Monday, March 23, 2009

Jack n' Jills, Los Angeles CA

Having already been to The Griddle Café thrice and not desiring a huge breakfast after the previous night at Providence I took an early trip to the gym for a run and then made my way towards Beverly, Rodeo, and Wilshire for a day of shopping and browsing the stores of Beverly Hills. Having heard good things about Jack n’ Jills and knowing it was centrally located in the midst of all the stores I wanted to check out I found free parking directly across the street and made my way over around 9:00am to check out what the small café had to offer.
Entering the front doors I was greeted by an incredibly clean restaurant that smelled of freshly baked bread, smoky bacon, and coffee – in other words, perfection. A smiling young lady with a decidedly French accent quickly approached me as I browsed the pastry case and I told her I was planning to dine in but wanted to browse the pastries first. Smiling the hostess told me to take my time and suggested I “try some samples” – a large selection of cookies and cakes under a glass platter on the counter – so much for a light breakfast. Tasting samples including a hefty and thick double fudge brownie, a nutella sandwich, a pumpkin-maple cookie, and a coconut macaroon I was already impressed by the quality of the goods and requested to be seated so I didn’t overindulge before even ordering – the cookie was superb!

Seated promptly I ordered a coffee which was refilled consistently throughout the meal, but quickly asked to have my seat moved towards the front as the four men behind me were speaking excessively loudly and two teenage girls engaged in valley-speak at the table next to me while simultaneously carrying on separate cell-phone conversations. After moving I was greeted by my primary server, a young lady named Colby with a fantastic smile that seemed to be serving the entire restaurant at once. Moments later my order was placed and I snuck up to grab a few more bites of Nutella Sandwich.

Approximately five minutes after ordering my coffee was refilled and I was delivered my first item – a large chunk of corn bread with whipped butter and maple syrup. Large in portion but quite overpriced at $2.95 the cornbread was relatively bland and somewhat dry without adding significant butter and syrup – certainly not on par with cornbread back in the Midwest or at Roscoe’s (or the now defunct Doughboy’s.)

Shortly after finishing up the disappointing cornbread my main course arrived, the PBC Cakes with peanut butter cup pieces served with hot syrup, butter and homemade whipped cream. Fluffy and airy with chopped peanut butter and chocolate infused throughout the batter I can say that these were the best textured hotcakes I’ve had in a very long time and the subtlety of the peanut butter cups was quite well balanced with the buttery batter. Topped with a heavenly smooth whipped cream and more chopped PB cups the addition of extra butter was unnecessary while the addition of syrup actually proved to make the concoction even more delectable. Nowhere near as decadent as Cici’s or The Griddle, I quite liked Jack n’ Jills cakes for a change of pace and a little more subtlety.

Finishing my pancakes and readying to pay the bill I noticed the server bringing out a fresh stack of warm cupcakes from the Kitchen and asked for one Red Velvet to go. Paying my bill, a relatively modest $23 with tax and tip, I made my way out into the beautiful Los Angeles weather around 10:15 with a to-go cup of coffee and a cupcake for later…later being approximately 35 minutes later when I decided there was still room to fill in my belly. Still warm and perfect with the coffee the small cupcake was dense and moist with a gloriously creamy frosting that tasted vaguely of lemon and cocoa – not quite as good as the version from SLJ the day before, but on par with that of Vanilla Bake Shop, for sure.

All told, Jack n’ Jills is a nice option for breakfast in Beverly Hills and although the prices are a bit high, the service is excellent and the free samples plentiful. I still consider Griddle Café to be the best breakfast in LA, but for a lighter option I’d definitely head back to Jn’Js, skip the cornbread, and opt for the cinnamon roll French toast in the future. I certainly wouldn’t mind tasting some more of their bakery options, as well.

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