If you like it then you should have put an egg on it. That's what we think, anyway. Eggs, once relegated to breakfast plates, have come a long way in recent years, and many chefs are plopping eggs on all kinds of dishes. We're not complaining.
Here in L.A., we have eggs on Korean-American rice bowls, eggs in burritos, eggs in sandwiches -- and yes, plenty of wonderful breakfast and brunch egg dishes. Here are 10 of our favorites.
10. Breakfast burrito at Lucy's Drive In
Ah, Lucy's -- the Platonic ideal of what a breakfast burrito should be. Every aspect of the reasonably sized, $5 morning meal is perfectly reasoned. The eggs are fried well, with just enough softness at the yolk to let you in on all that flavor. The bacon is thin but substantial, and mixed around inside so as not to leave any individual bite without a taste of the pork. The hash browns are served as a thinly fried slip, crispy at the exterior and soft inside. Toss in some shredded cheese to bind it all together, plus a few cups of their thin salsa roja, and you've got a simple meal that just feels like what a perfect breakfast burrito should be. 1373 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; 323-938-4337.
9. Green eggs and ham at Bucato
At brunch, chef Evan Funke presents many of the same components that make dinner so compelling. Some dishes he tweaks just slightly to make them more brunchy, and some utilize dinner menu ingredients in new and lovely ways. The wonderful pesto Genovese that at night coats gnocchetti is used at brunch for Bucato's take on green eggs and ham -- two sunnyside eggs on house-made English muffins with a pile of delicately piggy prosciutto and a smattering of arugula. It's like a breakfast you'd make at home, but taken up about five notches. 3280 Helms Ave. Culver City; 310-876-0286.
8. Sunchoke soup at Alma
Alma chef Ari Taymor's best dishes all seem both unexpected and somehow predestined, each exactingly selected component melding and harmonizing with the others. The sunchoke soup, which is perhaps the one mainstay of the menu since the very first Alma pop-up, is poured over an egg yolk and a paste of smoked dates. The result is a silky, generous, surprising dish that seems like a musing on the earthy aspects of the color yellow. It's a use of egg that is both surprising and also makes total sense. 952 S. Broadway, Los Angeles; 213-444-0984.
7. Rice bowl at Chego
There are a number of chefs to whom you could give credit/blame for the current "put an egg on it" fad among hip eateries, and Roy Choi is certainly one of them. His rice bowls at Chego have come in a number of incarnations over the years, but our favorites have always included a fried egg on top, melding the other flavors and ramping up the decadence of the experience. Currently, you can get "The Beefy T": hot chili fried rice, diced prime rib and braised shoyu garlic paste all topped with a fried egg and fried shallots. 727 N. Broadway, Unit 117, Los Angeles; 323-380-8680.
6. Anson Mills Grits & Eggs at Milo & Olive
Finding good grits is hard in L.A. -- finding good breakfast grits is even harder. So the bowl of grits and eggs served at Milo & Olive for breakfast and brunch comes as sweet relief for those of us who understand the glorious possibilities of savory hot breakfast cereal. The dish comes in a big bowl: hot grits, seasoned just right, with two eggs floating somewhere beneath the surface. If you've had bland, cardboard-tasting grits before, these grits will probably be a revelation. Anson Mills, located in South Carolina, produces coarse-ground grits that taste of sunshine and corn. Milo & Olive's grits and eggs come in two versions: one with mushrooms and herbs, and one with house-made pork belly sausage and braised greens. Both are delicious, but the sausage and greens version is better, mainly because of the greens. The sausage is fantastic as well, not as fatty as you'd think, but still rich and savory. And the braised greens provide a slightly bitter, fresh counterpoint. Savory breakfast can be hard -- it gets tiring to pay $12 for two eggs and a piece of toast. This dish is as creative as it is comforting, a fun take on a classic Southern breakfast. 2723 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica; 310-453-6776.
5. Brisket hash at Tavern
The brunch menu at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's Tavern is more classic than progressive, with eggs soft-scrambled, baked, or served poached as a Benedict. We've seen enough menus offering beef hash to know that it's all about the execution. When we visited, there were no misses in any component of a brisket hash with sunny-side eggs and mild horseradish cream. 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; 310-806-6464.
4. Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
Egg salad is just egg salad, right? Something snatched from cold deli cases wrapped in cellophane or whipped up for a last minute brown bag lunch. Until we began frequenting Sumi Chang's Pasadena bakery, we might have even argued that the best version of egg salad was the one you make at home, gussied up with a little mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. But Chang, who years ago trained under Nancy Silverton before leaving to open her own shop, elevates the humble sandwich to a whole other plane of decadence. The eggs are boiled just long enough until the yolks are set but still soft -- a gooey bright yellow plasma many a Caltech student has no doubt pondered over. The mixture comes out lighter and more delicate than anything made with egg yolks and mayo has any right to be, offset by a thin spread of sun-dried tomato pesto, a handful of arugula, and a sprinkling of cracked pepper and chives. The sandwich arrives open-faced on a slice of fresh rosemary-currant bread -- who would ever want to cover up sandwich like this? 950 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; 626-577-1828.
3. Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
This breakfast dish, also named for the Dr. Seuss book, has been on Huckleberry's menu since 2009, when Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb opened their Santa Monica bakery and cafe. The eggs are sunny-side up, the pesto is of the delicate rather than the rustic variety, the prosciuitto -- from the Iowa prosciuttificio La Quercia -- is supple and subtly gamey, the arugula is flavorful rather than the bitter stuff (too old) that you find on many menus, and the muffins are made in-house. Of course they are: Nathan is one of our best bakers, not just in this town but in the country. 1014 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica; 310-451-2311.
2. Kokuho Rose brown rice bowl at Sqirl
What began as jam-maker Jessica Koslow's "collaborative, pop-up toast-and-coffee experiment" is rapidly evolving into one of the most beloved quirks of its neighborhood. Sqirl opened as a tiny storefront on the Silver Lake/East Hollywood border, where Koslow quickly got the city's attention serving toast. But it's her rice bowls that really bring breakfast to another level, and particularly the Kokuho Rose brown rice bowl: brown rice with sorrel pesto, preserved Meyer lemon, lacto-fermented hot sauce, black radish and French sheep feta, topped with a poached egg. 720 N. Virgil Ave., E. Hlywd.; 213-394-6526.
1. Eggslut's Coddled Egg in a Jar
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The Egglsut truck's signature dish, Thee Slut, is comprised of a lovely coddled egg, potato puree that seems to contain as much butter as it does potato, a sprinkling of chives, and grains of coarse gray salt that you spoon from a glass jar meant for baby food. You'd think it was a riff on Joël Robuchon's egg steamed in a martini glass topped with a Chanterelle mushrooms and cream foam, only when we asked chef and co-owner Alvin Cailan, he cited his inspiration as a technique he learned in culinary school for cooking an egg in a coffee cup. Soon you ought to be able to get Thee Slut at Grand Central Market too, where Eggslut is opening a stand. eggslut.com.
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