L.A.'s club crowd has moved its clock forward. Instead of going out at 11 p.m., people are getting together at 11 a.m.
Try finding a seat at one of the best breakfast joints some morning and you're likely to be squeezed out by regulars with tattoos, plaid shirts tied around the waist and/or miles of spiral-curled hair. These places are so hip even the waitresses wear sunglasses.
At 3-month-old Swingers on Beverly Boulevard, the music is Average White Band, the red tartan vinyl booths are \o7 haute \f7 "Love American Style," the wallpaper is an Andy Warhol cow print. The popular dishes are chili eggs, \o7 matzo brei\f7 and corn pancakes with jalapeno syrup. ("I heard Julia Roberts loved our grits," confides manager Andy Perkins, a redhead from London.)
Owners Sean MacPherson and Jon Sidel, who also own the restaurant Olive and the bar Small's K.O., attract the young, the beautiful and the grungy. During the brunch rush on a recent weekend, the place looked like an MTV-generation block party, with lace sweaters, combat boots, flannel shirts and baggy jeans.
A slightly older crowd, including working screenwriters and their dogs, gathers at the nearby Kings Road Cafe. This good-looking, less-tattooed bunch eats eggs with prosciutto and Bel Paese on toasted rosemary bread while wearing the daytime equivalent of club clothes: jeans with jackets, skinny-rib tank tops, colorful vests and two-tone baseball caps.
Across town, early risers--writers, neighbors, actors, senior citizens and musicians--breakfast on the nine-grain pancakes at the small Axe (pronounced \o7 ah-shay\f7 ) Cafe in Santa Monica.
Here, the look is more beatnik-meets-flower child, as personified by 29-year-old owner Joanna Moore, whose dead straight, waist-length, center-parted hair would have been the object of envy in the '60s.