Breakfast Sandwiches: Jist Café And Square One At The Boathouse

It's a question that haunts us every week: Where do you go on those mornings when a bowl of oatmeal just won't cut it?

If the answer is a handheld breakfast grabbed on the way to work, you don't have to settle for something dull and dry from the coffee cart anymore. Spare a few minutes for these a.m. pick-me-ups.

Square One at the Boathouse: After a stroll along the lily-covered shores of the recently renovated Echo Park Lake, make a pit stop at this lakeside cabin café, operated by Hollywood brunch restaurant Square One Dining. We're fans of the compact but filling breakfast sandwich ($5): scrambled eggs, thick-cut bacon, tomato, lettuce and a swipe of aioli on toasted brioche. The carb-tastic breakfast burrito ($5) gets a flavorful vegetable makeover here, with sautéed squash blossoms, sun-dried tomatoes and guacamole adding color and flavor to the usual potatoes, eggs and cheese.

Jist Café: Tucked into a Little Tokyo side street, this cozy Japanese-American café channels the kind of large-portion, home-style cooking that co-owners Glen Ishii and Caroline Shin (cofounder of Kogi BBQ) grew up eating. The formidable Super Huge Breakfast Burrito–stuffed with black beans, potatoes and smoky sausage and doused with a citrusy salsa verde–($10) could indeed feed two. We prefer the more delicate Faux Frenchman ($9), a house-baked croissant split and filled with smoked ham, scrambled eggs and slices of heirloom tomato.