meandering down hillhurst in los angeles, you'll see nestled into the street, this cute old bungalow called the alcove cafe and bakery, with a large outdoor patio filled with lively chatter, colorful chairs, and the look of happy people eating brunch. walking up, you'll see a long line out the door and quickly discover that you're standing in line to place your order for the food. when you finally are able to grab a menu, you'll see a lovely offering of everything from farm egg omelettes, french toast, freshly squeezed juices to a display case of freshly baked goods. it was definitely a little hectic inside to try and squeeze your way through the crowd, but once you place your order, you grab your number and find a seat indoors or outdoors.
as i stood there staring at the menu, i began to have the recurrent epic brunch battle in my mind--sweet or salty? sweet or salty? heehee. do you have that debate as well?
i usually have to tell myself, make a decision girl! so i did. sweet won that day (sort of). so i chose the brioche french toasts topped with blueberries with vermont maple syrup and creme fraiche. great thing about it was that the french toast was not smothered in butter. the blueberries-as you can see from the picture, had the appearance of thawed out frozen berries. (not sure if thats how it was prepared though) overall, the french toast was well made and it was a good dish, but, not mind blowing, especially for the hefty price tag of 10.95 with no sides.
ok ok, so the sweet did not totally win that day. i caved and ordered a side of salty. i chose the side of two potato pancakes with caramelized apples and.... creme fraiche (it appears again!!) for $3.50. yay for salty. the potato pancakes were a yummy version of hashbrowns. the "caramelized apples" were...an "interesting" flavor combination with the potato pancakes . it tasted like dehydrated chewy apples seasoned with cinnamon and maybe brown sugar? the potato pancakes sat on a bed of arugula, which was a nice compliment to the salty crunch of the potatoes.
and, finally, my hubster ordered the smoked salmon breakfast stack, which included two potato pancakes, topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs, and....wait for it...wait for it.... Creme Fraiche (!!!) and fresh dill, and a side of seasonal fresh fruit. haha. who knew creme fraiche could be soo versatile...(or not!). he enjoyed his dish, except wishing that there was not creme fraiche poured all over the dish. i unfortunately, did not take a bite of it, so i can't comment on it other than the fact that it looked delicious.
overall, i would say the place has a wonderful ambience and an enticing menu list. its a great place to go on a date or to hang out with your friends over brunch. my dishes were good, but probably not on the top of my list for brunch food. i would definitely go back though to try a few other dishes and to just enjoy the lively atmosphere.