The Colony Cafe/Papa's Porch: Yay! Healthy Brekkie Around the Corner

— by Caroline on Crack

Yesterday, Dre and I felt like taking a walk to breakfast. It was a gorgeous morning and some exercise would do us good. But instead of our usual standby, John O’Groats, we decided to check out the Colony Cafe. We had passed by it on our way to JOG the day before but were put off by its sterile chain-restaurant vibe.

Still curious about it, however, I decided to give it a looksee online to see what was up with it. Judging it from the outside made me think it was another Champagne bakery sorta place but with pricey $12 breakfast items. Now I know I shouldn’t judge a restaurant by its exterior cuz online reviews told another story. Not many reviews about its breakfast fare but we decided to be adventurous.

Getting there around 11:30 on a Sunday, the place was pleasantly quiet. None of the huge families with strollers blocking the entrance or kids running around shrieking. Actually there was one little girl, she must have been 2 but she was kind enough to get the door for us and then move out of the way. Aw!

I got to the front counter of Colony Cafe quicker than I anticipated and hadn’t had time to check out the breakfast fare since the menus overhead only displayed burgers, salads and lunchtime stuff like that. Then I saw the small menu near the register. The cashier looked annoyed as I quickly scanned it. I tried to be fast! And she seemed further aggravated when another couple walked in behind us and I still didn’t know what I want. But they didn’t know what they wanted either! Sheesh!

So I just blurted out, “Egg white scramble, please!” WTF? Where did that come from? On the walk here I had made up my mind that I wanted to try the yogurt and granola. Oh well. Dre had more time than me so she asked for the Fried Egg ($8.25). Hers sounded yummier than mine as it was fried egg with cheddar cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomato and bacon on a toasted croissant. Mine was $8.25, too, and consisted of egg whites scrambled with onions, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, grilled eggplant and chevre on toasted whole grain. Eh, I was trying to be healthy.

I wanted to try one of their fancy pomegranate limeade thingamajiggers but didn’t see it on the menu above so just settled on a regular coffee. The cashier then handed me my receipt and told me to pick up my coffee next door. Wah?

And sure enough, once I walked through the doorway to the adjacent yogurt shop, Papa’s Porch, I saw a big, beautiful menu that listed not only the variety of coffee drinks available but smoothies, desserts, baked goods and my desired yogurt with granola. Man!

So naturally I had to order a smoothie. They just all sounded so good. That’s right, not only did I get breakfast and coffee but I got a nice, thick smoothie called Tropical Bliss. This yummy concoction consisted of vanilla yogurt, mango, pineapple, ginger, coconut and banana. And it tasted like heaven! That ginger gave it an extra little kick, making it taste like nothing I’ve ever had before.

I then stood back and looked at all the baked goods on display on porcelain cake platters: brownies, carrot cakes, lemon bundt cake and coffee cakes. I wanted to cry. So happy this is just in walking distance of my place. There was also this beautiful long bowl filled with a gorgeous-looking fruit salad — strawberries, blueberries, melon, bananas, etc. Further down the counter was an area for yogurt toppings like chocolate chips, fruit and nuts and in still another case was an ice cream freezer. So. Many. Goodies.

After snapping some pictures, one of the counterpeople said, “Excuse me, you can’t take pictures here.” I immediately apologized and asked for a menu. But I always wonder why people are overprotective like that. I’ve encountered this “no photography” attitude at places like Sprinkles, Pinkberry and Velvet Margarita Cantina. What gives? Haven’t they ever heard of Flickr? Anyhoo, suddenly feeling like the counterperson now hated me, I retreated to my table outside.

What a gorgeous view of…Pico Boulevard. It’s funny that the restaurant’s name and exterior evoke a beachy vibe more befitting of Malibu Colony than a street in West L.A. with a view of Islands, furniture stores and sewing machine repair shops. And instead of the soothing sounds of waves crashing, you’ve got the steady roar of traffic. Ah well.

Fellow breakfast patrons included some really good-looking young folks donning large designer sunglasses as well as some older people dressed in tourist-standard long shorts and polos. Dre was checking out a really cute, well-dressed guy at the next table who seemed to be having brunch with his mom. I couldn’t check him out since he was sitting right behind me.

Instead I took comfort in my breakfast sandwich. There wasn’t as much chevre as I would have liked and I got jealous every time Dre said, “Mmm, this is soo good” about her sandwich. I watched enviously as she smacked on its bacon, cheddar cheese and avocado. Those are three of my most favorite ingredients! Dammit! Next time.

BTW, I returned to the restaurant today to try out their lunch menu and wasn’t disappointed. I ordered up the BLTA ($8.25) with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo on a brioche as well as a side of garlic fries ($2.75).

Taking it to go, I dug into the fries on the drive back to my office since there was no escaping the pungent garlic scent permeating throughout the car interior. But I was surprised to find how slimy they felt. Of course, this was soon forgotten as soon as I put them in my mouth. MMMM, holy garlicky goodness, Batman! I couldn’t eat these AND my BLTA in one sitting so had to wait three hours before I could move on to the sandwich.

And I was glad I did because then I could enjoy it without feeling overly stuffed. It was so fresh and delightful. The bacon was crispy but not too crunchy. The avocado ripe.

Man, I love this place and I’m soooo happy happy that it’s just down the street. Did I already say that?

10937 W Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064 (map)
(310) 470-8909
Hours: Mon-Fri 11a.m.-5p.m.
Sat-Sun 8a.m.-5p.m.

POST EDIT: I just found out that they only serve breakfast til 11:30am! Hello? That’s wayyy too early to shut down breakfast, especially on the weekends. If they pushed it back to 3pm, I’m sure they’d still get lots of patrons taking advantage of a late brekkie. Who gets up early on Saturday and Sunday?