Sunday, March 11, 2012

La Scene Café & Bar

Breakfast on Geary, Part V

(I would just like to see what that cynical music critic from North Yorkshire would have to say about this particular EweToob video.)

Continuing my breakfastary venture ever westward along the street where I live, Professor Higgins, I ate at La Scene Café & Bar (on the corner of Geary and Taylor Streets, hence the above CCR song) this morning. They are mainly the house restaurant for the adjoining Warwick Regis Hotel, but do welcome anyone off the street (and believe me, the place was basically empty this morning for breakfast except for me and a lady from Texas). I have just one minor cunning linguist quibble (une chicane mineure d'un linguiste ruse): if they are going to use the accent aigu (the Frenchified way) in the word "Café" (not to mention the use of the feminine article "La" in their name), I think they should have spelled their name correctly as "La Scène" ~ avec accent grave.

Back in the late 80's to early 90's this restaurant space used to be called Regina's. The regal name had nothing to do with the hotel's name "Regis"; it just happened to be the owner's name. I know this, as I actually new Regina. Regina was a very good friend of an old Air Force buddy of mine, Abu/Al Johnson; Abu was the Manager of the restaurant (and possible part-owner, I was never quite sure what the exact story was there). I remember spending my very first Christmas in San Francisco with Abu, Regina, and her family at their house on Nob Hill/Russian Hill area (the food was fabulous of course).

The walls of La Scene are covered with sketches of actors and musicians that had probably acted/played in one of the nearby theatres. Some of the pictures are even autographed; I saw signatures from Olympia Dukakis, Kathleen Turner, Petula Clark, Judd Hirsch, and both Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar together on one. This is not quite the line-up like at the Cliff House, but it is still a nice touch (however, not touché). The wall nearest where I was sitting had these three sketches (none of which were autographed, though): Mae West, "Diamond Lil", 1928; C. Aubrey Smith[1], "The Bachelor Father", 1929; and Everett Marshall[2], "The Student Prince", 1942.

The breakfast menu is a bit minimalistic, they do have a few interesting items; however, I finally wanted to go back to my poor-taste joke from Pinecrest Diner (see 'blog-entry from February 19th, 2012) so I ordered the Traditional Eggs Benedict ~ two poached eggs with Canadian bacon (skipped it, Glen) on a toasted English muffin topped with Hollandaise sauce; accompanied by your choice of red creamer potatoes, fruit, or cottage cheese, and toast. I also had a cuppa the house coffee (whatever it was).

The Traditional Eggs Benedict (Well, how "Traditional" is it really without the dead, decaying porcine flesh?) was decent enough, but nothing much special ~ it was a nice Hollandaise sauce. I opted for the potatoes (Really?! Fruit or cottage cheese otherwise as a breakfastary side?! What am I, some kinda fat housewife from the 60's pretending to watch my calories?) as always. My server warned me before I ordered about their house coffee (she wasn't sure what brand it was, she was going to check for me, but it really wasn't necessary; now if it had been a very robust, tasty blend, I would have liked to have noted it) being a little on the weak and bland side; she was absolutely (or absolument) correct.

La Scene only had Tabasco® as their spicy, supplementary condimentation, but I had come completely prepared (or complètement préparé) with a few from my own collection. I went with a little (Ah, who am I kidding? I went with beaucoup.) Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the potatoes; some Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on one of the eggs; and a little Cherry Republic® KaBOB's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy and the music-hater!) on the other poached egg.

Next up on Geary Street: Grand Cafe (sans accent aigu, by the way)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Traditional Eggs Benedict ~ 6.0
(It really may have been just a 5.8 or 5.9, but I am giving it extra points for the atmosphere of the place and the extra-friendly young waitress ~ me and the other lady from Texas really taxed her with all of our stupid questions and stories about all the old actors, movies, and such on the walls; there was a sketch of a much younger Martin Sheen on one of the walls and the waitress said that he "looked familiar" ~ I had to explain to her that was because he was Charlie Sheen's dad… luckily I did not have to explain who Charlie Sheen was, though)

[1] Now I really had no clue who Sir Charles Aubrey Smith was, but his acting résumé (see, sans accents aigu, this word would just mean "to begin again/to continue") was actually pretty extensive:

 [2] Again, I was not really familiar with Everett Marshall, either; he seemed to have a bigger stage acting career than film career:

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