While it was a perfectly serviceable meal with some very good points, The Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery in Santa Monica was one of those places that everyone told me I simply had to try in Los Angeles that just failed to really blow me away. It reminded me of a much more crowded, much less exciting version of Joans on Third in West Hollywood. Unlike Joan's though, during the breakfast or lunch rush there is a very good chance you'll order hot food then not be able to sit anywhere; you are not allowed to save a table until after you have queued and ordered. I feel this is an even more stupid situation in quite a small cafe than the fashionable thing in London where you can't book in lots of the newer restaurants; at least that serves a purpose.
However, one good thing I did take away from my meal (the food was good, just not stand out good) and my experience at the restaurant was this breakfast/ brunch dish that I have stolen: Green Eggs & Ham (hello Dr Seuss fans!) It was a lovely dish, but you know those times when you are in a restaurant when you feel you can do a better job of whatever you are eating at the time, back in your own kitchen?
Green Eggs & Ham at The Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tbsp Fresh Pesto
- 4 Slices Parma Ham or Prosciutto
- 1 English Breakfast Muffin
- 1 Very Large Handful Fresh Rocket (Arugula)
- Sea Salt Flakes (I use Maldon)
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Slice the muffin in half down the middle and lightly toast. Arrange two slices of parma ham or prosciutto, covering each half of the toasted muffin. I know most of you out there, like me will just get your muffins from the store, but if you fancy trying your hand and making your own, Lottie + Doof has a recipe that looks pretty good. Top each half with a sunny side up fried egg (Izzy has a brilliant tutorial for getting the perfect fried eggs every time (I use her technique but with olive oil instead of coconut oil) over on her amazing blog Top With Cinnamon. It is not fair she is this talented at only 17 years old!) and spoon half the pesto over each egg. You need to use fresh pesto for the flavours to work, and to be runny enough to work in this recipe too. You can either buy this from good supermarkets (think Waitrose in the UK, Whole Foods in the USA) or from a deli in the fridge section, or you can make it yourself; BBC Good Food, my go to source whenever I want a recipe for something, as an easy to follow version. Finally, sprinkle over a few sea salt flakes, crack over some black pepper and sprinkle the rocket. Enjoy!
I personally do not like granola, but as most of the time I'm brunching in Los Angeles I'm accompanied by my friend Evie who loves the stuff, I have been on something of a granola tour of LA and I can tell just from this photo that Huckleberry does have something other granola offerings on the cities brunch menus does not have; they do not skimp on the amount of fruit they serve it with, which as granola is dry, I should think is important.
Another recipe discovery of mine from Huckleberry Cafe is the Arnold Palmer, a half and half mix of iced tea and lemonade named after the American golfer, Arnold Palmer. As someone who likes her iced tea flavoured and/ or sweetened, I don't know how I did not know about this new brunch favourite before now.
When I posted a picture of Huckleberry's impressive looking case of baked goods on Instagram it seemed to gather a lot of attention, both on Instagram, Twitter and on my personal Facebook page. After my meal I tried one of their chocolate sandwich cookies; it was basically my Double Stuff Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Filled Cookies, but made with Italian Meringue instead of Marshamallow Fluff, and half dipped in a dark chocolate ganache. It was a good cookie, but nothing to get jump up and down excited about. If you are passing or you live nearby, their all natural baked goods will hit your sweet spot, but not something I'd make an excursion to make sure I tried.
Have you ever had a meal in a restaurant which you have gone on to recreate yourself at home?