photo credit: Jakob Layman
Friends & Family
There are some things you’ll only let the people closest to you see. Your collection of limited edition Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia, any remaining photos from your high school goth phase, your uncontrollable tears while you watch Katy Perry: Part Of Me for the 27th time. Only a select group are close enough to look at your Golden Jubilee commemorative plates with the respect they deserve. The appropriately-named Friends & Family is like those people, but in restaurant form - a place where you’ll end up all the time, because it’s where you feel comfortable.
On a corner opposite the East Hollywood strip mall that hosts both Sapp Coffee Shop (home of our favorite boat noodle soup around) and Jumbo’s Clown Room (the strip club that’s actually a great time), Friends & Family isn’t like much else in the immediate area. The space is kind of sparse, and the atmosphere is a little “please don’t talk to me I’m doing work at my laptop,” but it still feels like a neighborhood hangout.
Breakfast is probably our favorite time of day here - the olive oil fried eggs are one of the best morning dishes around, and we can’t leave without grabbing a loaf of bread for later - but Friends & Family is a great place to drop into almost any time of day. Come for coffee and one of their excellent pastries, maybe with your laptop, probably in your sweatpants, and you’ll end up staying just so you can have a sandwich for lunch. It’s also great for picking up food, whether it’s the ridiculously good egg salad to pass off as your own at a potluck brunch, or a picnic basket before a Cinespia screening. Everything here is comforting, simple, and really good. Our only issue is we can’t be here for dinner too (they close at 4pm).
If you live nearby, Friends & Family is your new restaurant safe space. Sure, there are $15 chicken salads and something called a macro bowl, but it’s also perfectly fine to show up in pajamas and the mismatched shoes that were the only things you could find on your floor. This isn’t some corporate chain or eighth-wave coffee shop serving expensive pour-over. It’s the place you go right after your new boyfriend finds those goth photos you thought you burned. At least the white cheddar biscuit understands you.
Baked Buckwheat Pancake
They might call this a pancake, but really it’s a breakfast cake that comes with blueberry sauce, butter, and syrup. Obviously, it’s delicious.
Olive Oil Fried Eggs
Super-crispy eggs fried in olive oil are a thing we’d eat daily. Friends & Family’s come with yogurt, chickpeas, harissa, and olive bread. We’d be happy with a little more spicy in the mix, but otherwise, this is a very ideal breakfast. And also lunch.
There’s a big case of pastries here, and you essentially can’t go wrong with anything in there. The white cheddar biscuit is a good place to start.
We are addicted to this mayo and tarragon-filled egg salad and you’re about to be too.
A vegetarian sandwich full of good-for-you things that are made less good-for-you by the presence of green goddess dressing. We are not complaining.
Lamb Merguez Baguette
A fancy hot dog stuffed with three lamb sausages. It’s good, but not our favorite thing here.
Grilled Patty Melt On Rye
It’s a patty melt. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but when the wheel tastes good, you leave it alone.