The most delicious morning haunts for breakfast or brunch
Your Go-To Girls for LA Gastronomy are in fact, us – Lisa and Diane Scalia of Melting Pot Tours. Welcome to a new – albeit armchair – extension of our Tours. Having long-considered ourselves your go-to-girls for food in LA, we are suddenly inspired to officially share more of the myriad of places we have come to know and love in our city and its unique neighborhoods.
Kindly notice that in all of our Go-To Girls posts, we’ll be honoring our traditional code of celebrating independently-owned restaurants, especially family-owned.
This post shines light on where to dine out on glorious southern California mornings, near the beach. Typically the year-round weather forecast will be … perfect. We hope you start a fantastic day by dining alfresco!
It is now officially the holiday season or, so they say.
Once upon a time, a really fun holiday season weekend activity shared by us three sisters – before two of us became Melting Pot Tours – was to dine out for breakfast, then Christmas shop together.
Now, with my first official post as your Go-To Girls for LA Gastronomy, I would love for you to consider the following for a really fun shared holiday season weekend activity.
Get up early on a Saturday or Sunday, get someone(s) you love, choose a fabulous place for breakfast or brunch that is not going to break the bank (as in, my list below), take leftover money and holiday shop in a new/different neighborhood. Shop independently-owned shops and boutiques. You’ll never know what you’ll find, who you’ll meet, what stories you’ll hear, or what new experiences await you.
The rest of my story is a comprehensive list of what we believe to be the most delicious and well-priced morning haunts for breakfast or brunch, in or around our South Bay Beach Cities of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo Beach. Kindly note that most only offer breakfast or brunch on weekends or even just Sunday, although many do serve breakfast daily as well!
We truly like and love these places, we love the people who are either cooking your food or responsible for cooking your food, and we approve of the service quality. Most importantly, they are the places we return to over and again so, we think you surely deserve to know about them.
Here comes the list, with links to websites or more information and, sometimes even my suggestions of what to order and where to shop afterward.
True Food Kitchen ~ Some of the best food on the planet I think! At least one fresh juice (see foto below, left) is a must. If Quinoa Johnnycakes are there, take them. Gorgeous setting and ambience. In The Pointe entertainment plaza, shop there afterward!
Superba Food & Bread ~ If they have Kouign Amann, the pastry from Brittany, France … don’t miss it. Don’t do no-carbs here … their bread is amazing and anything served on or with, is also a must! Also in The Pointe entertainment plaza.
Main Street Cafe ~ Cozy, really good food and service, truly a great local place. Take time to visit downtown Main Street afterward for some unique, small-town neighborhood shopping.
MB Post ~ Brunch only on weekends, reservations recommended. Seasonal menu so anything is great, but seriously consider the Chef’s specials and order them without hesitation, they end quickly! I’m guessing they’re world-famous by now for their Bacon-Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits.
La Playita ~ Long-time family-owned, right by the beach, order a house special for certain!
Downtown Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are both like-a-days-vacation sites for shopping, so consider exploring some boutique haunts while you’re in the neighborhood! Tabula Rasa in Manhattan Beach is a favorite shop of mine.
Korari West Bake Shop ~ So much of an obsession of mine, I’ve used one of their bakery cases as my opening foto for this story. Gluten-free breads and pastries make you think you landed in heaven. My favorite is their signature Almond Brioche. Wonderful coffees and, baristas.
Wildflower Cafe ~ Sammi is owner and, delightful, she and I go way back. I adore this place, unique menu items; try something on their toasted rosemary bread and maybe take a special cinnamon roll home for breakfast tomorrow.
