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blue breakfast by pool

June 12, 2003|S. Irene Virbila | Times Staff Writer

"How humiliating is that?" I thought, as I overheard a young twentysomething interview in public a series of young men for a position at her company. I didn't want to listen, but her voice, two tables away, was so penetrating I couldn't help hearing everything. In between interviews, this woman of the moment made cell phone calls, trolling her PDA all the while.

It's the new power breakfast scene at blue on blue in the hip Avalon hotel in Beverly Hills. We were seated around the kidney-shaped pool on a patio courtyard with discreet clumps of bamboo and a palette of gray, cream and acid lime. Our server sported a pool-blue vest.

The coffee, served in shiny silver thermoses, is spunky, and the orange juice is fresh. Whether you order oatmeal with bananas and berries or buttermilk pancakes showered with powdered sugar, portions are generous. A toasted bagel comes with a crock of cream cheese and a platter of thick-sliced salmon and tomatoes, plus red onion and a scattering of capers. And, if you like, adorable pinkie-sized bottles of Tabasco.

For those much braver than myself, there's banana-stuffed croissant French toast. But breakfast items tend to the politically correct -- chicken apple sausage, low-fat granola, hash made with smoked salmon rather than corned beef, goat cheese and egg white omelet -- and the result is fresh and appealing.

The avalon benedict is a lighter version of the original. Smoked turkey makes a delicious substitute for the usual Canadian bacon. The two halves of an under-toasted English muffin are covered with a swatch of spinach, too, and a perfect poached egg, and a loose horseradish cheddar sauce stands in for the much richer hollandaise.

On the way out, I couldn't help noticing how the trendy furniture has aged. Cushions on the outdoor furniture are stained, the tabletops scratched. And inside, the aqua upholstery is worn through in places, sagging and discolored -- blue on blue is due for a touch-up. Distressed just doesn't make it for a power breakfast.


blue on blue

Where: Avalon hotel, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills

When: Breakfast from 7 to 11:30 a.m. daily (also open for lunch and dinner daily); full bar; complimentary valet parking for the restaurant

Cost: Breakfast items, $4 to $16

Info: (310) 407-7791; hotel,

(310) 277-5221

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