Review by: Michael Stern

Night Owls’ Delight

Those who find themselves awake and hungry in the middle of the night anywhere near Manhattan Beach are in luck. Here you find The Kettle, an open-all-night coffee shop. I was still on eastern time and therefore ready for breakfast at 3am. I walked in the door. Here I saw local cops on a break, dating couples rounding out their night, and a motley collection of well-behaved insomniacs.

Coffee Shop vs. Diner

Many fans of The Kettle refer to it as a diner. It does share qualities with that style of eatery: reasonable prices, square meals, counter seating, quick service. But it really is something different: a classic southern California coffee shop. That means it feels more middle class than blue collar. It sports unique decorative pizzazz in the form of chandeliers, log-cabin rustic armchairs at the counter, and extra plush bench seats in the booths. The menu offers fare several cuts above greasy-spoon status. (Have a mimosa with your meal.) A hospitable staff likely won’t call you hon’ or dear. While many diners serve only breakfast and lunch, coffee shops offer three meals a day and are open all night. At The Kettle, you can have breakfast anytime and supper from 5pm.

Muffins Are A Must

If your breakfast doesn’t come with muffins, order some. Moderate size, they arrive plated in pairs, preferably warmed up if not oven-warm at that moment. I like honey bran best – they’re sweet and oily with especially broad, crisp-edge tops. Other winners include carrot-raisin, banana-nut, and blueberry crumb.

Creative Breakfasts

From the griddle come bananas Foster French toast and stacks of big, handsome pancakes. I swooned over the winning combo of blueberry buttermilk pancakes with house-made cranberry maple granola. Benedicts include California (with avocado), smoked trout, and crab cake Benedict. In the latter, hollandaise has an orange-cilantro twist. Still to try for breakfast: oeufs pain perdu, buttermilk honey fried chicken and biscuits, and one titled “hangover scramble.”

What To Eat

Crabcakes Benedict

Wild Blueberry Granola Pancakes




Kettle Recipes


What do you think of Kettle?

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