For four years, I have driven past Toast Bakery & Café on 3rd Street and I have observed lines down the block, waits that seem to go on for over an hour, and, quite frankly, food that looks about the same as any other breakfast spot in town (oh, and crowds about as average looking as any other spot as well).
Having the day off today and waking up by 9 am, I decided to find out what all the fuss is about.
9:24 am – I drove by in search of a spot and the outside seating still looked pretty open. Score.
9:28 am – After parking, I returned to find—you guessed it—NO tables left outside and a small crowd already starting to form around the hostess stand.
9:30 am – Get sat at a high top inside. A) I hate high tops—I always feel like I’m going to fall off my stool. B) Though I can’t tell where the odor is coming from, it smells distinctly like dirty dish water at my table. I guess this is where solo customers get sat. Come alone—leave wanting to vomit.
Though my food was fine--I ordered 'The Garden,' an asparagus, broccoli, shallots, veggie sausage and mozzarella scramble--it wasn't spectacular. And my diet coke could surely have come from any fountain around town. Where was the Toast touch? The magic that had people lining up here every weekend as if gold nuggets were being served with their $10 omelets?
Sure, I noticed that cappuccinos were being served with cookies. That’s a nice touch, ok. But I don’t drink cappuccinos, so, unless my Diet Coke is served with a dollar from the pop fairy, color me uninterested.
I ate quickly. I had come with the intention of eating at a leisurely pace. Sitting with my book for a few minutes after my meal just to savor the fact that I had a table and the folks in line outside did not. But the smell emanating from what I now discerned was probably the coffee maker-slash -bar in front of me was becoming unbearable.
10 am - I left--and not a moment for my nostrils too soon--passing a throng of people on the way out--all waiting to be sat at the infamous, underwhelming Toast.
Do you love Toast? Did I order the wrong thing on the menu? Please let me know! I'd hate to think that this many people in LA keep returning for mediocrity and a mere scene.
[Image Credit - Exterior shot c/o Toast; Food and bar shots c/o Yours Truly]