[Los Angeles] Sqirl
Categories: Bakery, Breakfast/Brunch, Specialty Store, Café, American (New)
Address: 720 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, 90029 (Silver Lake)
Hours: Mon - Fri 6:30 am - 4 pm
Sat - Sun 8 am - 4 pm
Date visited: Sept 2013
Price: ~ $25 for two
Verdict: Loved it. Will definitely return.
If you’re feeling hipster or feel like grabbing your first meal of the day at a nonconventional breakfast/brunch spot, Sqirl is the place to go. I've always admired restaurants that can serve the simplest dishes and make them unforgettable. If you love toast and jam, you'll love Sqirl. Hit up this place immediately as they close at 4pm everyday!
Definitely indie and what you would expect to find in Silver Lake, Sqirl is a “sort-of café” that that has a small indoor communal table with a counter on the side, giving space for around 20 stools. On the outside patio, you’ll find a few more tiny bright orange coffee tables and some chairs. If you’re looking for eggs benedicts or other typical-brunch foods like pancakes and omelets, don't come here. However, if you enjoy eating homemade almost-everything and creative no-frill combinations and pastries, you’ll be satisfied here. The dishes are basic but thoughtfully prepared. The food's not cheap for the amount they serve but it's worth every damn penny.
Also, don't be fooled by the small clammy-looking establishment. The food here is bold and exquisite. LA Times Jonathon Gold’s description of this place is almost perfect:
If you are the kind of person who tends to subtract points from your Yelp scores for service at a place that exists to sell jam and coffee, you are probably not going to like it here.
But if you enjoy chaos as much as you do toast smeared with chocolate ganache and almond-hazelnut butter; toast with poached egg, lemon zest and cream; toast served with quince paste and transparent slices of prosciutto; or toast crowned with fried egg and greens, Sqirl may well be your favorite place in the city — as dedicated to eggs and green vegetables as Animal is to dangling bits of swine.
At most restaurants you are content to sit back and eat. At Sqirl, you may be tempted to throw on an apron and roll out the biscuit dough. In this micro-hedgehog moment in cooking, perhaps that is the point.
Here are the dishes I sampled:
Kokuho Rose brown rice porridge, Staus milk, toasted hazelnuts, strawberry-rose jam ($6.5).
When I think porridge in the Western sense, I imagine oatmeal-type fares but this was different. I’m a big fan of to Asian-styled rice porridges but this was different and just as good. Available cold or hot, infused with subtly sweet homemade jam, this is perfect if you’re craving for comfort food that’s not pho or Asian congee. Get it cold and it could be a perfect summer dessert as well!
House Mojama, crispy potato, salsa verde, mint, fried egg ($12)
In a nutshell, Mojaha is tuna “prosciutto.” The preparation and presentation is similar to Italian prosciutto—thinly sliced, salted and dried—but one bite into it and you’ll definitely taste the difference. This dish is a daily special and available only when available.
house-made Gravenstein apple-butter jam & butter.
The scone was crumbly and buttery on the outside, and perfectly not-too-dry fluffy on the inside. Mmm, and of course with the jam, they were a perfect pair.