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Break of Dawn - Laguna Hills

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Finally got around to trying this place after reading so many positive reviews here. Ordered the 3 course lunch: squash bisque, chicken stew, and chocolate creme brulee for $17. The bisque was a pleasant creamy starter, the chicken stew was hearty and a nice comfort food on a cold day. The chocolate creme brulee was out-fricking-standing. I'm not usually a big fan of creme brulee, but their chocolate version had me licking the plate clean. I'll definitely be back to try Break of Dawn's breakfast.

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Break of Dawn
24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

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  1. Thank you for the post. I've never been & am now curious. =)

    1 Reply
    1. re: OCAnn

      You've GOT to go.

    2. ocann,

      i've read many of your responses/reviews. can't believe you haven't been there. it is AMAZING. it is one of the few places we willingly drive to after church on sundays - from chino hills to break of dawn is a good 40 miles. absolutely worth it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jacknhedy

        Okay, okay...you've talked me into it, esp since north OC is closer to BoD than it is from CH. We'll try to go before the end of the year. =)

        1. re: OCAnn

          It would be hard to deny some support for this restaurant after reading the websites "our story" segment. I'll go before the years out too, for sure (and post here after).

          http://www.breakofdawnrestaurant.com/...

          1. re: Servorg

            It definitely pulls on the heartstrings.

      2. So is the 3-course prix fixe way to go or are there any other "must try" items?

        4 Replies
        1. re: OCAnn

          Prix fixe, shmix fixe. Get what sounds good to you. Their potted pate with bread and pickled eggs is outstanding.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            is potted pate like foie gras? is it pork based?

            1. re: kevin

              It is pork based; foie gras would be duck or goose. It's "potted" because it's cooked in a Ball jar which is plunked on a long plate with several sliced of grilled baguette and a small dish of sliced pickled egg and vegetable. It's absolutely delicious.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                sounds great. i missed that dish on the menu. will order it the next time i go for brunch!

        2. Ok, so you guys talked me into it and WOW! I mean W O W ! Before Mr OCAnn, b'fast always meant fresh fruit, yogurt & granola; post Mr OCAnn, it's been eggs, pancakes, etc. Nothing fancy, but typical fare you can find at any coffee shop; b'fast has alwasy been okay, but not spectacular. What was delicious about b'ast @ BoD is that it's b'fast food done well and creatively.

          Though I asked for recommendations, I went too early for either the 3-course or the potted pate (both which would have appealed to me later in the morning); but at 8am, the smoked salmon was appropriately lighter. It's more like a smoked salmon eggs benedict, with fried/grilled potato bread, smoked salmon, two beautifully poached eggs, and a delicious pesto sauce. I wanted to lick my plate. So to those of you who really encouraged me to go, THANK YOU! I'll be going back sometime soon to try the other menu items. =)

          4 Replies
          1. re: OCAnn

            Additional impetus to make a visit. Still planning on going before the new year rolls around. Thanks for sharing, Ann.

            1. re: OCAnn

              Although it's location has been referred to as "strip mall" I really like the outdoor seating here if available on a nice day.

              1. re: OCAnn

                Actually the cakes in the smoked salmon are oatmeal cakes. I wouldn't have believed it if the server hadn't been firm about it.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Really? Wow!

              2. Excellent place! Been going for years. It really is a hidden gem of a place and the story behind it really is quite something. Chef Dee has wizard level chef skills and the experience to match. It's really one of the best food places around, and you really can't beat the prices.

                You gotta try their hot sauce, the chef grows the peppers and makes it himself.

                1. I've been here a few times and last time got the casserole, nice and warm on a rainy day. So simple, but tasty. Basically a tomato based broth with some veggies, brick of tofu covered with cheese and served with some grilled bread. Although people talk a lot about the fusion dishes, even if you go straightforward, still delish. One of the fluffiest pancakes around....

                  1. You HAVE to have the Creme Brulee French Toast. It is super-foodgasmic!

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                    Break of Dawn
                    24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                    1. Finally dined here this morning. This is a phenomenal restaurant. I feel like typing the word phenomenal all in caps with multiple * preceding and following it, but I won't for the sake of those who might be offended.

                      We had one potato skillet which is beautifully roasted / caramelized new potatoes, bacon, cheddar poached eggs, guacamole and chipotle sour cream all served on a fajita style cast iron skillet set within a large wooden serving platter. This is a huge amount of food for $11 and it was so incredibly good. Words fail me.

                      One order of brown sugar crusted brioche with whipped cream and syrup. I didn't get a bite of this but the owner cleaned his plate down to the last morsel (and this is a guy who tends not to eat everything he gets most of the time).

                      Finally, one beef short rib dish which was literally falling off the bone with merlot poached eggs (the level of expertise in the poaching by the chef left me dazed). These eggs were purple and delicious. It came with a mushroom and taro ragout and a prickly pepper jus. The most expensive item of our breakfast, it was $17.

                      Total for the 3 of us was $45 plus tip and included 3 coffees.

                      The service was also outstanding. Welcoming, warm and very efficient. I can't recommend Break of Dawn strongly enough. Wonderful restaurant and a place I'm sure we will be back to again and again.

                      Do yourself a big favor and go as soon as you possibly can.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg

                        We dined here the same day as you. I loved the smoke salmon but I felt the potato skillet was too salty for my taste. The portions are very big and reasonable prices.

                        1. re: mrsjoujou

                          I am not very salt sensitive at all, but my friend who ordered the dish is and she didn't mention a problem. What was the salmon dish made up of? I don't recall it.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Coriander Cured, Oatmeal Galette, Herb Poached Egg,Marinated Tomato, Preserved Lemon-Caper Emulsion. The smoke salmon was great and I really loved the oatmeal galette.

                            1. re: mrsjoujou

                              I have to say that this chef offers some of the most creative dishes I have had in a long time (and that work in terms of the overall taste). That does sound great. Now I'm going to have to order 2 or 3 different dishes just to sample more of the menu... Thanks for sharing.

                      2. We went for early lunch today and had the lamb sausage & black rice and mac & cheese. Creative and delicious! I loved my sausage and rice dish, but found Mr OCAnn's mac & cheese a bit too heavy for me. After my last (and first) visit, BoD became my favourite restuarant. I'm still excited to return to try the other menu items. Mr OCAnn loved BoD as well. Two meals, two coffees, tax & tip: $45.

                        BTW, BoD is offering a $60 four-course, reservation only, dinner on Valentine's day. There will be two seatings: 17:30 & 20:00.
                        Course 1: strawberry & champagne
                        Course 2: duck confit
                        Course 3: choice of beef shortrib, poached salmon or cornish hen
                        Course 4: chocolate for lovers
                        Call 949-587-9418 for reservations