Monday, April 16, 2007

Special Foodventure #32: Soft-opening brunch @ Larkin's (Eagle Rock)

Thanks to heads up from Eating L.A. & LA Eater, I managed to get a sneak peek of Eagle Rock joint Larkin's before its soon-to-come official opening. For a while now, the soul food joint has been doing a soft opening invite-only event (you have to sign up on the e-mail list on their Web site to be in the know.) Official opening was supposed to be this past weekend but it got pushed off for another few weeks "to deal with contractor issues," my waitress told me.
Matching its cuisine, the ambience has a wonderful homely feel with a modern twist. A rustic cottage exterior with lots of potted plants about, and the interior is painted a lovely buttercream with raw sienna accents (see, Mom, I told you that 80-color Crayola crayon set would pay off!) There were also stained-glass windows, complementing-yet-mismatched chairs and provocative photographs of urban Cuba all along the walls.
For their soft opening, Larkin's has been doing a "build-your-own" menu for its dinners and brunches. I went for the latter, so it was three items for $15, or $20 with mimosa. (Their other event is a choose-your-own three-item dinner for $25, $35 with wine pairing.)
As you can tell from the menu, the brunch items are solid breakfast mainfare (their dinner fare seems to be a better showcase of soul food.) I went for mimosa, well-made by the way, and ordered Aunt Pookie's pancakes (at the eager recommendation of the waitress) along with hot links and scrambled eggs.
Simply put-everything was simply delish, even though it's nothing fancy. The eggs, accented with parsley and some herbs and spices (the only one that seems to stand out are chives, and I'm not even 100% sure about that), were great with just a dash of pepper. The links had that wonderful pan-fried crispy exterior that oozes spicy juices with each bite. And then, there's the pancakes--sauteed with maple syrup & brown sugar--with a fluffy, bread pudding-like texture and an intriguing combination of flavors from the syrup and the buckwheatiness of cooked batter. My only advice-eat 'em first and eat 'em fast before the syrup sogs it down.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience, though personally I feel the meal's price-point is just a bit too high; I do love the build-your-own menu concept, as much as it would bug an indecisive diner.

Nonetheless, I can't wait to return for another meal and wish chef-owner Larkin Mackey and partner-manager Joshua McBride the best on their official debut.

1496 Colorado Blvd. (cross Loleta)
Eagle Rock
Larkin's MySpace



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