Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Toast: Overcooked and Overrated

To say that riding the metro (subway) in L.A. is "interesting" would be quite the understatement. I've seen near-brawls, traveling bands (which I love, by the way) and everything in between. Although I admit, I'm a little jaded by my overexposure to transit oddities, I couldn't help but eavesdrop today on an early-morning scuttle between two men waging conversational war in a battle of McDonald's vs. Subway. Each overly-zealous male was taking turns shouting what he liked best about his favorite fast-food establishments. Verbalized preferences for each side began with a match of fried vs. baked, but then quickly and predominantly focused on good customer service and taste. How could what originally began as an idiotic conversation turn out to be a logical reminder of what every restaurant patron should be entitled to when eating out?

Image via laist.com

As I slipped out of the train station and hustled into my office building, I couldn't help feeling a little shamed. This weekend I had fallen prey to dining at Toast, a trendy breakfast spot in LA, and was utterly disappointed in my experience. I had heard the restaurant was overrated, but I guess I had to get burned before conforming to this opinion.

I arrived at Toast around 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon thinking I would beat the brunch rush, but still had to wait 45 minutes for a table. During this time period, there were multiple cars that drove by and screamed comments expressing what seemed to be the general consensus of "Toast Sucks." It wasn't until I sat down and had my first brush with the waitress that I realized how close to truthful those comments were; after waiting an additional 30 minutes to order, unsuccessfully asking for coffee four separate times, and observing the blatant disdain our server had toward us, I was less than happy.

The food on the other hand wasn't completely a disappointment - but it wasn't a subject of great excitement either. The breakfast burrito contents (scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, sharp cheddar and black beans) were delicious, but the haphazard manner that the burrito was thrown together in was distracting from the overall enjoyment of my meal. The rosemary potatoes on the side were average as well; they would have been better had they not been slightly overcooked.

After mulling over my experience at Toast, I can only help but wonder: how did Toast become so popular? Maybe it was the eatery's appearance on "The Hills." Or maybe it was the restaurant's close proximity to 90210. Either way, I don't want to have to be Sandra Bullock to get the sub-par service I've gotten used to receiving, and now, actually appreciate.


  1. I agree. My only theory on how Toast became so popular is that its patrons are so focused on people watching that they don't notice the average-at-best food.

    I'd rather have a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich with hash browns and Coke from the fountain, thank you very much.

  2. Went to Toast last year when I visited LA and had the same thoughts!

  3. I must agree. I do have a weakness for Southern Style Chicken sandwiches, hashbrowns AND cokes.

    At least now I know not to visit Toast unless I am with a camera crew and have a full stomach.

  4. Great review, K! I've only been to Toast twice and both experiences have been just average. I'd say that most people who go def. just enjoy the people watching. There are better brunch places in LA for sure... granted you went for lunch, but still. :)