Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Great Saturday Morning: Discovering Breakfast at Blu Jam

I'm a huge breakfast snob and I really don't like places that overdo it. Those that do so shall go unnamed. Why be a hater? But what I will say is some of the most highly touted breakfast places in LA, the places EVERYONE tells you to go to, are heavy, give you way too much food, and load up on the uber fatty ingredients. Maybe if you're a hungover breakfast goer, you really want to pour it on to cut through the cigs from the night before. But for me, I like places that give the ingredients a chance. And frankly, if everything is about butter, syrup, and creams -- what are they trying to cover up, you know?

The Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose between Martel and Fuller is a good, hearty, delicious, non-gloppy breakfast that uses fresh, high-quality ingredients. Meaning: You don't have to take a nap afterwards.

I'm an eavesdropper. That guy was telling them about his China trip. One more fact: he ordered the cornflake encrusted French Toast and man, it looked GOOD.
First off, can I just say, there is now, finally, a very cool service-oriented generation. For a good decade you'd go to many a restaurant and feel as if you were pissing off the people who work there by simply showing up for your reservation. They didn't want their jobs - and they were hard jobs, to be sure - but they kind of let you know they were too good for it. There's a FANTASTIC trend now toward amazingly good service. This is in spades at Blu Jam.

The Host Desk/Front Desk People were super nice, funny, on it and adorable. Loved these guys. And I'm sure had we arrived 20 minutes after we did we would have had a very long wait, but we had about 15 minutes and then were seated. This was shortly before 10am on a Saturday. Here's the other thing: very realistic seating expectations were set by the front desk. And they had our number and texted us when our table was ready so we didn't have to stand right in front of them whipping our heads around every time one of them would duck out from behind their "podium." Actually what we did was take the host's suggestion and went to their bar to get an ice coffee while we waited. It was pretty delicious and right after we ordered it, we were seated.

Norwegian Eggs Benedict at Blu Jam
This is what I chose: The Large and In Charge Norwegian Eggs Benedict with Dill Hollandaise, Spinach and Salmon. In NYC, on the Upper West Side, me and my friend Allison used to go to a place that called this dish Eggs Benny. Allison, if you read this blog please remind me the name of that restaurant joint! Anyway, Blu Jam's version was just as fantastic. And they had a little chive on it that added a light mellow onion touch. Though I could have had potatoes, I ordered the fruit. Considering I was having the Hollandaise I thought on some level I must be healthy. It's always a gamble. I've gotten so hosed with choosing fruit in the past because have you ever noticed when you order fruit in lieu of potatoes they give you pretty much every piece of fruit you don't normally eat and none of it is ripe? It's like hard, freezing cold melon varieties and if you're really unlucky you get some rind thrown in. Well, this was Farmer's Market fresh: Strawberries, grapes, pineapple, blueberries... tart and sweet and at the end of the day, I didn't just feel healthy, I felt respected.

Homemade Granola, Blu Jam
My husband got the granola which has like about 50 ingredients in it (almonds, coconut, flax seed, raisins, you name it). It was so freakin delicious. One of the best granolas in any restaurant I've ever eaten. They gave him a scoop of yogurt (you can get milk) and it was clearly not enough. So they gave him another scoop and I believe they did that free of charge. So nice of them.

French Press Coffee, Blu Jam style
At Blu Jam I had two cups of this Costa Rican (they have a different type daily). Super yummy, edgy, perfect. I could marry it. I'm beginning to think my relationship with coffee is in the unhealthy area. You know what I mean? I love it as if I can't live without it. And by the way, I can't. I might have to soon start to look at my coffee situation. Some day. We quit things in the order they kill us, right? And you know seriously, if I was killed by coffee it wouldn't be the worse thing. I'd certainly die energetically.

TD and our waiter
Doesn't that look like "the film's director" in the background? Or like I captured the image of a ghost? I know. But listen, I just want to say "hi" to our waiter because he was on it, sweet and nice, AND he had on that awesome vintage Yankees shirt (which he got in New Jersey 5 years ago) and I just want to say I had a shirt VERY SIMILAR when I was growing up. Though I have no current particular allegiance to The Yankees (I like both The Yankees and The Mets no matter what's happening or where they are in the running) I will say, seeing this shirt brought back good memories of evenings in The Bronx with my dad and made me like the restaurant more.

Afterwards, we ducked into the American Vintage which is on the same block but I decided I needed to get going. I was heading to Silverlake for a hair consultation (oh my God, it's out. I'm planning on cheating on my hair stylist. Did I already tell you?) and so on my way to my car I ran across this guy:

He had parked his brown Mercedes (sorry Adco, I didn't get a good picture of that and it was a very cool looking coche) and set up a tripod and started taking a video of himself dancing in front of this wall of graffiti:

Your body's on time and your mind is appealing
I asked him if he was the artist and he said no and then took off. God bless him.

Moving east towards my Consultation to Cheat Appointment in Silverlake, I had one final fantastic moment to my morning...

Saturday Morning Car Porn
While listening to "Blue Monday" - Saturdays seem to be 80's satellite radio time - I came across this particularly wonderful car and wanted to share it with you. By the way, Stir Crazy is a fun place for a cup of joe. It's on Melrose & Orange in Hollywood. It's a good writing cafe, you know what I mean? A place you can get a cup of java and plant it for awhile.

Anyway, after "Blue Monday" it was time to admit it. Morning was almost over. I was leaving the magical world and going into my day. So I put Paul's Boutique into the CD player (the mix by DJ Cheeba, DJ Moneyshot and DJ Food) and drove off to Silverlake.

Here's a link to that mix: 3 DJ Mix of Paul's Boutique. Super worth it. Great car music.

All in all, a most relaxing delicious sunny and enjoyable morning in a long while.

To recap: If you got a hankering for a really good breakfast, fresh ingredients, good service, strong and tasty coffee, trust me on this: Blu Jam Cafe. If you want to see some guy dancing in front of a great wall, go right behind the building in the alleyway of Martel, south of Melrose. If the need for good music in your car is required on a sunny Saturday, I recommend New Order's Blue Monday and the 3 DJ mix of Paul's Boutique. If you want a cup of coffee to write in your diary about your caffeine addiction, check out Stir Crazy Cafe in Hollywood.

No matter what, get in your car, open the windows, and turn on your music. It's a beautiful day.


Blu Jam Cafe is located at 7371 Melrose Avenue, between Martel & Fuller. 323-951-9191. They also just opened a second location in Sherman Oaks on Ventura between Kester and Sepulveda. They're open 7 days a week, 8 - 4pm. It's my understanding they don't take reservations. Also, the head chef and co-owner, Kamil Majer, is a sommelier. There is an array of carefully selected wines and beer, for those of you who partake. Street parking available. I've never been to the Sherman Oaks location so I can't speak to that but as for the Melrose spot, don't go when you're hungry. Be prepared to wait!

1 comment:

  1. I learned the restaurant in NYC was called Docks. Upper West Side. Maybe 88th & Broadway. Around there.