The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
Not only was everything we ordered good, it was DELICIOUS! The hype is real – Sqirl has made it on my best brunch list. (Vegan friendly)
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
I was a little skeptical of trying Sqirl because even though it has been on my radar for over a year, it’s not super close to my house. I’ll give you a bit of background, my family enjoys their sleep and cozy weekend mornings. Therefore, getting everyone out of the house especially somewhere that isn’t right down the street can prove a little difficult. However, I took advantage of our early plans to see the floats from the Rose Parade in Pasadena and chose Sqirl as a great on-the-way restaurant. It took a little convincing especially when they drove up and saw the line (probably 15 deep around noon on a Saturday), but I assured them that we were lucky since I have frequently heard about around-the-block lines. Side note: after we got there the line kept getting longer. There is no line that forms inside (space is limited) therefore if you drive by, keep in mind that what you see is what it is. You line up, order, take your number and find a seat (they will bring your food to you). Please be courteous and don’t sit down before you have ordered. Things move quickly and everyone does find a seat shortly after ordering so just don’t make it difficult for those who are already waiting on their food to find a seat. Since we were 5, we took the first available seats at the counter. While a table would’ve been a little cozier and easier to chat, the counter was just fine. Our food came relatively quickly and with the amount of people and the chaos of waiting and ordering, the staff was in great spirits and very helpful.
Mon – Fri 6:30 am – 4 pm
Sat – Sun 8 am – 4 pm
What we ate/drank:
- Fresh mint tea with orange blossom honey ($3.50)
- Avocado toast ($9)
- The dream ($11)
- Sorrel pesto rice ($8)
- Crispy rice salad with the works ($11)
- Plum and olive oil bread
- Famous damus ($12.50)
- Famed Ricotta toast ($7.75)
- French toast ($11.50)
The avocado toast which includes avocado (duh), hot pickled carrots, green garlic, creme fraiche and za’atar was great. It’s super fresh and the flavors go together really well. It was the hardest to eat because the bread it thick so cutting into it or trying to bite it can prove difficult, but it’s worth the effort. This toast doesn’t make you feel like you just spent money on something that clearly could’ve been made at home – which is a plus!
This sandwich is properly named “The Dream” it’s a romesco sandwich with prosciutto, ricotta, and greens. We added avocado and boy was it good. The romesco added the perfect punch and the prosciutto was thin and super flavorful. Their ricotta is made in house and it makes a world of difference!
Throw out every notion you’ve ever had about rice bowls. Seriously, Sqirl does it right! It looks simple, but the flavor is far from it. Brown rice, sorrel pesto, preserved Meyer lemon, hot sauce, watermelon radish, French feta and a poached egg make for the yummiest rice bowl ever! It’s got the tangy, lemon flavor that I love and egg yolk on anything automatically increases its perfection. I HIGHLY recommend this!
I was pleased when I tried this and it was completely different than the other bowl. It’s made with the same rice but this one is served crispy with lemongrass, mint, cilantro, and ginger. Ask for it with “the works” and you get sausage and egg. I really think those 2 are essential. The consistency of this rice is like Koi’s crispy rice deconstructed. It’s not crunchy, just crispy enough. It is definitely a party in your mouth. I really liked this and I think you will too 🙂
I think this toast is made by angels. Honestly, homemade toast has never tasted this good! When you try telling someone “they serve toast” people look at you like “yeah, so does my mom”, but this is Sqirl, enough said. This toast is not only HUGE, but so amazing (that’s what she said) <– I couldn’t help myself. The ricotta, as mentioned above, is made in house and the seasonal jam (we chose blueberry, they had a few others and you can also choose to get all of them) is delicious. The combination is perfection and if you haven’t tried it I suggest you run, not walk.
Since we’re clearly savages and order way to much for our own well being – we ate everything in case you were wondering (savages, I tell you) – we decided that 1 more sweet thing couldn’t hurt. Plus, what else were we going to do while waiting for our food. This plum, olive oil bread was super moist and not too sweet (a good thing). It’s a great complement to tea or coffee, but if you’re looking for something sweet, I would first insist you try the toast.
The Famous Damus is their version of a breakfast sandwich. It’s filled with soft-scrambled eggs, surryano ham and arugula. This was very good, the soft-scrambled eggs give it a fluffy, light texture and since the ingredients are all high quality, this simple sandwich serves up a great flavor.
If it isn’t hard to tell what my favorite was, I decided to include 3 pictures. This isn’t easy for me to say because the whole meal was delicious. However, when I first bit into this I heard symphonies in my head (and after you read this you may be hearing Jason Derulo in yours haha). The brioche bread is unreal and the taste is fantastic. I included the last picture to show you that this work of art is stuffed with jam. It’s moist, fluffy, decadent and pretty much perfect. Let me save you $2 though, it doesn’t need syrup. I think this is a must try and I will now make it a point to go to Sqirl whenever I’m in LA. Better yet, quick question – how expensive would a Postmates delivery be to San Francisco?