Sept. 19 2014 05:36 PM

Carlsbad outpost offers sweet and savory starts to your day

Beach Plum’s French toast
Jenny Montgomery

I wish I were one of those people who could enthusiastically start the day with egg whites or an acai bowl or something filled with protein and righteousness. But I just want simple carbs covered in syrup. And, yes, I always feel slightly ill after downing a giant stack of pancakes, followed by ravenous hunger less than an hour later, but that never seems to kill the allure of sweet cakes for breakfast.

My taste buds, if not the rest of my body, are pretty pumped about working their way through the menu at Beach Plum Kitchen, a polished new locale in Carlsbad (6971 El Camino Real, Suite 201).

Even my love of a sugary start to my day usually draws the line at ice cream for breakfast, but I have to applaud Beach Plum's flair. Do check out the lemon ricotta pancakes (ricotta in a pancake is so wonderfully perfect) with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream, and let's all embrace the latest naughty food trend. 

French toast can run the gamut from dry to gloopy, but thanks to the spongy-wonder Sadie Rose brioche, Beach Plum turns out a beautiful plate of the battered bread, laid out in a line of perfect triangles. They don't overdo it or even tempt you with ice cream for this humble platter, but the custardy treat gets a wonderful upgrade with a thick drizzle of raspberry mascarpone glaze over every piece, not to mention the always-needed warm maple syrup. This is such a great version of a classic. Nothing is deconstructed or piled with nonsense. Top-notch ingredients come together with an elegant twist, and an everyday dish we all crank out in our kitchens becomes something that makes breakfast in a restaurant the special treat it should be.

Now, for those of you who are smarter than us cake-eaters over here, there are plenty of protein and veggie items for the offering. I will point you toward the migas, a barely spicy bowl of shredded tortillas, crumbled chorizo, peppers and eggs, cooked together until the eggs are just scrambled. Thankfully, our version was not overdone, an all-too-common tragedy with most restaurant egg dishes. Our illogically paralyzing fear of salmonella has completely skewed our expectations when it comes to the delicate egg, but, thankfully, Beach Plum seems to get the line between cooked just right and "this tastes like burnt sadness." The migas are hearty enough to start your day without weighing you down and inducing a post-breakfast nap.

Beach Plum also bakes some delicious pastries in-house, including buttermilk biscuits and a very satisfying version of coffee cake. And don't miss the coffee, roasted by San Diego charmers Virtuoso Coffee. That never-ending cup of joe we're all used to at most breakfast places? It's a gourmet treat at Beach Plum.

Beach Plum Kitchen has the style and charm you'd expect from a tony La Costa-area locale, but with friendly service, quality favorites and generous scoops of ice cream, this is a neighborhood eatery worth visiting again and again.

Write to and Follow Jenny on Twitter @jennymontyinsd.


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