When you walk into Simple Cafe & Juice Bar, it feels like walking into someone’s living room. There are plants everywhere, taking up every inch of shelf space, floor, and ceiling. It’s fitting, since a lot of the menu is plant-based and organic. There are plenty of juices and such smoothies as Carrot Cake and Sunshine Creamsicle. And The Elvis: banana, peanut butter, honey, yogurt, coconut water, vanilla, and a bacon crumble.
A thyme strawberry muffin might be the best thing in the house. The thyme is subtle but definitely there and plays nicely with fresh chunks of strawberries. A crumbly oat topping adds sweetness. It has a great texture and the strawberry keeps it moist.
Whipped ricotta is served on slightly dry, thin white toast. It’s slathered with a layer of fig jam, black pepper, and a sprinkling of pistachio dust.
The breakfast burrito features folded scrambled eggs, sautéed tomatoes and spinach, sweet potato hash, and ample avocado. It’s all held together with cotija cheese and a cinnamon spiked mole. When it arrives, our waiter asks if we want hot sauce. It might be my favorite hot sauce ever: smoky, red peppery, with an addicting balance of flavors.
That hot sauce is great on a breakfast sandwich with grilled mortadella that’s slightly crisp and generously layered. Havarti cheese and harissa mayo become one under the heat of the fried egg, and the English muffin is thick-cut and buttered. It needs a little something. The hot sauce is it.
Finally, a chewy Joey’s bagel slathered with cream cheese, fresh salmon, and chopped red onion and cucumber.
The space has plenty of seating. Order before you find your place. There’s bar space and pour-your-own-coffee in pale yellow retro plastic mugs. It’s a great way to kick start the morning.