When I was a kid, I hated breakfast. It seemed like a complete waste of time. Why on earth would you get up for a meal of eggs? Or cereal? Or toast? It just didn’t seem worth it. I would much rather bury myself in a warm nest of blankets, reading books, and wait for lunch. Why? Because lunch had SO MANY possibilities! You could have anything! Lamb kebabs, sushi, fondue, chicken lo mien, anything was acceptable. There is literally no unacceptable lunch food. (Well okay, once I had a malted milk ball milkshake for lunch. That’s pretty unacceptable.)
One of the happiest culinary moments of my young life was when I went to visit my godmother and her family in Phoenix. She asked me what I wanted for breakfast and I said a cheeseburger. Instead of laughing at me, she smiled and made one for me. I had a cheeseburger at 9am. I had no idea such a thing was possible. It broke all the rules of breakfast. It blew my tiny little mind.
I have since learned to appreciate breakfast for the necessary nutrition it provides. It’s very hard to go to work and sit at a desk if you’ve eaten nothing. Very hard. But when I heard that Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake had a breakfast burger, I was really excited. Would it be as good as that cherished memory in Phoenix? I had to find out.
Cliff’s Edge itself is a very beautiful restaurant hidden off Sunset Blvd right next to a very unlovely 99 cent store. It is a bit like walking into a secret garden. Past the heavy wooden doors, a well manicured forest springs up around you with lanterns hanging from the branches and tables sprinkled under the trees. The loveliness is not just limited to the décor. As soon as the menu was put down, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite places. It was fancy.
I absolutely adore fancy brunch. I can think of nothing more decadent than rolling out of bed at noon, throwing on some clothes, and leisurely strolling down to your local establishment and having someone cook you breakfast. Not just any breakfast though. The kind of breakfast you would never make for yourself in a million years. Fresh biscuits with lemon curd and marrow bone butter? No way. Can you imagine making chicken liver terrine with candied kumquats and pistachio vinaigrette on toast just for the heck of it? No. Which is why when I got to the breakfast patty with bacon, fried egg, onion fondue, gruyere, and arugula on the menu I did a little happy dance in my seat.
When it arrived in all of its openfaced glory, I was a little concerned. What if it’s too fancy? What if they over do it? I am happy to report that they did not. The thing was absurdly delicious. The runny egg, white toast, and bacon had a very traditional breakfast feel with the added bonus of a rich beef burger, sweet onions, and peppery arugula to counter it. It was the perfect brunch dish. Both lunch and breakfast were happily represented and served with hot fries on the side. I’m almost ashamed of how much I loved this burger. It had all the right proportions. Now all I have to do is exercise some restraint and not order one every Sunday. It will be a challenge.
PS. They have a dessert menu. It is absolutely worth it. You’ve already had a burger for breakfast. Why stop there? Have the peach crumble as well. You won’t be sorry.