Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cora's Coffee Shop - California Dreamin'

I'm a bit tardy in posting about my trip to L.A. in part because I forgot the link from my camera to my computer, so I figured I'd wait until I could post pics and text. Then, after arriving home last Monday, I was over taken by events here and well, now I'm beginning to catch up.

One of the reasons I've always loved L.A. (yes, I really do love it), is because it is a wonderful food town. Another reason is because of the outdoor lifestyle that can be found there.

I've had so many great times in L.A. that combine these two aspects of life - many of which were actually in winter. Drinks of the rooftop of a building that we just finished developing, a multi-bottle wine fest on a crisp February night overlooking Huntington Beach and on this trip, cocktails on the Getty's patio overlooking downtown L.A. on a clear night.

So, upon reflection I guess I should also add drinking, to outdoor lifestyle and food!

Well, last Friday I had another one of these L.A. moments. After two successful days of business in town, I found myself with a free morning before my afternoon flight to Phoenix. The weather was perfect; Sunny, a slight breeze off the Pacific, and only a faint chill remaining in the air, I walked out of hotel on the ocean and headed to Cora's.

I had been walking past Cora's for the previous two days and from the moment I saw this place I was intrigued. The food savant in me recognized immediately that this smallish joint with only a couple seats inside and an ivy enclosed patio would be the perfect spot for a nice leisurely breakfast. Unsurprisingly, I was not wrong and Cora's offered a brief respite from the constant L.A. vibe.

I chose a small table on the patio, natch, and began to review the menu:

  • Orange Pancakes and Blueberries

  • Huevos Rancheros

  • Caprese Omelet

  • Smoke Salmon & Eggs Panini

"Oh boy!" I thought, "What in the world am I going to do!"

After some deliberation, I chose a prosciutto omelet with cheddar cheese, and opened my Journal to catch up on the day's news. As other orders passed my table I noticed something kind of cool about Cora's food. It was kind of an obsessive/compulsive's dream! Pancakes were fluffy and perfectly formed. Omelette's were shaped like little cylinders with nary a spec of egg out of place. "Weird", I thought since the rest of setting was so casual and relaxing. Still it was oddly nice, kind of a yin and yang sort of thing.

I couldn't wait to get my food.

My breakfast arrived in short order and I was not let down. The same perfectly formed that I had seen pass my table was there in front of me accompanied by a perfectly square piece of thick brioche toast and a roasted 1/3 wedge of potato. My waiter cracked some fresh pepper over my food, and I was ready to eat.

The omelet was very nice. Not fluffy and dry like so many places, it was almost perfectly cooked. Just the right amount of mildly sharp cheddar and chopped prosciutto were tucked neatly (of course!) inside. I can't be sure, but I'd swear that it was cooked in olive oil instead of butter, which was a nice touch. The potato was roasted so that it was crispy on the outside, yet full of moist potatoey goodness on the inside. Cora's kept me in a never-ending cup of Illy coffee to complete a lovely breakfast experience.

So, to sum up, go to Cora's. It's on the Ocean, just north of Vincente on the west side of the street. Tell them Mr. Monk sent you. I'm sure he's a big fan.

Update: Wow. Looks like I need to change the date on my camera!

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