Breakfast Now: LatelyAuthor:Abigail Stone
Tucked into a corner of Mandarin Plaza in Chinatown, Lately, which tested the interest of neighbors by starting life as a a take-out window, has opened in a beautiful and calm space designed by Richard Tranley and William Hu of MSG Studios and Dopium, the multi-sensory art experience.
The space is simple, with boxy pale wood tables and chairs and counter seating along the large picture window that looks out into the building’s central courtyard.
A delicate black and white mural by artist Cori Maass aka Coral Monday is the only decoration in the spare one thousand foot space, allowing the food, from former Masterchef semi-finalist Becky Reams, to take center stage.
Plants, hanging lights and a wall of sculptural objects add warmth and whimsy. An open kitchen is an invitation to chat. A mirror further brightens up the bottom floor space, making this a welcoming spot from morning through mid-afternoon.
Reams’ menu, staying true to the restaurant’s motto (“It’s never too late for breakfast”) is dotted with sunny side up eggs. “Who doesn’t love a perfectly sunny side up egg?,” Ream wonders. “I grew up in the Midwest, Stilwell, KS, to be specific. I grew up eating a lots of bacon and eggs, fried green tomatoes, smothered country fried steaks, and pimento cheese logs. I draw on a lot of those food memories, reinterpreting them through the lens of my now California, home.” Not surprisingly, her menu tips towards the savory and salty end of the spectrum: the cake donut with rosemary, the chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with Maldon sea salt, and the Liege waffle with miso honey butter.
There’s a soft scramble on Bub and Grandma’s sourdough and an avocado toast piled high on the same bread. Salads, a country fried steak sandwich, biscuits and a grain bowl, round out the offerings. And, of course there is coffee. Aldo Lihiang presides over the drinks offerings which include lattes made with a variety of milks and add-ons, including charcoal, matcha, oat and, of course, chocolate.
Lately, 970 N Broadway #114, Los Angeles, CA, 8 am – 3 pm