My first encounter with Snooze an AM Eatery was years ago in San Diego. We waited an hour for our table, and after a lackluster experience, I left feeling underwhelmed and unsatisfied, especially after the long wait.
Therefore, when Snooze opens up in Tustin, I’m a little hesitant to visit right away. My cousin, who works at the Marketplace, has already been to Snooze about five times and raves about it, so I thought it might just be about time for a visit.
The décor is as I remember from the San Diego location. The restaurant’s signature circular “booths” and whimsical hues of orange and green are bright and uplifting first thing in the morning.
What I really like about Snooze’s menu is how easy it is to maneuver. There are five sections: Flavors From The Hen; The Art of Hollandaise…; Sweet Utopia; Sammies…; and Like A Feather, and I am determined to try something from each section.
I am a huge eggs Benedict fan and so that part is easy. What is difficult is choosing WHICH Benedict! If you’re having that problem, the best bet would be to select Benny Duo ($13.25) which gives you a half order of two.
Generally, I’m a traditionalist, so Ham Benedict III ($12) is a no-brainer. This classic is served on a signature English muffin, topped with mouthwatering shaved belly ham, runny poached eggs and what I think brings the whole dish together — smoked cheddar Hollandaise. This is a belly comforting dish which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
We decide to give Chilaquiles Benedict ($12.75) a try just because I love chilaquiles. We break the soft poached eggs over the tortillas enveloped in ranchero sauce (tomato-based typically with onions, green chiles and oregano among others). Barbacoa-style beef generously layered on top of the tortillas with green chile Hollandaise, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. Call it a Benedict, or call it super loaded chilaquiles. No matter what label you want to attach to this dish, one thing’s for sure – it is delicious!
**Just a note: the hashbrowns here are served in a “round” like the size of a ramekin. I ordered mine extra crispy
For those of you who are not Benedict fans, there is a myriad of options to choose from. If breakfast sandwiches are your thing, you might want to select Sandwich I Am ($11) which offers scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a sausage patty enveloped between a soft pretzel roll. Don’t forget to slather some of the smoked cheddar Hollandaise accoutrement from the ramekin onto your sandwich.
If you’re not super hungry the Ahhhh La Carte! Section will be your best way to go. Here, you’ll find a single ($3.50) or duo ($6.50) of the Juan’s Breakfast Tacos ($10 regular portion three tacos) to nibble on. These fresh corn or flour tortillas are topped with scrambled eggs, shredded hash browns, Jack cheese, green chile Hollandaise and pico de gallo, which are also perfect for vegetarians. Carnivores may add a protein to the tacos.
Housemade Chicken Sausage ($4) is a must order. The sausage pattie is made in-house using ground chicken and seasonings. This is positively my favorite protein here, even more so than the one on the breakfast sandwich.
For those who are not really breakfast lovers, The Lower East Sider ($11) may appeal to you. This platter includes slices of lox style salmon, a scoop of herbed goat cheese spread, a side of sun dried tomato and caper relish, along with a hard-boiled egg, on a bed of dressed arugula and rustic bread on the side.
We end our meal with the Pancake Flight ($10.50) which offers a choice of three from the Sweet Utopia list. This is especially great for those who can’t make up their minds and want a taste of everything. Don’t forget to ask your server for the ‘pancake of the day’ before you make your selection!
Our plate is a trio of:
Drunk’n Monkey French Toast ($10.75 regular portion) is a thick cut slice of white chocolate banana bread which is grilled then topped with rum-toffee sauce, bits of toasted walnuts, whipped mascarpone cream and a bruleed banana.
I was torn between the Pineapple Upside Down or Blueberry Danish Pancakes ($8.50 regular portion) – our server Miguel suggested the latter. The buttermilk pancakes are stuffed with a lemon cream cheese center, then topped with blueberry coulis, sweet cream and almond streusel. The most surprising thing of all is that none of the pancakes are overly sweet, which is definitely appealing to my non-sweet palate.
Right now is the best time to enjoy the restaurant’s signature Sweet Potato Pancakes ($8.50 a la carte) – not pumpkin but still evoking that feeling of fall. Snooze’s signature sweet potato buttermilk pancakes are topped with homemade caramel, candied pecans and ginger butter. The homemade caramel is perfect, not crazy sweet.
I’ll have to say, I am delighted that this experience has redeemed any prior notions I have about Snooze! It’s definitely a solid offering for those looking for breakfast or brunch options!
Snooze an AM Eatery
3032 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782