Restaurant Review #98: Jinky's Cafe, Santa Monica

Table for two

At 7:15 in the morning, there aren't a lot of breakfast options around downtown Santa Monica, it seems. The crepe place on Arizona isn't open yet. Panera doesn't count, because I used to work there. Blueberry has closed and transformed into a place called Jack and Jill's, which doesn't open until 8:00. Coffee shops don't count, because I want a hot breakfast, not a mere muffin, to make up for the fact that the doctor appointment I woke up an hour and a half early for got cancelled at the last minute. I could have gone to Buon Giorno Caffe, but I wanted to try something new.

My custom omelette

Jinky's menu is quite extensive, consisting of quite a few omelettes, myriad ingredients from which to create your own omelette, cornflake battered french toast (yum!) and other standard breakfast fare. I ordered decaf coffee and a portabella and swiss cheese omelette. Happily, the waitress delivered an entire carafe of coffee to my table. Unhappily, it was watery, like most restaurant coffee. Damn Americans! When will the rest of you learn to drink real, strong coffee? Europe has spoiled me! And by strong, I don't mean heavily caffeinated (it makes me feel crazy and sick to my stomach) but boldly flavored. Dense. Not watery.

My omelette was also lacking something--salt. Just like Broadway Deli, the cooks at Jinky's seem to leave the salt out of the omelette. Why? Salt is a crucial ingredient in any cooked egg dish! Adding it on top isn't the same--that leaves me with salt crunchies (yuck). I like my salt cooked in. Guess I'll have to stick to homemade if I want a good omelette.

Most dishes come with a side of potatoes and bread of your choice--sourdough, white, or wheat toast, or an English muffin, or a bagel, or...gosh, why dont' you just pick for me? Honestly, I think this is much more food than almost anyone except a football player could consume in one sitting, especially breakfast. I realize that I'm suppposed to be breaking a 9-12 hour fast, but honestly, I'm not that hungry in the morning. I ate about 1/4 of a piece of toast, 2 squares of potato, and a third of an omelette.

Partial view of the dining room

The service was just okay--it took us a while to flag down someone who would bring us a bill, and that someone was not our waitress. Since I'm not a morning person, I don't really expect anyone else to be totally awake and on top of things at 8am either, but alas, some of us must go to work at that ungodly hour and need to pay for our food and leave.

Overall, Jinky's is a decent option for breakfast, given the limited options in the area and given my faith in the french toast I have yet to order. There is also something pleasantly not-LA about the decor and the vibe, though I can't pinpoint what that is. It's not southern, it's not midwestern, it's not LA, and yet it's not generic, either. I would go back, but hopefully I won't have the opportunity, because I'd rather be asleep!

Jinky's Cafe
1447 Second St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website (warning, plays music!)


Anonymous said...

I recommend trying the Jinky's in the valley. Don't know why there is such a dramatic difference btwn the 2 restaurants, the menus are the same, but there is.

Anonymous said...

Try the one in the valley, it's better.