You know you have arrived at a place that is unique, when you find yourself biting into dishes that you could not find anywhere else. Sqirl is just that kind of place. At a glance, it may have the appearance of your average breakfast/lunch café, serving toast, coffee, tea, salads, and sandwiches.
Come To Sqirl for a Different Kind of Breakfast
Upon further investigation, you may find, much in the way I did, that the tiny 800-square-foot coffee shop, manages to take those traditional brunch-y dishes, and transform them into something which is best described as being one step ahead of the game. It’s not surprising that the place is packed on a regular basis, and that it’s considered one of the best breakfast restaurants in LA. From its name, to its staff, to its dishes – this place has a sort of edge, and it is working to its advantage.
It All Starts With Jam
The café originally opened as a homemade jam-making establishment in 2011. Chef-owner Jessica Koslow became a familiar face around L.A.’s farmers markets, and made a name for herself as the producer of high-quality jams and preserves, under the name Sqirl. Koslow has always paid very close attention to the produce and ingredients she
uses, opting to buy locally from certifiably organic, family-owned farms. This made her jams exceptionally good, and that fact was not lost on those who tasted them. A year later, Koslow teamed-up with head chef Ria Dolly Barbosa Wilson, added breakfast and lunch to the previous “jam only” menu, and the rest is history. Sqirl received rave reviews from patrons and publications alike. It earned the prestigious four star mark from LA Weekly‘s Besha Rodell, who wrote in her review that “Koslow is cooking with skill and passion”, and that “this young woman and her team [are] turning out some of the most thoughtful, satisfying, beautifully executed food in town.”
With dishes like the popular sorrel pesto rice, served with lemon, hot sauce, radish, French sheep feta, and a poached egg, flying out of the kitchen, Sqirl is definitely a lot more than your run-of-the-mill café. On the other hand, it isn’t really a restaurant yet, either. It doesn’t offer all of the usual comforts and accommodations which come with the territory of being a respectable restaurant. Patrons of the shop may find themselves waiting for 30 minutes to order, then having to eat while standing on the sidewalk, in hopes that a sought-after outdoor table will open up.
In his book “counter intelligence”, food critic Jonathan Gold writes: “If you enjoy chaos as much as you do toast smeared with chocolate ganache and almond-hazelnut butter…Sqirl may well be your favorite place in the city.”
Even with the proliferation of vegetable-driven menus in the L.A. area, Sqirl manages to stand out. This is due to its boldness, creativity, and desire to experiment and cook outside the box. Koslow, Wilson, and the rest of the staff manage to create food and drink that is as delicious as it is eclectic, and the dishes leaving that small kitchen are definitely worth the attention they receive.
Check out more about Sqirl restaurant here!