In her first five years of business, chef Jessica Koslow has managed to turn long-neglected Virgil Village into a dining destination with SQIRL. Her tiny indoor-outdoor cafe, bakery, and coffee bar has become L.A.’s epicenter for creative California cuisine. She even wrote a cookbook, titled Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking. Their sorrel pesto rice bowl and “famed” ricotta toast with seasonal jam are pretty much Eastside breakfast gospel. I was sure I had a firm handle on SQIRL after so many visits, but Koslow’s breakfast sandwich still managed to surprise me.
I’m not sure who Mosca is, but Koslow honors them to the fullest with the Mosca Breakfast Sandwich ($13). A breakfast sandwich’s core components typically consist of bread, egg, protein, cheese, and possibly some kind of sauce. Mosca sticks to that broad script, but defies convention at every turn in the best possible ways. A buttery whey brioche bun studded with nigella seeds forms the backbone for a juicy chicken sausage patty and sheeted egg (fluffy egg sliced from a sheet pan). Chunky Turkish-style tomato and onion sauce called menemen adds brightness, as do herbs like parsley, dill, tarragon and basil. Your toughest decision is whether to add griddled halloumi for $2. Clearly, you should order the firm, snow white slab that originated in Cyprus and sears beautifully. Just clear your schedule, since you’ll need a nap.