Doing Brunch Right: Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose

Staff Writer
Doing Brunch Right: Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose

A recent article in the New York Post  “The Most Cringe-Worthy Marriage Proposal Ever,” was about a man who had proposed to his soon-to-be fiancee in a 25-minute video at the Blu Jam Café, where the lovebirds shared their first date. The man proposed by lip-synching ‘N Sync in an all-white outfit to pay homage to the boy band; it was certainly cringe-worthy and a real #ThrowbackThursday.

Inspired by the goofy but heartfelt video, I decided to head up to the Blu Jam to see if it is worthy of such an extravagant proposal. Since opening in 2006, the Blu Jam, featured in has garnered a devoted local following, and has even been featured in publications like Bon Appétit and Los Angeles Magazine.

 

Ambience: While the interior gives off a downtown-New-York-bar vibe with its dim lighting and brick walls, it is neither dingy nor sombre. In fact, the ambience of the cafe is quite cozy and welcoming to its customers; Blu Jam refuses to follow the lavish stereotype that Melrose is known for, and opts for a more relaxed and intimate feel.

Food: The length of the menu is impressive. Blu Jam has a good balance of classic and innovative eats, and even has options for vegans and vegetarians. The breakfast menu is also very flexible: customers can substitute potatoes for mixed greens or fresh fruits and many dishes can be made vegan by replacing eggs with tofu.

The Crunchy French Toast ($12.95) is number one on the list of iconic Blu Jam dishes. Served with fresh berries and oozing with vanilla-bean sauce, it is topped with cereal crisps, powdered sugar and syrup. Even though this Blu Jam masterpiece looks and tastes overwhelming because of its numerous ingredients, the juxtaposition of soft, sweet toast and crunchy corn flakes adds a much-needed spark to a sometimes boring breakfast dish. I guarantee that every other french toast you have from here on out will pale in comparison.

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Photo by Uracha Chaiyapinunt

I wanted to make sure I ordered a dish that scales heavier towards the lunch end of the brunch spectrum as well, so I decided to share the Italian Breakfast Risotto ($12.95) and Wrap on Fire ($11.95) with my brunch companion. The herb pistou (similar to pesto, but not made with pine nuts) on the risotto added a tinge of bitterness to the item, raising my score for this particular dish. Although there was no twist on the Wrap On Fire, it was still delicious. The eggs were scrambled with spicy chipotle peppers, black beans, cilantro, tomato, red bell peppers and cheddar cheese — basically, a breakfast edition of a Chipotle burrito.

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Photo by Uracha Chaiyapinunt

Photo by Uracha Chaiyapinunt

Photo by Uracha Chaiyapinunt

Verdict: After my experience, it is clear from the variety in the menu that owner and chef, Kamil Majer, merged flavors from all over the world to create a list of inventive dishes that will quickly make the Blu Jam Café a weekly tradition for you and your friends.

 Uracha’s Tip: Make sure you order a drink from their organic juice bar. All juices are freshly squeezed and you can create your own combo. Kamil’s favorite combo is carrot, beet, celery and ginger.

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