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Jul 23, 2012 10:30 AM

Early Bird - Fullerton

Went there on Sunday around 7:15am. We were only 1 of 2 tables. By the time we started eating the place started to fill up more ~ 6 tables. After tasting a bunch of breakfast items I hope the word gets out. This is the best breakfast I've had in the OC by miles and up there with any good breakfast place in the OC - John O'Groats and BLD were my two favorites in LA.

We ordered
- egg white omelet with red peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and cheese with hash browns and rye toast
- breakfast sandwich - fried egg with sausage, ham, red eye gravy on english muffin
- waffle with berries and whipped cream (compliments of the chef. Joe actually brought it out himself and we talked for a few minutes about kids).
- each of the egg plates also had a roasted tomato with fontina cheese baked on top
- side order of crispy bacon
- single origin coffee

Everything on the table was excellent. The quality of the ingredients was top notch. The bacon was crispy, porky, smoky, salty and delicious. The hash browns were the best we've had anywhere bar none. They were actually seasoned and flavored with chives, onions and other savory characters. Crispy on the outside and no need for salt, hot sauce or ketchup for these hash browns. We'll never be satisfied with regular hash browns that you have to douse with salt, pepper and some type of condiment. The eggs were fluffy and perfectly cooked. Each of the vegetables in the omelet maintained their integrity in terms of texture, color and flavor. There was real care put into the dish. The sausage and red eye gravy were lovely. I haven't had a ton of red eye gravy but this was mouth watering. I tried scooping up all the gravy that fell off the sandwich with anything in site.

The coffee was fantastic. We don't like the overly roasted bitter stuff at Starbucks. This was real good quality coffee with good balance between roasted notes and full flavor beans.

the tab was $36 total with tip. We'd easily spend that much at Original House of Pancakes. The servings were much more reasonable at Early Bird but the quality of the product far exceeds any other breakfast we've had in the OC. We're going next weekend for lunch and can't wait.

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  1. Sounds great and will go on my list for any future outings down that way. Thanks for sharing. I just had breakfast at John O'Groats on Pico at 7 AM this past Sunday. Great pancakes (as always). Got a "Cuban" sandwich to go for lunch later that day. Also quite tasty. My only complaint about the Cuban sandwich was that the potato salad was just not that good. I could have had fries, but those don't hold over well.

    1. Ths is SO cool. The new Jeff Mahon place? (Tho, I'm not sure he's a partner here?)

      I see a reuben and some fried chix (his fried chix was rather amazing)... And Bodhi Leaf is roasting beans? Fullerton just got really cool.

      6 Replies
      1. re: TonyC

        where was Jeff Mahon cooking at before ? have never heard of him.

        1. re: kevin

          It's actually Joseph Mahon. His most recent venture was Burger Parlor in Fullerton.

          1. re: OCSteve

            still doesnt ring a bell, was he primarily famous in Fullerton mainly ?

            1. re: kevin

              He was chef at Bastide for a while as well after the whole change of ownership and relaunch.

              1. re: js76wisco

                oh, now that makes sense.


              2. re: kevin

                Right. Sorry. Joseph Mahon. A fun interview by LA Weekly here: CIA, Sona, the whole bit.

                Was thinking Jeff Mahin @ Stella Rossa.

        2. You beat me into posting about this place. We went there around 1:30 PM on Sat and were looking forward to trying the lunch menu. They presented us with the brunch menu and it was more breakfast items with a few sandwhiches. I had my heart set on the hanger steak salad, but it was not on the menu and when I asked about it our waitress said they didn't have it and they will remove it from the menu, because only one person ordered it. I said what? That dish sounded so good. She highly recommended the Philly cheese and said that for $2 more I can have it with hanger steak. Sold. My husband had the open faced ‘truffle egg’ sandwich and he really enjoyed it. The egg was cooked perfect. My philly cheese was great also and I got it with a side of a delicous sweet potato fries. The coffee was from Rwanda and was roasted a few days prior. It was really smooth and easy to drink and reminded me of the Rwanda coffee we had at Hansome Coffee a while ago. It is hard to find smooth coffee in restaurants. They mostly serve acidic coffee. Service was great and we could not believe this place has been only open less than one week. As we were leaving, I said goodbye to one of the partners at the door and noticed chef Joeseph was standing next to him. I thanked him for the wonderful food and told him we came from Irvine and wished his place was near us. It took us four freeways to get there, but the quality of food, reasonable prices and great service will motivate us to return soon. His burger place will open soon. Fullerton is lucky to have chef Joseph.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrsjoujou

            Agreed about the coffee. We would literally drive there 10 minutes just for the coffee. We'll probably pick up some food while we are there though :-)

            While we were chatting with Joseph he mentioned that for the first week or so they are paring down the menu because they wanted to not overwhelm the kitchen and get everything perfect. I really admired this approach and there approach was very evident in the food and service. They have an open kitchen with a big cutoff near the front of the room so you basically hear everything in the kitchen. While we were sitting there I was eavesdropping and heard the chef instructing one of the cooks on how to prepare a dish and say, "we have to do everything perfect and a little better than anybody else."

            Can't wait for the burger parlor to open up.

          2. We had quite a different experience a little later on Sunday. We arrived about 11:15 and were told it would be a 20 minute wait. We were ok with that, and it was actually less than 15 minutes, I think. We were offered coffee while we were waiting, and it was brought promptly. The coffee was quite good. We were seated on the east side next to the large bare windows facing the parking lot, and I was glad it was late morning by then because it was a little warm. Our server said that they were aware of this and would be getting window coverings.

            I ordered the omelet with turkey, artichokes, caramelized onions, mushrooms and spinach, and opted for the skillet potatoes and rye toast. My husband ordered the Frank Floyd Benedict - like eggs benedict with a portabello mushroom. Then we waited. We waited a loooong time. After about 20 minutes, I noticed that no one around us had food. Finally, the table next to us got served. They had some problem with their order but I didn't hear the details. About 25 minutes after we ordered, the waitress brought us a comped dish of Greek yogurt, granola and fruit, with an apology for the delay. That dish was great.

            A few minutes after that, our order finally came. My husband loved his - it did look good, with eggs poached perfectly. Mine was a disappointment. The omelet looked strange, rolled up like a burrito. There was very little inside, and what was there was chopped into little tiny pieces. It tasted like it had been sitting a while. The potatoes were mushy but tasty. The best thing on the plate was the broiled tomato.

            The service was excellent, however. I realize they have been open only a week, so I am willing to give it another try in a few weeks.

            1. Since the OP already mentioned the omelets, I'll tack on the couple of dishes I tried that were different.

              - Duck Confit Hash w/ Golden Raisins) I'm a sucker for duck, so I had to order this one. The duck was well prepared, and the raisins helped offset a bit of the saltiness from the duck. My favorite dish of the four that we ordered.
              - Eggs Benedict w/ Smoked Salmon (and Portabella instead of English Muffins) This was a bit on the salty side as both the mushrooms and the salmon were salty, but still very good.
              - Fried "Dumplings" w/ Apricot Jam) These were amazingly light and fluffy...they didn't need the apricot jam. Chef Mahon came out and gave these to us as a "thank you" gift, but I would pay for them in a heartbeat.

              The coffee and hash browns...those have already been talked about, so I'll leave it at that. We were there for breakfast, so I'm looking forward to trying them for lunch soon.