The previous night, we thought it would be a good idea to give The Cottage a try since we were already in La Jolla. Epic fail. Not open for dinner on Sundays. Well, at least they let us use the washrooms. The kids really needed to go after a visit to Windansea beach. Earlier in the day, as we drove by The Cottage on our way to Nine Ten for brunch, there was a lineup that made me cringe. What's up with lineups here anyways??? As we were leaving the place after using their washrooms (which were very clean by the way), I ask the staff what time did we need to get there to avoid lining up. Before 9:00am was her best estimate. Okay, we'd be driving by La Jolla on our way to Legoland the next morning anyways. So we settled on eating here shortly after it opens at 7:30am. Once again, that mean we had to wake the kids up at an unholy time of 6:30am. My son dealt with it well since he was super-psyched about Legoland. However, my daughter was doing her best impression of a hormonal teenage girl, even though she is only 3. I just *can't* wait until her teenage years...
As we pulled up to The Cottage, the place was already over half-full and this was only a little past 7:30am. With only a few inside tables and relying mostly on patio seating, I can see how this place would fill up easily. For my breaky, I decided to try their Crab Cake Benedict. With a huge crab cake topped by a perfectly poached egg, this was a substantial Benedict. I found the crab to very fluffy and sweet; yet the cake itself seemed a touch heavy on the mayo. The Hollandaise sauce had a nice consistency not being too thick or runny. The buttery sauce was very mild and could've used more lemon and seasoning. I wasn't a huge fan of the hashbrowns though. They were squishy and despite the brown colour were not crispy at all. Viv ended up with the Fried Egg Sandwich consisting of lemon aioli, applewood bacon, gruyere, tomato, arugula and red onion on griddled sourdough. This was another nice dish with crunchy sourdough, a perfectly runny egg, crispy bacon and the slight bitterness of arugula. However, once again, the whole thing was very mild. The lemon aioli, though balanced and delicious, didn't really come through. There needed to be more punch from something to put this sandwich over-the-top.
For the kiddies, my son had the Oatmeal Pancake. Despite our fears of it being too dense, it was in fact fluffy and light. Even without the addition of syrup, the pancake itself had good flavour with a touch of sweetness. Since my son is a pancake connoisseur, he was probably the best judge of the dish - he happily ate it. Our daughter had the Egg & Sausage with buttermilk biscuit. The star here was the chicken apple sausage hands down. I liked it more than the one at The Mission. It was meaty and moist with tasty chunks of apple throughout. I loved the herbiness of the meat mix as it livened up the flavours. The egg was scrambled nicely being fluffy and just cooked. The buttermilk biscuit was not exactly light (well, with all the butter, it shouldn't be either); but it was not dense. The homemade jam went well with it. So this was yet another pleasant breakfast to add to the other 3 breakfasts we've had in San Diego. Not sure why people line up for it, but I know I wouldn't oppose returning if I'm ever in the area again.
- Carefully made food with quality ingredients
- Pretty good service
- Nice ambiance
- If you're not here early, you'll have to lineup