The Penthouse in Santa Monica for Breakfast 7 AM Sunday
The good was the food. Better corned beef hash than I anticipated. Turned out in a circle mold, so you get a pretty, (though very dated and passe) architectural presentation. They gild the lily by adding hollandaise...but it was actually a good adder from taste, if not a health, standpoint. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked with soft yolks and set whites. The portion size, while not being exactly large, was ample (and it's richness added to the feeling of fullness). I got a toasted bagel with it for an up charge.
My wife had the Belgian waffle with whipped cream and strawberries with a side of apple wood bacon. Very nice also and plenty of bacon in the side. The give each person a little metal "coffee pot" with enough coffee to have more than a couple of the very large cups. The coffee was quite good. Strong without threatening to strip the enamel off your teeth.
The (expected) bad was the cost of the breakfast. $53, plus tip. The view would have been fine if the fog hadn't picked that time to roll in, but my biggest gripe was that they didn't have the air on in the section where they were seating everyone (all 4 of us at that time). Too hot in there, even early.
The service from the bus boy and waiter was very good but the kitchen is a little on the slow side getting the food out, even with no one there. I wonder how long it would take if they were busy?
All in all the breakfast was nice, but just not something I'm going to do often based on cost vs value received. Maybe if the view had been clear I'd have felt differently? Nah!
$53 for 2 breakfast entrees and coffee? Yikes. Although I guess to be expected, given the environs. I do think for an out-of-towner (or even someone who doesn't come to the beach very often), a beautiful view (and I imagine the view must be spectacular on a good day) probably does make it worth it....
Have you tried their happy hour? If so, is the food any good? And is the price/value ratio any better? I've not been the Penthouse but would like to try it. Was hoping to do so w/o breaking the bank (too much)....
I really wasn't shocked by the check as I expected it. Just hard to justify that amount for a meal that, at the most for two of us, normally runs $35 on the upper end and $18 on the lower.
One other gripe, but something that not only the Penthouse is guilty of...Can they make two tops any smaller? I was juggling everything just to keep from knocking my water on the floor or pushing the bagel plate off the edge. I finally put both water glasses and the sweetener tray up on the tiny little window ledge. And they could have easily sat us a 4 top as the only people in there until we were nearly done with our meal was one other party of two.
I had breakfast there once about 2 years ago at 6AM on a beautiful summer day. All by myself in a double window (West and South facing) corner table. All I remember about the food and service was that it was not memorable. But the view - spectacular! Worth every over-priced penny!