As the undisputed L.A. queen of all things breakfast, Jessica Koslow has been feeding Angelenos her homemade jam, grain bowls and that heavenly toast since Sqirl opened in Los Feliz five years ago. The lines haven’t gotten any shorter; show up at one in the afternoon on a Tuesday and you’ll still see a hungry crowd snaking around the block. With her first cookbook, Everything I Want to Eat, out on October 4 and two new restaurants in the works (takeaway spot Sqirl Away and a Middle Eastern restaurant in West L.A.), we decided to snag this badass chef before she got too busy and ask about some of her favorite places to eat and drink in L.A.
Where are your go-to breakfast spots?
I’ll stop by Proof Bakery for a croissant because the baker/owner, Na Young, has the palette and skill to match. Or I’ll head to Bonjuk, for the vegetarian combination porridge where, and I quote, “it tastes light and preferred by the women interested in their diet."
Favorite place to grab coffee in L.A.? And what do you usually order?
Not to dodge the question, but Sqirl is doing beautiful work in the coffee landscape, and I spend a lot of time here between these walls, so this is usually where I grab a cup. Right now we have Heart, Parlor, George Howell, Ritual and 49th Parallel on rotation, as well as Spyhouse from Minneapolis. Spyhouse has been sending consistently delicious coffee our way and I am genuinely excited by what they are doing. I keep my cup pretty simple. I usually go for an Americano—hot or iced, depending on the temperature of the day.
First thing you crave in the morning?
Water for the mouth. And water to swim in for movement (physicality) and the mind (sanity).
You've said that you have a big sweet tooth. What dessert do you crave the most (Chocolate cake? Ice cream? Apple pie?) and where do you go to find it?
Definitely ice cream, ideally from Sweet Rose Creamery. However, Sweet Rose is a bit of a drive from my house so I find myself (far too often) with pints of McConnell’s from the local grocery store. I’m not mad about it.
Beer, wine or cocktails?
Marvin is my favorite place to drink wine in this city, hands down. It has a list that can stand on its own in New York (Four Horsemen) or Paris (Vivant Cave), yet I feel like people don’t really know this. So now that you know—save me a seat at the bar. Also, I have a soft spot for the tropical cocktails at Tiki-Ti, they're sweet and strong.
Favorite Sqirl dish/drink combo?
Right now I’m into our new chicken salad which is made with bok choy, house fermented black garlic dressing, GoneStraw chicken, and dehydrated root vegetables and citrus. Think Chinese chicken salad turnt. I’ll eat this with a cold brewed sencha made from exquisite tea from Kettl.
Where are your favorite spots to grab a great loaf of bread in L.A.?
Lodge Bread Co. is making some delicious naturally leavened bread, the Seeded Country being my favorite if I had to pick just one. I’ll also be picking Nigella seeds out of my teeth (I always have to), so if you see something, say something.
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