4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Morning Glory: breaking fast, and quick in Little Italy

Wild style, but also a kind of Cheers feeling

Pink is the color up on Morning Glory’s deck, from umbrellas to bean sprout lamps
Pink is the color up on Morning Glory’s deck, from umbrellas to bean sprout lamps

“Nothing demoralizes an aspiring escoffier faster than requiring him to cook eggs over easy.” That’s Anthony Bourdain, quoted on the menu I’m looking at. Happily, I can see that this is not going to be a problem here. The menu looks, well, exciting. The whole place looks exciting.

Place

Morning Glory

550 West Date Street, San Diego

I’m standing at the top of the stairs, overlooking Little Italy’s Piazza de la Famiglia. It’s 10 am. I had noticed this line of people standing on the stairs leading up above Farmer’s Table, the eatery on the corner of India and Date. I joined them, and finally got to the top, where I found cool folks sipping coffee beneath salmon-pink umbrellas. Now a gal on the balcony leans over her iPad. She’s assigning tables to customers as we reach the top of the steps.

“Thirty minutes’ wait,” she tells me.

Yogurty Turkish Eggs, brand new menu addition, reflect owner’s background

“Is it always like this?”

“It’s always like this.”

So half an hour later, I’m back again, and being led into this pretty spectacular space. Or spaces. One big red starburst dominates the middle, but tops of trees reach in, while what look like live hanging gardens ring an alcove with clusters of tall slim lamps that look like Martian bean sprouts. But what you notice is the pink. Salmon-colored copper, ruffled pink umbrellas, even the beansprout lamps. And it works! Despite the hue, the space doesn’t look like a boudoir. It’s muy original!

So now I sit, facing the tiled roofs over India Street, and oh yeah, Savanna the barkeep, as she mixes wicked-looking breakfast drinks, like two “Orange Joolius” cocktails with flowers sprouting out of them. Or a clever Ramos Gin Fizz, a kind of milkshake cocktail which grows vertically out of its glass — and holds! ($13 each.)

But hey: this is about breaking fast, and quick. The joint’s open only until three in the afternoon. Still, even at this hour, it’s acting like a pub. Most folks seem to be drinking something exotic and alcoholic. Me: cawfee. And have to say, their coffee ($3.50) is so beautifully presented — in a stylish old mug, all in its own coffee set — that you want to keep on slurping. On the other hand, you’re sitting among downtown’s Beautiful People, so you’re not expecting bargain prices. Like, we’re talking around $15 for a main breakfast dish.

Happy crew reflect inclusive vibe of this 3-year-old restaurant

Eventually, I am down to a couple of choices. First is the Morning Glory Fried Rice. Love fried rice, but as a breakfast idea? I see it’s a combo of pork belly, peas, bok choy, sesame seeds, broccolini, scallions, and a sunny side up egg. Perhaps with a dollop of hot sauce, a fellow could fill up well on that one. Savanna says it’s their most popular breakfast dish. A “French omelette” with goat cheese, salad, toast and chives costs $15 too. “Top toques will tell you a chef should be judged by the caliber of his/her omelet,” says the menu. “We’re trying to be more vulnerable in 2020. So we’re admitting that on our worst day, our execution is less than perfect. If we blow it, let us know it.”

I like their attitude. And I’m tempted to test them, but then Savanna pipes up about the last item. “Turkish Eggs is our latest and greatest,” she says. “We’ve just added it. It’s poached eggs in a garlic herb Greek yogurt plus roasted cherry tomatoes with crunchy garlic, dill and mint.” Huh. Original. It turns out I know who the owner is, a guy who has set up a string of this town’s remarkable eateries. Think Neighborhood, Ironsides, Craft and Commerce, Born and Raised, Invigatorium, on and on. He’s Arsalun Tafazoli. I talked to him once, soon after he’d opened his first place, Neighborhood, downtown. He’s Turkish-American, and that year, 2007, his parents thought he was going back to grad school. Instead, he ditched all that to pioneer his idea of what an eatery and pub should feel like: wild style, but also a kind of Cheers feeling. You might call it Turkish flair.

Coffee, so necessary, so well presented

So now that I see “Turkish Eggs” are on this menu, I’m interested. “This is Day Three for that item,” says Savanna. That’s it. I order it. And the yogurt says it all: Turkish. Then I see the menu has a “pro-tip.” “Add bone marrow!” it advises. Love bone marrow. Savanna says it costs $7. What thu heck. I ask for that, too. And I ask for an add of crispy scalloped potatoes ($6), because they look so golden and, well, crispy. Marrow needs a touch of salt, but then it becomes squelchy and irresistible. And healthy!

