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Don't go to the Bloom Cafe!

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I’m a little hesitant to tell you guys about Bloom Café. Brunching is not a leisure activity in this town. The idea of brunch is always calm, meeting up on a weekend, yummy breakfast, savory lunch foods. Coffee, laughter, companionship. But the reality is lines and waiting, grumpy stomachs, languishing hangovers. It’s not pretty out there.

At the Bloom Café, you can remember what brunch is really about. The clientele at this Picfair location is a mix of hipsters and young families. It’s a two sided place, one is more café style and the other is a sit down place. There is a wait, but it’s usually no more than five or ten minutes. You never see the hoards packing the sidewalks, like at Toast or Doughboys. The décor is somewhat minimalist with cement flooring (which makes it a bit loud in there) and white walls, adorned with art accented in big colorful daisies on the café side and pale green on the other. The tables are made from bamboo, part of their organic, renewable resources philosophy.

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Now, I realize that organic, farm fresh produce is the new black. I’ve certainly learned the hard way that farmer’s market doesn’t always mean good. But there is absolutely nothing bad about the food at the Bloom Café. The sandwiches look fresh and tasty. They don’t shy away from burgers or personal sized pizzas. They have excellent coffee, served in big cups with refills. The omelettes are nothing short of unbelievable, mixed with veggies and meats, served up with a generous portion of fruit salad and fried potatoes.

But the king of Bloom café’s brunch is, without question, the lemon ricotta pancakes, which they serve with jam instead of syrup. The jam is fresh made, usually raspberry or blueberry or somewhere inbetween. And the pancakes are fluffy and light with just a hint of lemon, and smeared with the jam – it’s euphoria. I usually get them accompanied with sausage (gotta have the protein!). Because Bloom Café is a new restaurant, they’ve changed the sausage a few times. At first it was great – stubby dwarf sausage, smoky with chunks of apple. Then they had a bad one, gritty and flavorless. Now they seem to have settled into a fine chicken sausage, flavored with rosemary.

In the interest of full disclosure, the service at the Bloom Café can be dicey. As is often the case in LA, they’ve put more thought into the appearance of the staff than the service itself. They have cool brown tshirts and sweatshirts with the logo on them, but they constantly seem understaffed. Sometimes things are really slow, or they just seem to forget about you and you have to wave them down. This isn’t always the case, but it’s one for the risks you run. And personally, the lemon ricotta pancakes are well worth it. So remember -- don’t go to the Bloom Café. Cause I don’t want to have to wait too long when I go there.

Bloom Cafe, 5544 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA