I'm going to make you a promise in this review: I will not make any references to the Steve Guttenberg films.
My friend Dan, who you will remember from Eatwell and the oft-plugged Banana book, told me about the coffee shop at the Police Academy up by Dodger Stadium, and we decided to go for breakfast last Wednesday morning. It had been some time since he had been there and was a little foggy as to where it was located on the grounds. We parked outside and did just as I had learned from childhood Bernstein Bears books: when lost, look for a police officer to help. One was easy to find since literally everyone in a square mile of us was a cop.
The coffee shop is actually on the grounds of the academy. We were pointed in the right direction by some nice officers and proceeded through the stone gates of the academy. Ever hear gunshots at 7:30 in the morning? Lots of them? I lived in Glassell Park so that was nothing new to me, but the sheltered may find the continuous rapport of gunfire from the nearby shooting range to be a tad disconcerting.
We found the coffee shop right next to the swimming pool.
It has beautiful stone work on the outside and on the inside. The walls are covered in LAPD memorabilia: staff photos from different precincts, graduation photos and pictures of neighborhoods as they once were. You can make out the famous Norman Rockwell painting of the kid and the cop on the wall in the photo below. There is also a golden shovel on the wall commemorating... something. We didn't get close enough to read the inscription.
It was immediately after taking this picture that our waitress told me I was "breaking every rule" and there were no pictures allowed. What was she gonna do? Call the cops on me? Oh wait. Literally every other patron in the place had a badge and a gun...or at least a gun and was working toward getting a badge. I put away my nice digital camera. That's why there are only two more pictures in this piece. I had to be stealthy.
The menu has a lot of little cutesy cop names for dishes. "The Range Burger" and the "Academy
Special" (which is what I eventually settled on) are good examples, as well as more specific shout-outs with the "Bratton Burger" and the "Hollenbeck Huevos Rancheros." Everything was under eight bucks.
About two minutes after she admonished me for the picture-taking, our waitress came back to take our order. We asked for more time and got an incredulous eye roll. We wouldn't see her again for almost ten minutes. That taught us! Perhaps she was so used to regulars who order the same thing or know the menu by rote that we threw her off her game.
So the Academy Special was two pancakes, two sausages, two eggs and choice of potatoes (home fries or hash browns).
The pancakes were pretty good. I ordered my eggs over easy for a change of pace, and I realized that I don't really like over easy. The sausages were typical Jimmy Dean variety. The potatoes were good, but not really home fries the way I think of them from a restaurant--no onions and no peppers. They were what I'd make at home, just saltier.
Now, Dan ordered the Spanish Omelet. The picture I snapped of it didn't turn out. Rest assured it was as serviceable as my meal was.
A place like this caters to a very select clientele who, I imagine, want cheap and hearty meals. Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club delivers this in a convenient location for the local police. As a normal citizen, you are basically eating in the safest place in town. That's a really interesting feeling. I could whip out a wallet full of hundeys and flash it around and not worry about getting followed to my car and beaten. At least, I think so. Those waitresses did look a little shifty.
I was underwhelmed by the food, but it's definitely one of the most out of the ordinary breakfast spots in Los Angeles, and for that alone, I will recommend it.
Price- Cheap $6-$8 for most dishes.
1880 Academy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90012