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A Little Moore goodness at this charming Leucadia café

David Boylan

A Little Moore owners CD and Mison Han
A Little Moore owners CD and Mison Han

Yes, the wordplay on A Little Moore Café as it is officially called could be endless, but I’ll limit it to the headline as I think that pretty much sums this place up. It’s an old-school charmer in a stretch of Leucadia that is changing daily. It occupies a corner on Coast Highway 101 under some big old trees and its neighbors include one of my favorite dive bars anywhere in O’Hurley’s. My immediate concern with A Little Moore Café is that some hotshot restaurateur is going to come in and turn it into some trendy restaurant that is void of any charm whatsoever. Believe me, I’ve looked into the empty café around dinnertime and would love to come in and have dinner service there, but change nothing about the place. I sure hope owners CD and Mison Han hold on to this place as long as possible and keep it exactly the way it is.

I love the mix of locals and tourists that keep this joint jumping all week and especially on weekends. It’s just such a friendly, community orientated vibe that I always end up having great conversation with the table next to mine or at the counter. It’s Leucadia’s version of the Encinitas Café and what I would consider a local landmark. It’s been around since the 1950’s and is open 7 days per week from 6am-2:45. Not 3pm mind you, 2:45. You have to love that.

Breakfast is served all day and seems to be the go-to for most people. They have 14 omelettes to choose from at last count but what gets me excited is their original mix of sides to accompany it. Hash browns, sliced tomatoes, home fries, cottage cheese, steamed rice or fruit plus the standard toast options, English muffin or bagel make choosing a side somewhat difficult. I tend to go with the out of the ordinary sides of cottage cheese or steamed rice but darn those hash-browned potatoes are cooked to crispy perfection. It should be noted that you can do Egg Beaters or egg whites only for you omelette.

I have three go-to omelettes that I rotate through and they include the chili and cheese with their house-made chili and choice of cheese, the Polish sausage and cheese that I doctor up with avocado, and the Spanish which includes tomato, onion, Ortega Chili and cheese. It should be noted that you can create just about any omelette you want and they will not frown on it. They offer plenty of options and extras to suit just about any taste. Eggs Benedict and a monster breakfast burrito are also solid options.

On the egg side of the menu is where things get really fun. With eggs served any way you like you can combine them with your choice of ham, polish sausage, hamburger patty, steak, pork chop, Teriyaki beef or chicken, and yes, even the traditional bacon and link sausage. I am a huge fan of the pork chop, polish sausage and Teriyaki beef or chicken, which I’m assuming is a result of the Asian influence that the owners bring to the restaurant. Let’s face it, breakfast can get boring but with such a wide selection of options here, that is rarely the case. Pancakes, French toast, oatmeal, fruit and cereal are also offered. One thing I did not notice was the ever-present acai bowl and honestly, I’m OK with that. It’s not what I go to a diner like this for and I commend them for holding out.

Lunch options are plentiful and we’ve all had that morning where nothing but a cheeseburger and a soda will suffice. Last time I checked they had thirteen burger options to choose from and plenty of fun toppings to deck them out with. The homemade chili is available solo, as chili cheese fries, or as a platter with chili, fries, and choice of toast.

I counted the same amount of sandwich choices with many of the diner classics like a solid B.L.T., tuna salad, club sandwich, and chicken and fish sandwiches. These are all offered as wraps as well, not sure what the appeal of that is but for you folks that prefer a perfectly good sandwich in tortilla, they have you covered. Baskets are also available full of fish and chips or shrimp and a nice assortment of salads to choose from as well.

A Little Moore Café is my kind of place. It’s full of character, friendly people, and solid food with enough variety to keep it interesting in an amazing location. If I could ask for one minor little thing, it would be the addition of a fountain soda machine. Sometimes those bubbles just make a diner meal complete but hey, it’s all-good even without it.

Eat soon at A Little More Café, located at 1030 North Highway 101, Leucadia. 760.753.8228

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