First Look: Silver Lake’s David Cafe

If there hadn’t been an election this past Tuesday and if my polling place had been in its usual Sunset Boulevard location east of Silver Lake Boulevard next door to the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign (instead of at the free clinic at Micheltorena), I wouldn’t’ve walked past the long-awaited David Cafe — in the works since October 2009 — and seen that it had indeed finally opened.

UPDATED (3/13): Added photo of window-posted menu at end.

As such my wife Susan and I enthusiastically ventured in for breakfast this morning, excited to finally have an eatery option available to us on our south side of Sunset that would complement Tropical Cafe, and bring things a little less out of balance with  the exceptional array of restaurants established in the vicinity’s north side, including Local, Aroma, Pho, Rambutan, Gobi and Cowboys & Turbans, and to a lesser degree Tom’s.

David is situated in what was the existentially surreal and  long-standing mystery that was LA Chinese Food (site of a Dangerous Dining experiment between myself and Losanjealous’ inimitable Ryan back in The Year Of Our Pepto, 2006), and is the offshoot product of David Sutton who runs a catering service of the same name.

Sutton earned my respect in harkening back to the space’s past by incorporating a new neon sign onto the faded LA Chinese Food shingle. Rather than painting over the old thing or doing away with it entirely, beneath the glow of the “David” he installed you can still make out the weathered lettering of its predecessor, and from that I anticpated the new eatery’s arrival. And anticipated. And anticipated.

Eighteen months later, David is here, and Susan and I sat down within the bright and engaging space (panorama’d above) to huevos rancheros crepes and a chicken and waffle sandwich, pictured at right (with two coffees and a large fresh-squeezed OJ the total came to $29).

I so want to report that the food blew us away, but the truth is it was just good.  Susan found her’s to be a little bland, and while I found the chicken flavorful (if a bit overfried), this waffle nut felt there was just too much waffle going on in large part because it was rather dry augmented only with a tasty homemade jam/syrup when it should’ve also been supplemented with some butter and good ol’ maple syrup. Roscoe’s will not be losing any customers over this option.

In both dishes it seemed to be a case of trying to simultaneously be a little too fancy and a little too safe, but I don’t chalk that up as a negative so much as to a new restaurant that’s still testing and seeing what works — and I’m more than willing to return again and again and  find out if they’re working things out.

David Cafe
2852 Sunset Boulevard, LA 90026 (nearest cross street: Parkman Avenue)

Open for breakfast, lunch
Cash only (temporarily)

Menu (readably biggable when clickified):





5 thoughts on “First Look: Silver Lake’s David Cafe”

  1. $29 for two average breakfasts in that lurid green room with all the umbrellas on the ceiling? I, for one, will pass.

  2. Not taking anything away from Karin’s stated choice to not give David a chance, but it prompts a reminder that such decisions made based on a photo and a few words from someone of such questionable taste and intellect as myself, might be shortsighted.

    The wall color certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice but it wouldn’t have been my last choice either. And the umbrellas I found rather enchanting — I was told they were installed not only for a visual effect, but also because they successfully diffuse the harsh acoustics of the space. Nice. And if the interior decor is that offputting, there’s the available option of sitting at the tables outside.

    As to the meal’s total, in comparison our first trip to Local for breakfast set me back $45. The food was definitely a couple cuts above what we had at David, but the sticker shock lingered for awhile enough to make me slow to return (we’ve since been back many times). $29 might not be a readily palatable pricetag, but for better or worse it seems about average among comparable restaurants around this area. And another point: Both of what Susan and I ordered were specials and not listed on the regular menu. At the end of the post I’ve added a photo snapped of the menu posted in David’s window to give an idea that there are more reasonably priced items available.

    And lastly, the owner’s been in the catering business for a number of years so I fully expect the menu to evolve, and I hope people will be more willing to experience it personally and decide for themselves rather than let this poor post reinforce any resistance to it.

  3. Ah! I was wondering about this place. Going to check it out soon… as for the prices, Will is right – they are pretty much comparable to the area, if not a dollar or two cheaper.

  4. To be fair, Local isn’t a very good comparison. It’s easily the most expensive restaurant on that stretch, by far. One person can easily spend $18 on a breakfast and some coffee.

    That said, $29 for two is about what you’d pay at Dusty’s or Madame Matisse. Millie’s is markedly less, as you’d expect.

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