Yes, I have spent way above my pay grade, but it’s worth it for the yogurt, garlicky eggs and tomatoes. Oh man, they are delicious. The scalloped potatoes are perfect for dipping in the eggy mess, and the bone marrow adds another layer of taste. The one mistake I make is to fall for the temptation of a breakfast beer. Honestly, the coffee was the perfect accompaniment to this food. The beer? Too much.

It dawns on me: it’s not just Turkish. This food has a Southern feel to it. Rich, gunky, addictive, a comfort-food way to start the day. Also, it turns out the Michelin spies have paid a visit, and given their seal of approval. Incredible, because Michelin was never known for taking San Diego food seriously.

Of course, this ain’t bargain eating. With tax, I end up spending, ulp, $44.71. And yet it feels worth it, even though I should have stuck to that one $16 Turkish Eggs dish and a $3.50 coffee. That would have been a pricey but proper $20 brekky. Sigh. Next time. And there will be a next time. Why? Because there’s just enough fantasy in these surroundings and the slightly exotic food to make you feel part of a heightened, more colorful life.

In the pink, you might say.

  • The Place: Morning Glory, 550 West Date Street, at India Street, Little Italy, 619-629-0302
  • Hours: 8am-3pm (till 4pm, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Prices: Morning Glory Fried Rice, $15; Turkish Eggs with Greek yogurt, roasted cherry tomatoes, $16; Belgian Waffle, $14; fried chicken and waffle, $17; Morning Glory Fried Rice, $15; French omelette (goat cheese, bistro salad, toast), $15; Lobster Bennie (Eggs Benedict), $28; steak and eggs (with hash browns, $26; Granola (chia seed, maple syrup), $9
  • Bus: 83
  • Nearest Bus Stop: India and Cedar
  • Trolleys: Green Line, Blue Line
  • Nearest Trolley Stop: County Center/Little Italy
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Simeon Flick jives, Omar Musisco solos, Landis St. parties, Joshua Taylor crowdfunds, and Ricky has Pure Fun

“The perils of poor boundaries in relationships”
Next Article

San Diego council seeks real estate expert

To be ready for city hall's next big property snafu
Pink is the color up on Morning Glory’s deck, from umbrellas to bean sprout lamps
Pink is the color up on Morning Glory’s deck, from umbrellas to bean sprout lamps

“Nothing demoralizes an aspiring escoffier faster than requiring him to cook eggs over easy.” That’s Anthony Bourdain, quoted on the menu I’m looking at. Happily, I can see that this is not going to be a problem here. The menu looks, well, exciting. The whole place looks exciting.

Place

Morning Glory

550 West Date Street, San Diego

I’m standing at the top of the stairs, overlooking Little Italy’s Piazza de la Famiglia. It’s 10 am. I had noticed this line of people standing on the stairs leading up above Farmer’s Table, the eatery on the corner of India and Date. I joined them, and finally got to the top, where I found cool folks sipping coffee beneath salmon-pink umbrellas. Now a gal on the balcony leans over her iPad. She’s assigning tables to customers as we reach the top of the steps.

“Thirty minutes’ wait,” she tells me.

Yogurty Turkish Eggs, brand new menu addition, reflect owner’s background

“Is it always like this?”

“It’s always like this.”

So half an hour later, I’m back again, and being led into this pretty spectacular space. Or spaces. One big red starburst dominates the middle, but tops of trees reach in, while what look like live hanging gardens ring an alcove with clusters of tall slim lamps that look like Martian bean sprouts. But what you notice is the pink. Salmon-colored copper, ruffled pink umbrellas, even the beansprout lamps. And it works! Despite the hue, the space doesn’t look like a boudoir. It’s muy original!

So now I sit, facing the tiled roofs over India Street, and oh yeah, Savanna the barkeep, as she mixes wicked-looking breakfast drinks, like two “Orange Joolius” cocktails with flowers sprouting out of them. Or a clever Ramos Gin Fizz, a kind of milkshake cocktail which grows vertically out of its glass — and holds! ($13 each.)

But hey: this is about breaking fast, and quick. The joint’s open only until three in the afternoon. Still, even at this hour, it’s acting like a pub. Most folks seem to be drinking something exotic and alcoholic. Me: cawfee. And have to say, their coffee ($3.50) is so beautifully presented — in a stylish old mug, all in its own coffee set — that you want to keep on slurping. On the other hand, you’re sitting among downtown’s Beautiful People, so you’re not expecting bargain prices. Like, we’re talking around $15 for a main breakfast dish.

