The Westside has plenty of places to get breakfast, but they’re pretty fancy, with fancy prices. My family is looking for a really good, plain old coffee-shop breakfast, like Rae’s — only better, preferably with shredded hash browns. Any thoughts?

—T. Flinders


Not so long ago, the Westside could reasonably have been called the world capital of great, old coffee shops — moderately priced restaurants with pop-Taliesin architecture, infinite counter space and good patty melts. Now? Mostly gone: changed into health-food restaurants and soul-food shacks, dentists’ offices and juice bars; bulldozed for parking lots or retrofitted with cheap, mass-marketed versions of the actual fixtures that were torn out to make room for them.

As I see it, the choices are three. You could opt for the endless lines and great coffee at John O’Groats, which is cheerful rather than glamorous but has very decent baking-powder biscuits and smoked pork chops. You could battle for parking at DuPar’s in the Farmers Market, an old-line coffee shop that does serve truly formidable French toast. Or you could park outside the old Ship’s sign on La Cienega at Olympic and weep. John O’Groats, 10516 W. Pico Blvd.; (310) 204-0692. DuPar’s, Third Street at Fairfax Avenue; (323) 933-8446.

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