C&M Cafe is a casual, counter-service cafe in Palms, which seems like a pretty straightforward concept. But the sandwiches are much more interesting than you'd expect.
Owner-chef (and Palms resident) Kalissa Krejcik says she wanted to create a menu of gourmet spins on standard breakfast and lunch fare that were far from "ordinary." The restaurant's website touts that its "potato salad, egg salad, hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, granola, energy bars, strawberry jam and ginger lemonade are all house-made." Krejcik prides herself on using fresh produce from the local Mar Vista farmers market.
C&M Cafe has lived in a few different locations, but about six months ago it moved to its current strip mall location, which it shares with the popular Scoops Westside. And the name? "Chicken" and "Monkey" are the nicknames of the owner's sons. Its lively logo is a stenciled cartoon of a cute chicken and monkey. Inside, one white wall of the small space is adorned with an assemblage of pots, pans and cooking utensils. This is a nice spot to while away an afternoon on your Macbook while sipping a gibraltar coffee — staff is generous with the Wi-Fi password.
But you'll get a sandwich, too. A popular vegan choice is What Abby Wants: house-made hummus (of course), sprouts, portobello mushrooms, avocado and a pesto aioli. Or go in the opposite direction with an 86'ed, a composition of seared pastrami, rare roast beef, creamy horseradish sauce and chili aioli. Bowls served up include a Hungarian-influenced, smoked paprika–laced pork belly selection. And yes, the cafe does have the ubiquitous avocado toast.
One of the breakfast sandwich favorites, the cinnamon roll French toast sandwich, contains a runny egg fried over easy, cream cheese, bacon, sausage and a small cup of maple syrup for dipping. It's the breakfast item made for those who can't decide between the epic conundrum of savory or sweet. You can even kick it up a notch by swapping out the bacon for griddled pastrami.
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C&M Cafe is a reasonably priced (nothing is over $12) addition to the diverse neighborhood. And Scoops is right next door in case you're craving some Jim Bean & vanilla, basil-yuzu or green tea-horchata ice cream, which will also make for an unbeatable bang-bang.
10640 Woodbine St., Palms. (310) 694-1516, cmcafela.com.