Thursday, September 27, 2007

Square One: Dining In The Shadow Of Xenu

At the same party that brought Delores’ to my attention, I was also told about a nouveau diner in my own neighborhood. It took a while to make it there but I finally did. I dragged Paul and Jeff, the gentleman who told us about it, along with me to Square One.

Paul lives down the street from Square One and had never really noticed it before. I had driven past it multiple times and had no idea where it was. This is easy to do since the front of this nouveau diner is pretty nondescript. On my second pass that day, I finally saw it. I realized another reason why I always missed it- I’m always looking at the other side of the street. Square One is in the shadow of a sprawling Scientology complex. You can’t help but stare at this thing as you drive by. The Scientologists own a lot of property here in Hollywood and this particular building reminds me of the apartment building in “Ghost Busters”, just painted blue. It looms ominously over everything.

I parked down the street and was the first to arrive. Square One is tiny. It’s your living room. Most of the tables are two tops but one long table rests in the middle. I told the host that there were would be three of us. She looked at me downright suspiciously before sending me to one side of the long table. It wasn’t more than a minute later that Paul arrived dissuading the host from thinking I was running some kind of seating scam on her.

We looked over the menu and Paul ordered an orange juice and I a coffee. The juice was the regular much too small for what you pay size that is restaurant standard. My coffee was served in a mug large enough to choke a bear. The coffee itself had a slight burnt taste.

Paul and I looked over the limited but dynamic menu. After the initial sticker shock- Square One is priced for ultimate hipness- I was delighted to find that everything on the menu sounded ridiculously good. It was insanely difficult to decide. Fortunately, Jeff had yet to show, giving us more time.

"Well, let me know when Elijah arrives" quipped our waiter.

After changing my mind about a half dozen times on what to order, Jeff finally arrived. Our waiter quickly got down to business.

Jeff ordered one of their signature baked egg dishes. Chorizo, gruyere cheese, salsa roja and bell peppers. He also got a side of bacon and a a slice of their Saturday only coffee cake.

The coffee cake came out first. All three of us dug in. I found it too bready.

He also liked his baked egg dish. Having been there several times he confidently can say he's never been disappointed by his food.

I should also mention that Jeff, a Jew, loves their bacon!

In fact if he could chose one way to die, it would be by eating their bacon.

And somewhere his foreskin is weeping.

Paul opted for an omelet including garlic/lemon thyme chicken sausage with gruyere cheese. Square One loves gruyere cheese I guess. Paul displayed his unsophisticated palate by lamenting the lack of ketchup for his eggs and potatoes.

Paul let me try some of those sweet looking potatoes . They were nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Delicious.

Jeff's love for the bacon inspired me to try what in my opinion was the most interesting soundings dish. 3 buttermilk pancakes served with a bacon enriched caramel sauce.

I was delighted when this beautiful dish hit the table. Bacon on pancakes is nothing groundbreaking to be sure but chunks of this premium bacon and a bacon "enriched" sauce- not a syrup mind you, but a sauce-was something new at least for me.

The best way to describe the bacon is to imagine the texture of one of those gross slabs of individual jerky strips you get at a 7-11, a little firm on the outside but squishy on the inside. Now remove the disgusting flavor and add a savory flavor from an actual pig. There's your Square One bacon.

It was fabulously rich and flavorful. I do advise you to pour that sauce onto the pancakes as soon as you can. It turns into a thick gravy sludge once it cools down.

Overall, Square One was a great experience. I would highly recommend it for any small group of people who like splurge a little on a interesting new take on breakfast standards. Large groups of spendthrifts, I suggest you stay away. Square One is similar to Doughboys except NOT closed down due to a major cockroach infestation.

Price: 8-15
Food: Very Good.
Service: Attentive and speedy since they want to get you out as soon as possible to make room for more diners.
Pie: Sadly, no.

Square One
4854 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90029


Paul said...

My palate is just fine, you goddamn tosspot! Eggs are dry and bland on their own. A small amount of ketchup fixes this. Eating eggs without ketchup is like fucking a store mannequin instead of real person. Sure, you'll still get what you need, but there's no zest.

Mike "Pie is a Food not a Number" Tanner said...

..sigh.... Your comments keep this blog "real."

Jessica said...

Oh shit, I thought I was going to be able to add something witty here, but Paul set the bar pretty high. I love Square One though! And, true to form, my Square One story does involve fucking with the $cientos!