>> Mile End Café | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 4 October 2021

Mile End Café

CANADA 🇨🇦
Beverly Blvd. facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant has a few tables inside and about a dozen outside. Staff is still wearing masks.

While most of the breakfast food consumed in this building over the past decade plus at now-shuttered Lulu's was most likely enjoyed well after noon, the new tenants have still constructed a menu that is very breakfast-forward. The first page is full of egg dishes, avocado toast, and much more importantly: Montréal bagel sandwiches. These bagels; smaller, more dense, and usually charred a little more than their thick New York City rivals, are shipped in weekly direct from St-Viateur, the Godfather of Montréal-style bagels.

The original St-Viateur is of course right in the heart of Mile End, a now hip and gentrified neighborhood in Montréal that has historically been home to much of the city's Jewish population. This brand new establishment takes Mile End as its name, as many restaurants around the world have, and brings another entry into the fold for formidable bagels in Los Angeles.

Montréal-style sesame bagel with cream cheese and prosciutto

Luckily Mile End Café does not stick out like a sore thumb in its new neighborhood like Courage Bagels does in Virgil Village. This section of Miracle Mile and greater Fairfax have long been home to a thriving Jewish community and many similar businesses. The price of a meal here falls in line with most everything around it.

A Montréal bagel ($4.50, above) is available in plain, poppy seed, sesame, and everything. Add-ons like cream cheese (75 cents) and prosciutto ($5) join the likes of eggs, bacon, Montréal smoked meat, and salmon to be stuffed in between the halves. You can also select from a decent list of crafted sandwich choices.

Poutine

While the rest of the menu is mostly Italian, with sandwiches, pastas, salads and even Roman pinsa available, there are a few other flashes of Montréal that are fun to enjoy here. First and foremost, it is wonderful to have a simple and pure version of poutine ($10, above) now in Los Angeles. Most chefs who offer the dish go over the top with extra ingredients and portion size, but here the focus is where it should be: squeeky cheese curds and a thin savory gravy.

The style is similar to the chicken chain St-Hubert, where your friends in Montréal will take you when visiting and in the mood for poutine. The fries are crisp and thin and never upstage the other two ingredients, layered nicely in between the potatoes as well. The amount is also more proper, by the time you finish you are not forcing in cold fries and gravy as is often the case at a restaurant that makes a giant flashy portion.

Montréal smoked meat sandwich

What probably will not fly in a city that would fight to the death to defend its Langer's pastrami is the Montréal smoked meat sandwich ($17, above). What it will succeed in though is bringing a comforting smile to the face of a transplanted Quebecer, the smoked meat may not be as fresh but is just like back home since like the bagels it is imported.

The thin slices of salted, cured brisket are full of spice (more peppercorn and garlic than less sugar) and slathered with yellow mustard unless you ask for it without. The rye bread is just ok unfortunately, a better loaf would definitely let this sandwich take off higher. The meat can also be added to the poutine, or better yet with bagels. That will certainly be the move on future visits.

đź“Ť 7149 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax, Central Los Angeles

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