Santa Monica is full of great brunch options, and Blue Plate is just another one of those always-busy spots that, thankfully, lives up to the hype.
The negatives first: Blue Plate is crowded, for the simple fact that it is in a tiny space and on the lively street of Montana Ave. (be prepared to pay for parking, by the way). Tables are uncomfortably close together, so expect to get cozy with your neighbors (my date and I seemed to get snooty looks from ours--not our fault!). Also, although I appreciate that the coffee and tea is fair-trade, $3 (the same price for juices and other drinks) just seems like a bit much.
But once you get down to the food, all can be forgotten. I was already saddling up to get a big meal by ordering the breakfast combo of two eggs plus a half-stack of blueberry pancakes, but then was informed that I would also have two sides on top of that! For $9.95! Our small table, needless to say, ended up pretty loaded. (Sorry for the lack of photos, by the way--we were starving.)
And all that food turned out great. The pancakes could have been a bit fluffier, but with so many blueberries packed in there, it was still delectable. My date's challah French toast was dreamily soft and sweet--probably some of the best French toast I've ever had. The fruit side I had had really good pineapple and strawberries, which tasted fresh and light. Altogether a well-made, simple brunch, hitting all the right spots to start off your day.
Oh, but one more downside, that my date pointed out: our plates were not blue. What gives? But we didn't even notice until we scraped all our food right off.
Blue Plate is located at 1415 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica.
-- Chau Tu
Photo credit: Blue Plate