Happy crew reflect inclusive vibe of this 3-year-old restaurant

Eventually, I am down to a couple of choices. First is the Morning Glory Fried Rice. Love fried rice, but as a breakfast idea? I see it’s a combo of pork belly, peas, bok choy, sesame seeds, broccolini, scallions, and a sunny side up egg. Perhaps with a dollop of hot sauce, a fellow could fill up well on that one. Savanna says it’s their most popular breakfast dish. A “French omelette” with goat cheese, salad, toast and chives costs $15 too. “Top toques will tell you a chef should be judged by the caliber of his/her omelet,” says the menu. “We’re trying to be more vulnerable in 2020. So we’re admitting that on our worst day, our execution is less than perfect. If we blow it, let us know it.”

I like their attitude. And I’m tempted to test them, but then Savanna pipes up about the last item. “Turkish Eggs is our latest and greatest,” she says. “We’ve just added it. It’s poached eggs in a garlic herb Greek yogurt plus roasted cherry tomatoes with crunchy garlic, dill and mint.” Huh. Original. It turns out I know who the owner is, a guy who has set up a string of this town’s remarkable eateries. Think Neighborhood, Ironsides, Craft and Commerce, Born and Raised, Invigatorium, on and on. He’s Arsalun Tafazoli. I talked to him once, soon after he’d opened his first place, Neighborhood, downtown. He’s Turkish-American, and that year, 2007, his parents thought he was going back to grad school. Instead, he ditched all that to pioneer his idea of what an eatery and pub should feel like: wild style, but also a kind of Cheers feeling. You might call it Turkish flair.

Coffee, so necessary, so well presented

So now that I see “Turkish Eggs” are on this menu, I’m interested. “This is Day Three for that item,” says Savanna. That’s it. I order it. And the yogurt says it all: Turkish. Then I see the menu has a “pro-tip.” “Add bone marrow!” it advises. Love bone marrow. Savanna says it costs $7. What thu heck. I ask for that, too. And I ask for an add of crispy scalloped potatoes ($6), because they look so golden and, well, crispy. Marrow needs a touch of salt, but then it becomes squelchy and irresistible. And healthy!

Yes, I have spent way above my pay grade, but it’s worth it for the yogurt, garlicky eggs and tomatoes. Oh man, they are delicious. The scalloped potatoes are perfect for dipping in the eggy mess, and the bone marrow adds another layer of taste. The one mistake I make is to fall for the temptation of a breakfast beer. Honestly, the coffee was the perfect accompaniment to this food. The beer? Too much.

It dawns on me: it’s not just Turkish. This food has a Southern feel to it. Rich, gunky, addictive, a comfort-food way to start the day. Also, it turns out the Michelin spies have paid a visit, and given their seal of approval. Incredible, because Michelin was never known for taking San Diego food seriously.

Of course, this ain’t bargain eating. With tax, I end up spending, ulp, $44.71. And yet it feels worth it, even though I should have stuck to that one $16 Turkish Eggs dish and a $3.50 coffee. That would have been a pricey but proper $20 brekky. Sigh. Next time. And there will be a next time. Why? Because there’s just enough fantasy in these surroundings and the slightly exotic food to make you feel part of a heightened, more colorful life.

In the pink, you might say.

  • The Place: Morning Glory, 550 West Date Street, at India Street, Little Italy, 619-629-0302
  • Hours: 8am-3pm (till 4pm, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Prices: Morning Glory Fried Rice, $15; Turkish Eggs with Greek yogurt, roasted cherry tomatoes, $16; Belgian Waffle, $14; fried chicken and waffle, $17; Morning Glory Fried Rice, $15; French omelette (goat cheese, bistro salad, toast), $15; Lobster Bennie (Eggs Benedict), $28; steak and eggs (with hash browns, $26; Granola (chia seed, maple syrup), $9
  • Bus: 83
  • Nearest Bus Stop: India and Cedar
  • Trolleys: Green Line, Blue Line
  • Nearest Trolley Stop: County Center/Little Italy
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego cops talk about prostitutes after the Stingaree

Navy shrink uses truth serum, Pt. Loma grandparent letters, near-death rides at Del Mar Fair, pot smuggling pilots, to WIllie Shoemaker with love
Next Article

Farhad Bahrami brings a world of music to Grossmont College

“There are notes between E and E flat that aren’t there on a guitar or piano”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close