This place used to offer anything on the breakfast/brunch menu, if you came on Saturday or Sunday before 10AM, for $7.95! Ah, those were the days! And the food they offered for brunch was some of the most inventive in town. Now, you pay full price anytime all the time, but the food is still better than most breakfast joints. Their homemade granolas are incredible. I have it topped with fresh fruit and vanilla yoghurt. The fruit is always well selected and very fresh. They make about six different benedict dishes that all have the potential to make this place legendary. The ingredients are always fresh as can be and the hollandaise needs just a bit more lemon to make it perfect. However (and this is a BIG however), they really have an overall problem with plating. It effects everything they serve but it almost ruins the benedicts. I know hollandaise is a delicate suace that can't get too hot, but how you deal with that is too make sure you pull all the ingredients together quickly. Pull the eggs out of the poaching trays, get 'em atop those slabs of Canadian bacon and pour the sauce on and GET IT TO THE TABLE. The eggs should help warm the sauce a bit in this scenario, but it seems they are always putting luke warm sauce on top of eggs that have gotten cold. The dish comes to you tepid and makes you think it has been sitting around. Not too appetizing. Sad, as I know from the flavors they have a potentially great benedict. Too many other inventive and mighty tasty dishes to mention but I can say the pancakes are quite delicious! All portions are very generous and the prices, even though not as low as days of yore, are still really fair.
I've been going to this restaurant because they have that hard to find authentic home style taste and they make tortillas fresh - on the spot - and they're so good you could eat them by themselves. Their menu is just right, having all the components that make up just about every dish you can think of - it's a small (hole in the wall) restaurant and at times you may have to wait 10 minutes, but it's worth it and you will see people waiting - why? Because honestly, there's almost no dish that is not good (and they serve menudo and cocido every day, even birria!) - and there are some that are just plain great. Before my mother passed away I would go to lunch with her all the time and she was a great cook, so she was as picky as the sun is hot - and more then 1/2 the time when I asked her where to? She'd say, with a smile on her face, 'Chispa!'....which made me happy to make her happy. I couldn't rate this any better, to impress my mom meant you took care in the details (to mom that was roasting fresh chiles, cooking on low heat when necessary, fresh ingredients, just the right amount of spices - never too salty or bland, salsas that let you know someone knows how to cook and consistant, consistant, consistant). And everyone there is friendly and they already know what I like -so I don't even have to say the whole dish (lengua en salsa de tomatillo con frijoles y arroz - THE BEST!) - I almost regret rating it cause that means I might have to wait longer....but my mom shared this place so can I. Take your parent(s) out to this little place...they'll want to go back and so will you.
I never give any restaurant five stars unless they're so far out of the ordinary - in a good way - that I want to give them the kudos they deserve. No, this isn't a rating for the ambiance of the restaurant - it's in a mini mall on Sunset and the decor inside looks mini-mallish. But the special feeling starts from the moment you enter, as the owner greets you as if you were a member of his family. That treatment continues via the expert service from the waitstaff. I've eaten at nice and dive-y restaurants all over the world, and the service is on a par with an excellent restaurant in Paris or London. The food is the star of the show, however. It's simply superb. Waaay superior to most restaurants in the L.A. area. Everything is suffused with a huge amount of flavor. You wouldn't think a mixed baby greens salad could taste this good, but it does. And the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp ... drool. One of my favorite entrees is the linguine with seafood (with shrimp, scallops, calamari and clams - I had to look all this up on their website). Wow - I felt like I was sitting in my fave little ristorante on the Amalfi Coast. I'm not a cow eater, but my friends have gone into rapturous states, just describing their veal dishes. Then there's the shrimp scampi ... again, drooool. Don't even think you can just show up - you have to have a reservation. Aroma hit the newspapers a few years ago for showing celebrities the door, since they hadn't booked in advance. A true Silver Lake gem.