Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Jack n' Jill's, Santa Monica
going downhill on the driving range
Brief lessons spent on golf last year, and most of what I remember is to hold the 7-iron as if I'm holding a wet sponge. Trying not to grip it too hard, I relax, breathe and focus on the ball.
And the club hits the top of the ball, and I've hit a grounder. I've swung too high.
So when MS, EDnBM, and I went to hit a few golf balls at the Westchester range on a bright Sunday morning, I knew that my little patch of green turf and I were going to have a long morning together. With my beach flipflops and golf glove at home, I took my borrowed club and faced my demon. But because of my lack of skill and hand-eye coordination, the distinct whack of the club hitting the ball right on its sweet spot proved extremely difficult. With thuds, a whack, and more duds on the driving range, I worked up a pretty mean appetite for brunch.
That's when we met up with MK at a great breakfast place he frequents with his girlfriend. With impeccable food tastes and the memory of reading Jonah's post on LA.Foodblogging.com, I knew we'd be in for a treat at Jack n' Jill's Cafe & Bakery.
With parking an unpredictable mess in the mornings, we scored a metered spot on Santa Monica Blvd right in front of the library and just a couple blocks east of the little yellow storefront cafe. The few quarters we had gave us about an hour and a half out of the 2-hour limit, and we met MK there to find out we were next up on the list to be seated. While we waited, we sipped on some complimentary and very refreshing Organic Green Iced Tea on that warm summer morning. Major brownie points for the free drink that's typically $2.25 a glass.
The street level of the restaurant housed the loud, busy and fairly open kitchen/ordering area, bathrooms in the back, and small tables crammed together in the front. Up the stairs was a loft with more crammed tables for 2-4 people. We chose a table downstairs that had seemingly a little more room, and placed our orders at the front counter.
With my workout earlier in the morning, I was in the mood for a hearty yet healthy meal so I opted for the Savannah Strawberry Organic Oatmeal Pancakes [8.50]. A stack of three huge fluffy hotcakes topped with deliciously sweet and fresh strawberries and sprinkled with some powdered sugar - only needed just a small dollup of the thick maple syrup that came with the dish. Too bad I could only eat my way through half the pancakes. I did, however, eat all the fruit. And I washed it all down with their just enough sweetness and very refreshing Organic Tropical Iced Tea [2.25].
MS and MK both ordered the Breakfast Panini [pictured in collage above, 9.95]. Three over hard eggs and turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and avocado all grilled into a crispy Panini with a side of potato hash - made for an even heartier meal. But the kicker that made me jonesing with breakfast-envy was EDnbM's Chili Strata [not pictured, 9.95]. Made with a bed of crispy hash browns, they add their Texas Steak Chili, jack and cheddar cheese, and 3 eggs cooked any style. SO GOOD, I'm salivating just thinking and writing about it...
And in fact, it was SO GOOD that one morning last week, I wanted something like it at home.
Without the time nor patience to cook a real homemade steak chili, I turned to my trusty childhood chili favorite in a can - Hormel sans beans. I had some leftover egg whites from making chocolate souffles from the night before so I poached them for a nice hard-boiled consistency while I cooked another egg over-medium. I checked the pantry and one small potato greeted me with an eagerness to be my morning breakfast. A quick chop, salt and pepper shake, some minced garlic, and sliced up tomato over EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for the food network deprived) made for a quick and easy hash. So the Japanese-Hawaiian style in me, I plated a scoop of leftover rice nuked in the microwave, topped it with the potatos and scoop of Hormel chili, poached egg whites cut into a nice eatable sphere, and over-medium egg with extra pepper and a dash of salt.
My version of the Chili Strata meets Loco Moco definitely hit the sweet spot I was craving.
A power meal that leaves me ready for the next battle on the range.
Jack n' Jill's Cafe & Bakery
street: 510 santa monica blvd | santa monica, ca | 90401