Sqirl

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Sqirl is a popular eatery on the east side of Los Angeles, and I try to go every time I’m in the area and the line isn’t crazy long. Weekdays are less crazy, and weird times are even less crazy. If you’re going at 11AM on a Saturday then just be prepared to wait.

Everything I’ve tried has been worth trying, including the sorrel rice bowl, the seasonal hash, stewed chickpeas with eggs, and the oft-grammed ricotta toast. It’s all simple and fresh and flavorful. Thumbs up!

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Sqirl

Cindy’s

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Cindy’s in Eagle Rock is the kind of place I have driven by a million times and thought about stopping, but never seriously enough to even slow down. It was looking a little pitiful, open really random hours, and half of the time had a film crew shooting in or outside. In the past year, Cindy’s was bought and sold and renovated, so things are a little different. On a lightly hungover Sunday, it was time to try it out.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the bright interior, freshly painted with big orange booths. There’s first-come-first-serve counter seating, but we opted to wait for a booth, and only ended up standing around for 5 or 10 minutes. That is rare luxury at prime brunch time on a Sunday in Los Angeles.

The menu is a fresher, healthier and more thoughtful version of classic diner food without losing the comfort aspect. It’s also priced accordingly, but compared to many brunch spots in LA, it’s reasonable. I ordered a waffle and a side of homemade sausage and my husband ordered brisket hash which comes with two eggs on top. We both heartily approved our choices–the waffle was light with a bit of a crunch and not too sweet, the sausage was full of spices (not the best I’ve had but solid), and Dan really liked his hash, which was full of fresh-diced veggies and seasoned with homemade hot sauce. The only dud was the black-eyed peas, but I think they’d be much better mixed into the hash rather than eaten alone. Plus, it’s hard to make plain old black-eyed peas exciting.

The service was friendly and the crowd was local, ranging from big families to young and old couples. We’ll definitely be back for another mid-day breakfast fix.

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Cindy’s

Trails Cafe

One of my favorite food spots in LA is the tiny Trails Cafe. It’s an adorable cafe nestled at the bottom of Griffith Park with outdoor-only seating, and exactly the kind of place I’d want to own if someone handed me a million bucks and said “open a restaurant please.” They offer a small menu–a few sandwiches, daily quiche and pies, a few pastries and drinks. It’s the perfect place to stop after a gaunt through the park and refuel. It’s usually full of cute dogs, too.

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Trails Cafe

The Village Bakery & Cafe

I was meeting a friend for a much-needed catch up breakfast, and decided on The Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village. Their food is always solid and the space is very inviting. I especially love their big pastry case full of sweets and their friendly staff. Obviously, the pastry case got to me.

Village Bakery and Cafe

Village Bakery and Cafe

They have these baked donuts that trick me into thinking that they’re healthy enough to get two. Two was too many, but they were both delicious. I also got a chai, which was really too many sweet things. It’s a dessert all on it’s own. To sum up: order one of these things, and you’ll be a happy duck.

The Village Bakery & Cafe