Jessica Koslow’s restaurant Sqirl is peak LA: The highly Instagram-able food is packed with fresh produce, it’s healthy, but not too healthy, and it’s all served in a natural light-flooded space. Perhaps the best part of Sqirl, however, is the fact that they’re a breakfast-only restaurant.
Ironically enough, all it took was a collaboration with a cereal brand to have Koslow open Sqirl for dinner. Well, brinner, that is. For three nights, Koslow worked with Kellogg's to create a cereal-inspired brinner menu riffing on classics from Sqirl’s menu, like a tonkatsu breakfast bowl with rose brown rice and a Special K-crusted pork cutlet.
“Cereal is such a versatile ingredient that can work for both sweet and savory dishes,” Koslow said. Although there aren’t plans to make brinner a permanent service at Sqirl, it’s clear Koslow had fun putting together a menu for enjoying her dishes at night. “Breakfast is the best meal of the day—why not have it all the time?"
Not only did guests get the unique experience of eating at Sqirl at night, it was all for a cause: proceeds from the events will be donated to the nonprofit Direct Relief.
Perhaps the sweetest element of Koslow’s collaboration with Kellogg’s is her unique application of cereal in her famous jams. She’s known for her blends of fruit, herbs, and spices, like strawberry and rose geranium, blackberry and lemon verbena, and raspberry and cardamom, and the two limited edition jams she created for this collaboration are wildly creative. Her elephant heart plum and Raisin Bran jam was made by soaking the raisins from the cereal and then blending them into a sweet paste along with the bran flakes. Her fairtime peach and Frosted Flakes jam was made in a similar fashion: The cereal is soaked and then blended with fruit. Koslow described that the blended cereals create a paste that actually acted like pectin (a gelling, plant-based starch that’s often used in jam-making), which thickened the jams to a proper consistency.
“We're doing things we'd never think about doing,” said Koslow on the concept of blending cereal into jam. “But it's so fun to play.”
Koslow also riffed on one of her restaurant’s most popular dishes, ricotta toast (literally called “Famed Ricotta Toast” on Sqirl’s menu) for the brinner event. Here’s how it’s done:
First, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high and rub the pan with plenty of butter
Next, cut a loaf of brioche bread into slices about 2 inches thick. Lay the bread into the hot pan, and flip after 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, adding more butter to the skillet each time.
Pull the toast from the pan and slather each slice with what Koslow calls “an obscene amount" of ricotta, (about ¼-⅓ cup per slice, but this will mostly depend on how large your bread is), making a well in the center as you swipe the cheese.
Spoon about 1 ½ tablespoons each of peach and plum jam into the center of the toast. If you can’t get your hands on Sqirl jam, you could always DIY this 20-minute version with any fruit you already have in your kitchen. Make the jams taste more unique by tossing in herbs like mint, thyme, or sage while the fruit boils (just be sure to pull them out before serving.)
Finally, top each slice with a layer of Rice Krispies cereal.