Michael D’s Cafe Breakfast and More
593 W. Los Angeles Ave.

When it comes to comfort-food breakfast nooks, I figure that once you have been to a good one, you have been to them all. I often fret about going to a restaurant where I could at the very least make meals of the same quality for a fraction of the cost, which, I suppose, is why I don’t often check out breakfast places too often. But some misconceptions are worth challenging.

My partner and I have been passing Michael D’s Breakfast and More regularly for the last several months. I do like the name and there are always balloons outside, as if the grand opening is every day. While I talked to Michael D himself as he moved around the restaurant, decorating for Halloween and addressing customer needs, I didn’t get a chance to ask him how long he had been open. He did relay that he had opened several Michael D’s restaurants around the SoCal region, but it seemed apparent that the Moorpark location had become a focus.

As we scanned the menu, we had a lovely server named Dana offer drinks. She was super-polite and didn’t hesitate when we asked for anything. We could have asked for the moon and she probably would have obliged, somehow. While the menu is stacked with the usual suspects: eggs any way, omelets, pancakes, French toast, plus sandwiches and entrees for the lunch-seeking crowd, it was the special that we both chose. Two orders of corned beef hash eggs benedict, one with fruit and the other with hash browns.

As we talked and drank our iced coffee with vanilla cream, a special request they obliged, it didn’t take but a good 10 minutes or so before our orders arrived. Both benedicts arrived nice and neat, picture-perfect. The taste, the eggs poached with no runny whites and a warm viscous center, the hollandaise sauce smooth and creamy with a slight tang. The corned beef hash brought my partner and me both memories from our childhoods, especially eating it while camping. For me, memories of hunting deer, fishing and eating hash — if I recall correctly, out of the can warmed by the fire — brought back a warmer, softer time in my life. The English muffins were as expected and the fruit was fresh and cold. Too many times, cut fresh fruit can be a little slimy or warm. The hash browns did not suffer from being greasy but rather had a good balance of fried crispiness and tenderness. We both noted that it’s unusual to eat our full meals, especially at breakfast. We ate it all with no regrets.

Homemade cinnamon buns with chocolate chips.

On another recent visit, we ordered to-go biscuits and gravy and two cinnamon rolls with chocolate chips. While the white gravy had no sausage and was on the bland side and the herb, possibly oregano, sprinkled on top seemed to be a bit much for the sense of smell, the cinnamon rolls were divine. Though not warmed at the restaurant, a quick flash in the microwave at home produced a warm soft gooey breakfast treat.

For the future, there are plenty of options on Michael D’s menu, from the traditional Chinese chicken salad to the barbecue boneless chicken breast hot sandwich and the chicken-fried steak that my partner won’t stop bugging me about. The menu also boasts assorted cakes and pies, surely the “thick milkshakes” are worth the calorie splurge.

Though I still prefer to be a penny pincher when it comes to breakfast, I do appreciate the care put into a special meal. And that is what I experienced there. Though obviously not every meal will be prepared the same, Michael D to me clearly cares about the food his customers eat; and for that reason, we will be back.