Old Diner, New Tricks – Cindy’s Restaurant, Eagle Rock

20140527-164053-60053315.jpg After being closed for 8 months, Cindy’s Restaurant in Eagle Rock recently reopened with a new menu and new management. In the tradition of many other diners in the Eagle Rock area, Cindy’s is only open until 3pm serving breakfast and lunch. We went on a Sunday morning, at prime LA brunching hour, and there might have been 4 other people in the restaurant. We were a little skeptical at first, looking at the throwback diner decor and 60s-vibe orange, leather booths. The look and feel is somewhere between the bright colors of Fred 62’s and the straight-forward diner appeal of the 101 Coffee Shop. But the food is not your average diner fare… 20140527-164051-60051902.jpg

Two words: Brisket Hash. It’s a bowl of beef brisket with chunks of sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions and house-made tobasco, all covered with two over easy eggs. The perfectly runny yolk covered every hearty bite of meat and potato, creating what I can only describe as a sort of breakfast stew; and I mean that in the best way possible. When I ordered the “hash” I expected something much more pan-fried or skillet-y, but it was such a satisfying surprise to have something that tasted so substantial and slow-cooked. 20140527-164052-60052973.jpg

We didn’t order the Huevos Rancheros, but they accidentally put in the wrong order, so we got it anyway! Which was great because I don’t tend to order huevos rancheros when I see them on a menu, but I’m always reminded how good they are when I eat them. Cindy’s huevos were straightforward, simple and delicious with green salsa and 2 over easy eggs on a flour tortilla, which all sat on a heap of black beans. I also got to try the fried egg sandwich with smoked pork and cheddar. As with the other dishes at Cindy’s, it might seem over-the-top, but it ends up tasting surprisingly simple, and well-balanced. The pork is tender and flavorful, but it doesn’t have the overpowering quality that a pulled pork might have on a breakfast sandwich. In essence, it doesn’t just taste like a pork sandwich with some egg texture added for good measure; you actually get to taste the sharp cheddar cheese,the fried egg yolk (again, perfectly cooked, over-medium – not too runny), and the tabasco mayo for an extra bit of heat. 20140527-164052-60052237.jpg 20140527-164052-60052617.jpg

Perhaps it was overkill, but we also got the pancakes (to share!). The thick, fluffy buttermilk pancakes were delicious and were just the perfect thing following all of the rich and savory flavors of the other dishes. They came with a “hotcake syrup” that was perfect for dipping or slathering all over the cakes. For only $1 more, you can upgrade to Real Vermont Maple Syrup.   20140527-164053-60053668.jpg

On this particular morning, I wasn’t in the mood for a fancy gourmet LA brunch, but I also wasn’t in the mood for some rubbery diner eggs, so Cindy’s was a perfect medium. You can find a lot of fancy benedicts and fusion brunches in LA, but sometimes you want a good hearty meal. And it seems the new menu pretty accurately reflects the restaurant’s motto: “It’s just good food!”

Cindy’s Restaurant
1500 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041

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