Roman Aroma Italian Gran Caffe ~ I believe this is the most authentic Italian caffe outside of Roma, I adore Francesco for opening this place. If arancini or homemade cornetti are available, snap them up. They have Crodino and Chinotto soft drinks, and Gianduia chocolate bars from Torino. My world is more beautiful for this place having been born, this foto (right) is our table a few months ago.roman aroma table
Green Temple* ~ Brunch on Sundays only; THE BEST vegetarian menu anywhere, with a Zen-like, serene patio ~ an enchanting, restorative experience! My favorite brunch item is anything scrambled tofu, or with their creamy tofu sauce. Give my love to Elena and Steve, the very caring owners.
Sacks on the Beach* ~ Great coffees, juices, healthy dining, ocean-view patio seating, and even gluten-free sweets.
Turquoise* ~ Award-winning Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. Your host Hamid is lovely, the food and atmosphere here is like that of a divine experience. Everything is made in-house, so every menu choice is a good one. Specialty cocktails too!
Suburbia* ~ Opened earlier this year, highly recommended. I love the Shakshouka eggs dish. Breakfast is served til 3pm so, you can sleep in if you choose this option!
* These cafes are located in Riviera Village (my neighborhood), and for your holiday shopping pleasure, I recommend combing Catalina Avenue, and its offshoots to find exquisite boutique clothing and shoes (see our friends at Ribbons and Jonathan especially), spiritual talismans, aromatherapy, home furnishings, wine, unusual gifts (don’t miss Ten Thousand Villages!) – all at very fair prices. Shops are small so you are very likely to meet owners and other shoppers, for a true local experience.
If you’re a little hungry later, refresh with amazing gelato and sweets at Desserts by Patrick (the best French in the village), or consider daily Italian happy hour with our friend Silvio at Bottle Inn Riviera, 4-6pm.
Original Pancake House ~ Usually always hailed as the best place for breakfast in this area. Really hungry = the Apple Pancake. Lighter eaters might love the Junior Plate, which includes coffee, and you may upgrade to buckwheat or other pancakes for $2. OPH Is Close to Riviera Village, come shopping afterward! Perhaps you recall their pancakes from my last post.
El Burrito Jr ~ In the shopping plaza near Giuliano’s, tricky to find but well worth the search. Generous portions are well-priced, and perfect for hungry eaters who crave good Mexican. Nearby, across Torrance Blvd is Penzey’s Spices. Treat yourself to a look-see perhaps before exploring the newly-dazzling SIMON Del Amo Mall just down the street.
El Burrito Jr ~ Same fare as above, located near Hawthorne Blvd just north of PCH. Afterward, turn east on Hawthorne, toward Palos Verdes, and find Hawthorne International Market, to explore Persian and imported groceries, specialties, and gifts.
Eat at Rudy’s** ~ An iconic haunt in Torrance, they open around 5:30am! Quintessential fare – delicious egg dishes, waffles, pancakes, and other house specialties. Service is extremely friendly and hospitable.
Torrance Bakery** ~ I love them even more, because they opened in 1984 on my birthday! Family-owned and operated for all this time, anything from their bakery case with classic coffee equals a sublime experience.
** These places are in “Old Torrance” which district offers its own brand of local shopping. Antique and consignment stores are signatures, with a special antique fair every 4th Sunday of the month. Annual Holiday Antique Fair is coming up on Sunday, December 11.
Malaga Cove Market and Cafe ~ Lovely, caring, Armenian owners, very local place, counter service, great coffee!
Misto Caffe’ and Bakery ~ Long-time South Bay favorite with a wonderfully-varied menu and lovely service. Their bakery basket placed on your table is irresistible! Shown right, is their Oscar Benedict. Shop in their bakery before exploring Hillside Village afterward. oscar benedict misto
Eatalian Cafe’ ~ Authentic Italian for breakfast is always a good idea, especially if it means a great coffee with handmade bread/pastry or … a handmade breakfast pizza or pasta Carbonara is nice too 😉 The magnificent gelato counter ought to be open when you arrive.
Buon appetito, bon appetit, buen provecho, enjoy!
Until next time, I remain ~
Your Chef and Tour Maestra