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Solar de Cahuenga Will Give You the Crepes

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Just about every time I'm winding my way over the hill into Hollywood I pass by Solar de Cahuenga at the corner of Franklin and Cahuenga and think, "Man, I need to check this place out." Back when I lived just a hop, skip, and a jump (aka three blocks) from the cafe's corner there was no cafe there to speak of. Then again, there was no such thing as WiFi to speak of, so part of the restaurant's draw was as yet to be created. But that was then, and this is now.

Anyhow. After ages of forgetting to check it out (and only remembering when I was already headed somewhere else) I made a point to make it there for a casual weekend brunch before a matinee at the ArcLight. I felt Hollywood poseur enough just typing that, which doesn't come close to the vibe inside SDC, where any screenwriter with a laptop and a dream can use the aforementioned WiFi to hop online and see if they've rated a mention on Variety.com. Oh, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad--it's actually quite cozy and nice inside the place, with lots of sunlight, comfy chairs and big tables, and you're not elbow to elbow with the patrons at the next table. It's counter service with those big plastic number cards, so the first task (after laughing at the complimentary "valet" parking set up in the cafe's lot) is to queue up and study a plastic menu card (viewable via this page). Oh goodness--decisions, decisions! What to do?

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Solar de Cahuenga's gig is crepes, but their list of omlettes was pretty damn alluring. It was a very tough call, and we succumbed to the ol' eyes-bigger-than-stomach ratio cliche. I picked out the Santa Cruz Pier omlette, which is filled with smoked salmon, cheese, sour cream, & onions per the menu, but also had capers, which was a nice surpirse, since I am one who enjoys a good caper now and then. My co-diner went for a savory crepe, the Sunny Path, which nestles grilled chicken breast, sauteed onions & button mushrooms between its crepe-y folds, and is smothered in a rich dijon sauce (pictured). Both entrees came with side options of either grilled potatoes, fries, fruit, or a baby greens salad, and we both went for the salad, which was served with a nice tangy balsamic dressing.

Here's where the over-doing it came in: I couldn't resist getting a sweet crepe, too, just to have a taste. I mean, really, can you blame me? So I tacked on a Crepes Suzette, just to see what they did with the classic, for us to share. The staffer gave us the option of holding the Suzette until we'd done our damage to the entrees, which was a nice thing. Off we trekked to our table, plastic numbers on metal rods in hand. The wait wasn't bad, and soon our brunch dishes appeared. The Sunny Patch got an enthusiastic thumbs up, and my Santa Cruz Pier hit the spot, although the toast was burnt and went by the wayside. We even got to enjoy a bonus D-list celebrity sighting, which echoed an earlier sighting mentioned on LAist. We gave the go-ahead to the counter folks that we were ready for our sweet treat, and it emerged shortly.

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Ah, the sweet taste of... disappointment. The crepe was sticky and a tad soggy, the squirts of whipped cream so painfully canned that it was impossible to enjoy the creamy gesture as intented, and it seems someone must have misplaced the zesting tool, because instead of the delicate enhancement of some orange peel the crepe was topped with awkwardly large chunks of peel--sour pith and all. So note to self: resist the urge to go sweet at Solar de Cahuenga. And get my agent on the phone! I need a script deal! Let's take a meeting!

I know just the place...

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Solar de Cahuenga
1847 North Cahuenga Boulevard
(323) 467-7510