The traditional “Kaffeeklatsch”
3 Square Café + Bakery, located at 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, is a beachy, relaxed, Venice neighborhood café created by Los Angeles chef/restaurateur Hans Röckenwagner and chef Wolfgang Gussmack, a “Röckenwagner” café.
The name “3 square” stands for “3 square meals” a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you could go for just a good glass of wine and the truffle fries, and call it a 1/2 square or a crescent).
We had breakfast al fresco on 3 Square Café’s patio, overlooking Abbott Kinney.
The breakfast menu has a selection of fresh baked breads, pancakes and organic egg dishes. Their special of the day: an omelette of mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella.
My breakfast choice was the huevos rancheros with chile relleno, black beans and guacamole. I had been craving an egg like this for a few days now. The eggs were “soft- poached” as the waiter mentioned, but I dare say they were “soft-boiled”— the waiter asked me how I wanted my eggs, I said “soft boiled, please” because I had been thinking about an egg soft-boiled for most of the week. I hadn’t made one myself at home—we were out of fresh bread or we were too busy and had to rush out the door in the morning. I dreamed of soft-boiled eggs when I was falling asleep at night, looking forward to an egg, firm whites and almost cooked in the center, but not hard-boiled. Something nourishing about an egg like this, the way its yolk is bright yellow and creamy, having some fluffy bread to sop its golden center up with. In this case, a corn tortilla.
Anyway, despite the banter about the difference between “soft-boiled” and “soft-poached” eggs, these two eggs came out exactly the way I wanted. Really, it did not matter what you called them. They were nestled upon a tortilla with a lovely red sauce and the chile relleno all lightly breaded and stuffed with cheese next to it, looking quite delicious. The black beans and guacamole were delightful, and not too salty, either of them. There was another corn tortilla rolled up with cheese inside.
My darling ordered the omelette of the day. I had it before, so I knew it would be just what he wanted, and I nearly chose that, but for the adventure of trying another dish on the breakfast menu.
The Omelette of the Day served with potatoes and toast.
Other happy moments:
- My Earl Grey tea was served in a pot with hot water and a side of milk. Honey packets. Fresh squeezed orange juice, served cold in a wine glass, and a tall glass of water.
- The sun was shining strong and it was a beautiful day on Abbott Kinney.
- Our waiter was attentive and friendly.
- My eggs were just what I dreamed of. Wish fulfilled.
Next door is their bakery, which is very good— I love the “multigrain scone” and they have amazingly good breakfast muesli in to-go containers— quite dangerous! Not a diet food, but life is to live, so go for the breakfast muesli.
About the chefs from their website RÖCKENWAGNER:
Wolfgang joined Hans in 2002 as chef de cuisine at Röckenwagner Restaurant in Santa Monica. A native of Graz, Austria, Wolfgang started his culinary career cooking spätzle for his family’s restaurant and Gasthaus. This experience earned him a spot in Austria’s only two-star Michelin restaurant and subsequently, led him to renowned kitchens in Italy and France before coming to Los Angeles.
A rabid gourmand, Wolfgang is a walking food guide (ask him where to eat in any city), a wine connoisseur and the holder of THE perfect Kaiserschmarren recipe.
3 Square Café + Bakery and Röckenwagner Bakery are the latest ventures of longtime Los Angeles chef/restaurateur Hans Röckenwagner. Hans’ background spans thirty years of cooking in kitchens in Germany, Switzerland, Chicago and Los Angeles, and includes operating his own fine dining restaurant, running a full-scale retail and wholesale bakery, consulting to major hospitality-related businesses, and penning a cookbook. Known for his individuality, Hans’ reputation was built around his springtime white asparagus menus, innovative dishes like crab soufflé with lobster-butter sauce and the popular pretzel burger, and his craftsmanship in designing and building his restaurants.
Of his many accomplishments, Hans is most proud of his wife Patti and children Gina, Roxy and Hansi , his top-spin forehand and the many projects he has completed as a hobby woodworker.