a high quality and adventurous cook rather than the standard restaurant experience and you'll be happier I think.
I should also mention that it's very affordable for the quality of the food. $7 or $8 breakfast plates is the norm.