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Eye-opening Breakfasts

February 01, 1987| Compiled by Steven Smith

Want more when you awaken than a donut and coffee in a Styrofoam cup? Here are a few places that will help you rise and shine. BEVERLY HILLS BREAKFAST CLUB (9671 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (213) 271-8903). This is a nifty place to break the fast--artful without being terminally hip. The decor is subtly post-Warhol and post-Moderne. The booths are commodious and the laminated table tops have witty designs. The menu is coffee shop/diner, and everything is straightforward and carefully done. Airy blueberry and spice muffins are freshly made, if very sweet. Eggs can be ordered with all kinds of accouterments (from avocados to chili); they come with first-rate home fries. Even before noon, the barbecued pork is delicious--thick smoky slices slathered on a big grilled bun. The entire menu is served until 3 p.m. And no ordinary coffee shop would serve bagels and Champagne, Neptuna salad and cranberry juice. Open for breakfast and lunch daily. AE, V, MC. Free lot parking. Breakfast for two, $7.50-$15. HOLLYWOOD DINER (945 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 655-7051). This recent creation of Patrick Terrail (from Ma Maison) is not your ordinary diner. It has valet parking. It takes credit cards and reservations. It has caviar (with miniature pancakes and sour cream), fresh oysters and sauteed shrimp sprinkled among the hamburgers, hot dogs and pork chops. But the best meal here may be breakfast (all the usual stuff), which is served every day starting at 7. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun. Reservations. All major credit cards. Lot parking. Breakfast for two, $10-$30. HUGO'S (8401 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (213) 654-4088). Hugo's is a casual, yet fashionable place, hopping at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is in the middle of a grocery store, but that does not keep it from being one of the major morning meeting places for people in the industry. The waiters are young and chic, the clientele cosmopolitan, the coffee rather wonderful. Breakfast dishes included everything from good muffins and French toast made out of panettone to the usual egg offerings. There are also far-from usual pasta dishes that should assuage the hunger of any early eater. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. V, MC, AE. Street and lot parking. Breakfast for two, $12-$15. LE PEEP (2139 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 637-1342). Le Peep is a cute, button-bright place with balloons for the kiddies and heavy evidence of franchising. The menu will either charm the pants off you or make you feel that you've become brightly colored and encased in plastic. Every other dish title, it seems, is trademarked. What really saves it is very good food. Really fresh eggs, good ham, light pancakes, remarkable sausage, fresh orange juice brought in a pitcher like the coffee. A couple of the menu's touted inventions are very good, too. Peasant Potatoes are a version of cottage fries that are baked rather than fried. Oom-pah-pah is garlic sausage on delicious lightly sauteed onions with fried eggs and horse-radish mustard sauce. Open for breakfast and lunch daily. MC, V, AE. Lot parking. Breakfast for two, $8-$14. PACIFIC DINING CAR (1310 West 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 483-6000). Why don't more people remember that this perennially popular steak restaurant is open 24 hours and serves rather wonderful breakfasts at very reasonable prices? In addition to eggs and toast and pancakes and the like, there are hearty dishes like roast beef hash and fine Dining Car potatoes. The meeker of appetite may choose to eat big bowls of healthy cereal which come virtually buried in fresh fruit. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Reservations. MC, V. Valet parking. Breakfast for two, $10-$30. WON KEE'S SEAFOOD AND DELI RESTAURANT (724 N. Hill St., Store No. 131, Los Angeles, (213) 626-6177). Won Kee's, little sister of the better-known Mon Kee's, has a surprise or two of its own. The real surprise here is breakfast--not the normal Chinatown dim sum fare, but the traditional Chinese congee (rice porridge). This is served in many varieties. There are also wonderful noodle dishes which the Chinese feel are the perfect thing to pick you up early in the morning. A few recommended dishes aren't listed on the menu--most notably e-fu noodles, a soft noodle served with Chinese mushrooms in oyster sauce. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Reservations. AE, MC, V. Basement parking. Breakfast for two, $6-$10.

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