O.C. Food Industry Experts Share Their Favorite Morning Rituals

Some swoon-worthy faves of food industry folks.
Lola Gaspar

DELILAH SNELL CO-OWNER, ALTA BAJA MARKET
“We have a pretty prolific garden, and I’m a big farmers market person. I really try to see what’s popping out of our yard and if I get the chance to go to the market, I’ll see what catches my fancy. In summer’s tomato season, I can’t resist making Eggs in Hell or a spicy version of shakshuka.”


ROBIN CHRISTENSON CFO, BLINKING OWL DISTILLERY
“Lola Gaspar’s mesquite barbecue Sunday brunch on the patio is insane. It’s no secret that we love the place, but when they started this beautiful patio event last summer, chef Luis Perez reinvented awesome yet again. On days when we’re feeling ambitious and healthy (at home), we make our grapefruit flaxseed-parsley-apple cider vinegar-ginger smoothies. These are enjoyed ritualistically with our pups on our laps.”


Banh cuon at Pho Tau Bay Ltt

RYAN SMITH PRESIDENT, MASSEY HONEY
“The banh cuon at Pho Tau Bay Ltt on First Street in Santa Ana—try this! Many Vietnamese restaurants serve it for breakfast. The dish is made of ground pork and mushrooms, rolled in big sheets of steamed rice that are paper-thin and soft . I’ve had it with a dipping sauce and some fried onions (and sometimes little fried fishes) to garnish. It’s mellow, sweet, and fresh-tasting.”


SHELLY REGISTER CULINARY DIRECTOR AND PASTRY QUEEN, A MARKET
“When I’m not working Sundays, I check in at A Market, grab a coffee, the start to my ‘brunch crawl.’ First the farmers market at Newport Pier for Sunny Cal Farms rose-colored raisins (the best I’ve ever had), walnuts, and the most delicious varieties of stone fruit and grapes. Some grapes are hybrids—so good they’re kind of magical! Then north to the Long Beach farmers market for French-style Bonjour yogurt. Spectacular.”


BETSY THAGARD OWNER, B. TOFFEE
“I love Zinc Cafe in Corona del Mar. The atmosphere and decor are so charming. It has a darling marketplace that carries home goods and specialty items. I love the poached eggs on toast. It sounds so simple, but they make them so delicious. Also, 3-Thirty-3 Waterfront on Newport Bay. It’s so beautiful, and you can create your own breakfast burrito and bloody mary.”

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