Five Great Egg Dishes

Ate a simple scramble this morning at Monkey Business Cafe, which is getting ready to do something wonderful with persimmons. At $4.95 for four pieces of toast, a melon slice, and eggs mixed with cheddar cheese and green onions, quite the treat. Eating it, however, made me think of other wonderful local dishes derived from eggs. Such as:

*Hollandaise sauce at Memphis at the Santora: I can only eat a little bit, so rich and yolk-y the sauce is. My chica, though, can usually go through a gallon of the stuff in one sitting--no kidding. Tart, sweet, not too runny and perfect for spreading across potatoes or dunking a slice of toast in it. 201 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 564-1064; www.memphiscafe.com.

*Chilaquiles at the real Taco Adobe: Sometimes, Taco Adobe serves breakfast; sometimes, they don't. But I'm pretty sure you can always order their chilaquiles, freshly fried, sprinkled with salty queso fresco and a hefty portion of rice and beans. Most people like their chilaquiles accompanied by scrambled eggs, but I always prefer one sunny-side up, the better to let the yolk lightly cook on the piping-hot chips. 121 N. Lemon St., Orange, (714) 628-0633.


*Breakfast bánh mì at Tan Hoang Huong Bakery: Every bánh mì shop specializes in one version of the Vietnamese sandwich standard: Ba Le for pork four ways, for instance. This Fountain Valley eatery does the breakfast sandwich right: pickled daikon and carrot slices, jalapeños, a smear of what tastes like mayo but isn't since I can't stand the condiment but love this one, and big, steaming scoops of just-scrambled eggs, with the faintest hint of yolk just to add a little zing. 15972 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, (714) 775-7422.

*Any of the omelets at Old Vine Cafe: Made with organic eggs, meats, herbs--seriously, all are bueno. I prefer the Espanola, which features Spanish ham, peppers, and Manchengo cheese, but make sure to request a side of their house pomodoro sauce, a touch of Tuscany so vibrant...ah, finish the simile yerself! 2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 545-1411; www.oldvinecafe.com.

*Balut at Asian Garden Mall: Now that I think about it...is balut (duck embryo) officially an egg? It's inside an egg shell, but at what point does an egg cease to be an egg and become a chick. Does poultry begin at conception? Questions to ponder while eating a treat usually found at Filipino restaurants but much enjoyed by Viets, who call it hot vit lon and add a lot of diacritics. 9200 Bolsa Ave., Westminster, (714) 891-2122; www.asiangardenmall.com.


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