All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
Attached to the Dixie Hollywood Motel – is a contemporary take on an old-school coffee shop – 54Twenty (the address is 5420 Hollywood Blvd). I used to go to whatever this place was called back in the mid-eighties & get just-adequate Denver omelets. It was cheap, I could walk to it and, well, that’s about it. I don’t think it was called Angel’z back then – which is what it has been more recently. Angel’z closed, it seems, and now in its place is 54Twenty.
I never went to Angel’z. The exterior was far too depressing:
Photo from Hunch
But – when the joynt got a recent face lift making its look conspicuously hipper – I decided I should give it a shot. Look at that overhang & angled entry. Very Googie. Who would cover that with a shitty awning?
Photo from Trippy Food
The inside is still straight-foward “diner.” I put quote on diner because I like to reserve that term for actual dining cars – like the wonderful Phil’s.
Phil’s is in NoHo now – and closed. Very sad.
Anyway – 54Twenty looks like this inside:
The opposite wall is a long upholstered banquet with table in the windows.
We sat in the corner & a friendly waitress brought us menus. Coffee was served in paper cups
but the creamers were cute & came on a little tray with little spoons.
and I really liked the salt & pepper mill.
The menu was limited but way more creative than I expected.
I ordered the Ranch Eggs & Katie got a bacon & eggs special with what was described as “a six inch slab of bacon.”
My eggs were beautiful to look at & tasted even better!
I have decided that corn tortillas belong in the same class with parsley & celery – terribly underrated as a flavor worthy of comment. I love warm corn tortillas!
These ranch eggs really had it all. The hominy was crunchy, the onions delicate & sweet, the mayo – well – it’s fucking mayo. You can’t talk shit about mayonnaise – especially if it has chipotle or garlic or some other flavor going on. I once – sure drunkenly but whatever – stood with my friend Michael over an open jar of mayo & took rolled provolone cheese slices (purchased at 2am at the corner bodega in Brooklyn) & dipped them into the jar & scoffed that shit down. Sounds gross? It wasn’t. Ill-advised? Sure. Gross? No. Alcohol is a dangerous gateway drug – a gateway to late night Thai, unnecessary & regrettable post midnight carbo-loading & to consuming 4000 fat calories of mayo & cheese in ten minutes. But I digress.
Anyway – these ranch eggs were just ridiculous. Katie seemed equally pleased with her fried eggs and pork slab. Then the waitress informed us that their meat & eggs were hormone-free. The website states:
While keeping some features that playfully hint at the restaurant’s diner past, 54TWENTY features approachable breakfast and lunch showcasing local, sustainable and humane ingredients with modern touches. Enjoy!
Not sure if humane & sustainable means PASTURED (info HERE) – which would be ideal – but any effort is to be commended. The coffee comes from a local coffee roaster (http://www.handsomecoffee.com/) and they try to get their produce from local farmers.
Can you see the blackboard specials here?
Nah – I guess not. It has a watermelon & jalapeno gazpacho soup special & a Brussels sprout salad with a dressing that sounded impressive when I read it back to Katie. This picture is too blurred for me to read. Damn!
I also like this little bit from their website:
A hybrid of a restaurant & dinner party. Guestaurants typically feature a set menu,limited seating and require a reservation much like a supper club in someone’s home.
Welcome to our home.
We are honored to have you as our guest.
In early November, they will begin doing a 6 course, $60 tasting menu. Don’t be thrown by the Hollywood & Western location. The neighborhood can be sketchy – but the Dixie Motel (attached to 54Twenty) has a big parking lot – so the locals shouldn’t interfere with your hipster foodie experience too much. Only drawback? No liquor license. YET. But unless you are my boyfriend – you probably don’t want a beer with your eggs, anyway, so RUN – don’t walk – and try the outrageously delicious Ranch Eggs!