Twenty dollars doesn't go very far in Los Angeles. Hell, at some addresses on Sunset Boulevard, it barely pays for parking. What it can score you, however, is breakfast at Brentwood's FarmShop, which at the moment may be the most indulgence twenty bucks can buy.
Sure there are other good meals to be had for that kind of cash. Great ones, even. At the right place, a twenty can buy you enough dumplings, sliders, or gooey bean burritos to feed an entire family. Let's face it, though--a belly full of Lupe's #2 may make you stuffed and happy, but it doesn't leave you feeling particularly coddled. No matter how much you appreciate a dive or taco stand, sometimes it's nice to have someone make a fuss.
And does FarmShop ever know how to fuss. After filling your coffee mug with a strong LA Mill brew, one of the unfailingly polite runners will return to top it off from a still-steaming French press one, two, three times. When they make a fourth trip over to freshen your cup, you may actually grin stupidly with embarrassed pleasure. We did.
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Then, of course, there's the food. None of that fat-free muffin nonsense--the pastries, like a savory herb and goat cheese scone, are decadent. And while the fried breakfast potatoes may not impress (unlike the very fine fries that Jonathan Gold extolled, here), the breakfast entrees often do: Pale yellow clouds of scrambled eggs so light they verge on soufflé. A toasted croissant with fromage blanc topped with tissue thin slices of pear. Shirred eggs baked en cocotte, with sourdough toast to mop up their oozy yolks.
Be forewarned that in addition to featuring a very different menu, the weekend brunch scene is more, well, sceney. With every table filled, the room buzzes with voices and activity. We say, if you're going to spoil yourself, go all out: Play hooky, so you can enjoy the more peaceful hum of a weekday morning. And look for us, nursing our fourth refill of coffee in the corner...