Repeat Performance

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The best French toast — ever

Growing up, I used to love the weekends. We could always count on my mom cooking a scrumptious breakfast. I’m sure that my best friend Dalia enjoyed hanging out with me, but my mom’s weekend feasts were a nice bonus. Every Saturday and Sunday, my brother Rodney and I would wake up to the tantalizing smell of something good cooking in the kitchen. It might be cheese & eggs (she would melt the cheese in the skillet and then add the eggs) accompanied by sausage patties, grits and warm biscuits; other times it was a perfectly made breakfast sandwich on a bagel, toast or baguette or perhaps pancakes or french toast with eggs and flawlessly fried bacon – sizzling, crispy with a minimum of fat.

BreakfastBruschetta 300x225 Repeat PerformanceI spent the past week in Alabama attending my grandmother’s funeral services. I flew back last night. When I woke up this morning, I felt that I could use a pick-me-up. At Adam and Matt’s Food Styling & Photography workshop, Jennifer, owner of JChong Design, recommended an amazing restaurant for brunch, the Starling Diner. A few weeks ago, K.C. and I had the privilege of experiencing their epicurean delights. On our first visit we left there in awe – it was pure bliss. They completely won us over, from this point forward, Starling Diner would be our breakfast place of choice.

StuffedFrenchToast 300x225 Repeat PerformanceSince they wowed us the first time, we decided to have a repeat performance on our return visit today. We ordered the same dishes and definitely were not disappointed. We started off with the breakfast bruschetta plate – Mascarpone spread on baguette toast points topped off with fresh seasonal berries and a drizzling of just the right amount of honey. For our main dishes, we shared the Applewood and Bacon Daily Scramble accompanied by provence roasted potatoes and sliced baguette and the star of the day, the San Francisco stuffed French Toast. As described on the menu, they “take freshly baked baguettes and stuff ‘em w/ sweet, creamy mascarpone-y goodness, dip in créme anglais then broil, not fry. It’s french toast re-imagined.” And that it is. Topped with real whipped cream, powdered sugar and your choice of either Carmelized Apples in brandy butter, Morello Cherries in a cherry reduction or Fresh Seasonal Berries, Starling Diner’s French Toast is delectable. It’s no wonder it was voted “Best French Toast” by OC Weekly.

I have no idea how they were able to duplicate the fine cuisine that we had tasted weeks prior, but they did so successfully. I can honestly say that this wonderful place, nestled in Belmont Heights, a quiet residential area in Long Beach, CA, has the best breakfast I have ever had the pleasure of tasting…at a restaurant. Nobody beats Emma Swain’s breakfast.

  1. jennifer05-23-11

    glad you and k.c. enjoyed it!

    • Swain05-24-11

      We most certainly did Jennifer. Thanks again for the recommendation.

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