Friday, June 13, 2008
Flake Cereal Restaurant: Breakfast Bar of Champions
When Flake --a cereal bar (with the best tagline ever by the way..."Flake: Wake & Flake". I love it!)--first opened a few blocks from my street, I thought "Who on earth would be so lazy as to dine out and eat cereal?" Um, apparently--when I woke up this morning with bare cupboards and no desire to hit up Ralphs for sustanance so early in the day--that would be me.
Working up my appetite for bran flakes and toasted grains, I biked the 5 blocks to Flake, where I found a surprisingly high number of fellow lazy breakfasters lounging out at both their sidewalk tables and wooden tables inside. Their chalk blackboard announces all the cereal and topping combinations a la Pinkberry; you can go as basic (Cheerios with fresh strawberries) or whimsical (complex blend of Reeses PB Puffs and Flax Plus Special K topped with shredded coconuts, Pixie sticks and fresh pineapples). For those who love blending different cereals together for the perfect bowl at home (Life and Nutty Nuggets--Ralphs's cheaper version of Grape Nuts) is a winner in my household), Flake a cereal mixologist's wet dream.
Overwhelmed by the choices, I went for simple; Kashi's Go Lean Crunch with fresh blueberries and skim milk. At $3.75, its both a total rip-off in that I could buy an entire box at the supermarket for the same price, and also a real deal, because, where else can you get a generous and delicious bowl of breakfast for under $4? (they're pretty hearty portions, and cereal somehow taste better when someone else prepares it for you).
Since their opening a couple of months ago, their menu has also expanded with pretty yummy sounding breakfast sandwiches and lunchtime wraps. Although I felt compelled to order cereal at a cereal restaurant, I was also lured by their 'Nutty Munkee' ($3.75), a filling english muffin sandwich with peanut butter, bananas and choice of honey, Nutella or preserves.
Sitting in their corner table, munching on cereal and perusing a complimentary copy of the L.A. Times, I was feeling a lot more contentment than I should be for just eating cereal; with the relaxed atmosphere, sunny orange and wood color scheme and large windows looking out to the street attributed to the enjoyable feeling of eating at a hypothetical artsy friend's kitchen nook the next morning after a fun night out with the girls. Or maybe it was the decadent, guilty pleasure feeling of luxuriously dining out for cereal that gave me such breakfast bliss.
Other menu choices that may tickle my fancy another time (yes, I think I'd come back) include their Sambozon Acai bowl with granola and bananas ($6.25), The Fatty (smoked turkey, swiss and avocado on a warm croissant, $6.50) and Poesideon's Wrap (tuna salad with Israeli feta in a sundried tomato wrap, $7.50) Can you tell I'm a sucker for cleverly-named sandwiches?
Overall, I went out for a bowl of cereal this morning, and to borrow a phrase from Tony the Tiger, I would rate my breakfast experience as g-r-r-r-eat.
Flake : 513 Rose Ave, Venice CA