Breakfast at 3 Square Café should be the first order of any leisurely weekend. It’s a corner cafe on Abbott Kinney Blvd. that’s both health-conscious (fresh-squeezed OJ, organic Heinz ketchup), accommodating, and just plain tasty.
That’s where grandma and I inhaled mouthfuls of hot apple pancakes and chicken hash last Saturday morning. Given we were at a hip Westside neighborhood at a peak brunch hour, I was very lucky to: 1) find storefront parking and 2) have the maitre d’ take one look at us and immediately usher us to a large communal dining table near the kitchen. Though that might just be the power of having frail ‘ol grandma by my side.
Chef Hans Rockenwagner opened this third dining installment earlier this year, infusing a little bit of the homeland into the menu with grilled weisswurst, German-style pancakes with creme fraiche, Bircher muesli, Bavarian breakfast meatloaf with eggs and a soft pretzel roll, and much more.
It was my first visit here, but I’m a sucker for glass-encased sun-lit cafes and just one bite of Rockenwagner’s apple pancake sent my taste buds soaring. Topped with cinnamon and sugar, it’s both crispy on the outside and hot and fluffy on the inside, never to leave you bored. Mix in the crème fraiche and you’ll find yourself savoring your dish until they’re calling ‘last order.’
Grandma and I also shared the chicken hash – bit-sized pieces of everyone’s favorite white meat stir-fried with mushrooms, peppers onions, basil and topped with two very beautifully poached eggs. It was a bit light on the seasoning but still a great savory companion to the pancakes. I’ve always been a fan of balance.
The closest I’ve been to Germany is the Swiss Alps so I really can’t vouch for authenticity, but this is definitely a place I have a little crush on right now, which really doesn’t happen often.
3 Square Cafe
1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd.