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BEACH GOURMET: Greek Cuisine Stop’N Café: Breakfast of Champions?

Third Street Promenade is a cornucopia of culinary gems including traditional American, Asian fusion and imaginative Italian. Also vying for attention is a dainty little Greek number simply named Greek Cuisine.

After entering, I took my seat in this long and narrow eatery and waited for the maître d’ (whose facial mannerisms were about as animated as Chuck Norris’s on a bad day) to acknowledge my presence. This took a little while; however, after three or four attempts at psychic mind control, I managed to lock in and was presented with a menu.

The décor, a collection of predominantly black and white photographs of stars of stage and screen, both past and present, was impressive and smart, with a curious emphasis on that icon of rebellious nature, James Dean. Another somewhat rebellious quality for a Greek restaurant was a robust breakfast menu offering such staples as two eggs, bacon, toast, butter and jelly, $5.50, their “Eye Opener” (two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausages, two pancakes, hash browns and fruit, $10.99) and an appropriately Mediterranean-sounding spinach and feta cheese omelet with hash browns and pita bread, $8.99.

I selected the latter, and was attended to by a professional and unobtrusive server. The time from kitchen to table was less than five minutes, but did give me an opportunity to further awaken my senses with a cup of hot, fresh and aromatic Joe. The presentation of the dish was picture perfect, with an immaculate, oil-free, pocket-style omelet, shoestring hash browns and cute little triangles of pita bread.

This omelet was superb – in fact, one of the most satisfying I have ever experienced. Generous helpings of delightfully pungent feta mixed with fresh spinach ensconced in a light and fluffy omelet. The hash browns were delicate, tasty and slightly browned. Combined with the pita bread, this plate would sit comfortably in Homer’s Iliad.

Greek Cuisine Stop’n Café also has a compact outdoor patio from which to view the snaking crowds as they shop, gaze and are entertained by the variety of street performers that make our Third Street Promenade such a delightful attraction.

Although this café would be unlikely to win any medals in the “Warmest Welcome” Olympic games (at least by this diner’s experience), I did enjoy my odyssey there, as food was very, very gratifying, good value and deserving of a place on the podium for sure.

Greek Cuisine, 1237 Third Street Promenade, 310.395.1932.

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