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Some of our favorites spots to start the morning
Set designers from Sony up the street seem to have had a hand in the old-timey decor at the S&W Country Diner. The menu updates yesteryear’s favorites: vegetarian eggs Benedict or eggs with sliced house-roasted turkey, buckwheat or regular pancakes embedded with crushed Oreos, and the meatiest lean corned beef hash in town. » 9748 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-204-5136.
Huevos rancheros are everywhere. But Monte Alban may be the only place to get a higaditos fiesta breakfast. The dish looks like matzo ball soup and is made by dropping minced chicken and beaten egg into an exquisitely flavored broth to form dumpling-like balls. Think south-of-the-border dim sum, with hot sauce on the side. » 11927 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A., 310-444-7736.
Breakfast at Square One Dining is a celebration of carefully sourced, mostly organic dishes offered until 4 p.m. Satiny hollandaise turns house-cured wild salmon and eggs on a potato pancake into a dazzling Benedict. Applewood smoke permeates the Nueske’s bacon. The hormone-free eggs are intensely flavored, and the grits taste of just-picked corn. » 4854 Fountain Ave., Hollywood, 323-661-1109.
At the busy Israeli-European bakery and café Aroma, patrons file in for lox and bagels and also for shakshuka, sunny-side-up eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, or sabich, a mini banquet of baked eggplant, egg salad, hummus, and greens. Pastries emerge from the stone oven hourly, and the house makes a grand array of fruit preserves. » 18047 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-757-0477.
For those whose idea of dim sum is limited to Cantonese delights, Yung Ho Tou Chiang is an eye-opener. Tuck into flaky green onion pancakes, rich turnip cakes, springy egg cakes, and a host of Eastern-style dumplings. Sweet and savory soy milks act as dips for yu’tiao (crullers) and their meat-stuffed cousins. » 533 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, 626-570-0860; 1045 E. Valley Blvd., Ste. A105, San Gabriel, 626-280-9317.