Maybe you know the exact Los Feliz craftsman home you want to buy. Maybe you say “I will one day have an entire television network in my name, or my name spelled backwards” to yourself in the mirror every morning. Maybe you fall asleep imagining posing for pictures with your celebrity spouse and your new teacup basset hound. It looks different to everyone, but we all have a picture of personal success.
Our picture of success includes breakfast. Specifically, eating excellent breakfasts regularly. And if that picture was a reality, we’d be at Pollen daily.
Pollen is an Australian restaurant in Echo Park that generally makes us feel like more successful versions of ourselves. Partly because it looks and feels like it’s attached to a day spa. It probably has something to do with all the yellow, but the mostly-outdoor restaurant somehow manages to look permanently sunny. There’s always a translucent shade pulled over where the sun is shining, so you can stay outdoors without having to squint. And there are plenty of tables, but none too close together.
The menu feels like the perfect breakfast for someone who eats kind-of-healthy most of the time, but occasionally says f*ck it. Pollen specializes in simple, hearty dishes like dippy eggs (Australian-speak for soft boiled eggs with strips of toast), lots of things with vegemite (Australian-speak for a savory spread you either love or hate), polenta and crispy fried eggs (not Australian), and a thick-cut bacon you absolutely need on your table. So you’re definitely not going to be eating a bowl of adaptogenic dirt, but this is a much more upscale meal than that very greasy bowl of eggs you scarfed down while hungover last weekend. And while the portions are big, none of the food will leave you feeling too heavy. In your best life, you never feel heavy.
Eating at Pollen feels like you’re doing something right. You can imagine coming here on a quiet weekday morning before heading to your job as a Shark Tank judge, or after your photo shoot for People′s World’s Most Admired Person. You can see yourself eating a Sunday brunch here with your celebrity partner and your four beautiful children who already have their own albums.
And maybe that stuff is a long way off. But you might as well start somewhere. We recommend Pollen.
The pancakes by themselves are great, with a subtle lemony tartness. But what really makes them special is the giant dollop of sweet ricotta and blueberries on top. We’d eat a bowl of that alone.
If bacon & eggs was a classic ’80s pop star, then this dish would be its comeback album. Thick-cut bacon, runny poached eggs, sesame-crusted avocado, and halloumi cheese. We’re doing the food equivalent of listening to this on repeat. A.k.a. ordering it every time we come here.
If you like soft polenta, this should be on your table. It’s creamy, savory, and those little mushroom strip things add a nice touch.
Dippy eggs are basically soft-boiled eggs with little strips of toast that you dip into the yolk. The ones we had weren’t quite soft enough for prime dipping, but the mushroom crisps that come with this are more than enough reason to order it.