Mmm... Marston's



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Brunch.  My favorite subject.  As you know, I'm crazy nuts about the crunchy French toast from Blu Jam Cafe — it's almost unbeatable.  That said, there is some stiff competition coming out of Pasadena.  Marston's, named "Best Breakfast in California" by The Food Network Magazine in 2010, serves a dish called Fantastic French Toast ... and holy crap they're not kidding.

BEFORE...
Marston's is that quintessential California breakfast spot — a tightly packed bungalow-style haven with horrible parking and too few tables to feed the droves who flock there — with simple comfort foods perfectly prepared.  I've eaten salads here, and sandwiches, too.  Good.  But the point of the place is breakfast, and of all the choices, their carb options absolutely bring the house down (this said by a semi-carb-conscious Angeleno, so you know I'm not messing around).

...AFTER
I can't say it enough — brunch is the reason I get up on Sundays.  And French Toast is the reason I love brunch.  Look at this thing.  This is what's left of the gloriously crunchified, expertly caramelized hunks of syrup-soaked bread magic I was served.  I also kicked in the extra buck for the strawberries, and while I still think Blu Jam takes the cake (literally) on accoutrements (their vanilla syrup and fruit combo kills), this is classic French toast done brilliantly.

Go.  Early.  You will wait, but it will be worth it.  And if you can't grab a parking spot in their tiny lot (though my darlings Jessica and April seem to always grab Doris Day parking right by the front door), try the meters on Raymond a block away.  You'll want to walk off this carbo-bomb anyway.

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