I, a satisfied consumer of junk and poison, set out to find the best breakfast bowl in Los Angeles—a semi-recent trend in certain socioeconomic circles, primarily found among the Pilate Fields of L.A.’s west side. My first step on this journey was figuring out just exactly what a breakfast bowl was, assuming they weren’t the plastic bowls of eggs and potatoes from KFC. No, breakfast bowls are either grain-heavy piles of superfood or a berry-based mush of superfood, crisp and colorful like a Simon console, a painter’s palette of good decisions.
I tried several bowl-centric establishments, a landscape speckled with athleisure, all their own particular balance of earthy and chic. Highland Park’s Berry Bowl reflects the craftsman attitude of the neighborhood, Backyard Bowls on Beverly presents a clinical eyewash, EdiBOL is modern and angular like the Arts District it resides in, while Rawberri in West Hollywood flexes Martinique walls and swingasan chairs.
Full transparency: I tried no breakfast bowl of the porridge variety. Since I’m already aware that I am not a fan of pap, a bowl of guck would be impossible to top my list as “best.” Furthermore, I did not try the bowl at Sqirl as it’s my policy not to stand in long brunch lines with hot brunch people.
I couldn’t decide if I preferred a grain or fruit based bowl, each with their own merit (substance, or flavor). The best bowl in Los Angeles is the one that doesn’t trick you into thinking that everything is okay. For me, it was the Energy Boost bowl at Rawberri. The honey and peanut butter drizzled over the slice of banana was rich and flavorful, as many bowls lack the latter, and didn’t convince me I was improving my quality of life.
And that’s what’s being sold here—as with most health-conscious, organic-obsessed, sun-dappled food trends—a better quality of life. The average clientele reflects the aspiration; fashionable fitness Jenners, men more attractive than me but with worse shoes walking their svelt bodies and small dogs to the counter, post Runyon. A large neon sign at Rawberri declares “good vibes only.” This expensive bowl will give you energy, cleanse your body, make you happier, whet your cosmic whistle. It’s all…fine. If that’s your thing. But in America’s current situation (a curtain fire in the House of Earth), the wealth and whiteness of it all just feels like sun in the eyes.
It seems like a silly, frivolous distraction to the absolute horrid quality of life that awaits many Americans. A quality of life that doesn’t include words like “superfood” or “branding” in its vocabulary. Or maybe that’s why distractions are popular—for those who can afford them, and afford not to think about the rest.
And maybe I, as a culture writer, am supposed to not let this putrid state stain each and every artifact of an era. Then again, it has, and will, and so here it is, plain as day from now on.
Anyway, the Energy Boost bowl from Rawberri. Top notch.