jeremy's

Jeremy's French Toast Combo includes two eggs and sausage, at the La Crescenta location. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / May 3, 2012)

Truth be told, the broken, faded sign had kept me away for years. But my husband and I love novelty almost as much as we love our Saturday morning breakfasts together, so despite the B rating card in the window, we ventured into Jeremy’s Restaurant. Am I glad we did. It’s “our” spot now.

It’s not because of the food, though the food is unfailingly good. It’s not even the decor, though the decor is shabbily charming. It’s the whole package, really, including the curmudgeonly signs on the walls, the funny waitresses, the weathered faces all around talking about power sanders and long car trips, and the endless cups of diner-style coffee. This is a place where they throw a dishcloth over your head to the beckoning bus boy across the restaurant. It’s fun and welcoming and delicious, even on your first visit.

The cooks in the open kitchen clearly have a long-term, meaningful relationship with eggs. When you ask for softly poached eggs, you get eggs that are firm and white on the outside, but explode with liquid gold when pierced with a fork. The husband swears by their sunny-side up eggs with a side of wheat toast for dunking ($6.50, including coffee.) I like mine poached over corned beef hash ($7.50). The hash may not be homemade at Jeremy’s, but it is crispy and hot. Skip the hash brown potatoes for the house-made cottage fries with big, fat slices of onions and peppers. My daughter likes the short stack of pancakes ($3.50). Don’t be fooled into getting the regular stack unless you recently ran a marathon. These pancakes are the size of dinner plates and twice as thick, with a cake-like texture and warm sweetness.

I’ve witnessed their legendary cinnamon raisin French toast and heard groans of satisfaction come from neighboring tables, but I’m a savory breakfast person. The omelets ($7.99) come crammed with whatever stuffing you’ve chosen — the bacon is particularly good. Keep in mind these are old-school omelets with browned edges, not the sky high, pale yellow puffs you get at many breakfast places. Everything is old school here. No surprises on the menu, and you won’t see “organic” or “free-range” anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s not made with care.

Jeremy’s is open for lunch and dinner too, with items like tuna melts and burgers, but it really shines as a breakfast spot. The wait for a table, if any, is short. Parking is easy in the lot or on the street, and dogs are welcome at the picnic tables outside. So while the paint is chipping and the potted plants are drying up, you hardly notice. The ever-cheerful server has handed you a complimentary cup of coffee “for the road.”

LISA DUPUY has written about food, travel and entertainment for 25 years. She welcomes comments at LDupuy@aol.com.


Jeremy’s Restaurant

Where: 3009 Honolulu Ave., La Crescenta

When: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Why: Breakfast $6-$9; Lunch & dinner $7-$10

Phone: (818) 248-7772