If this time of year is anything for you like it is for me, the tail end of the year is filled with more family gatherings and eating than usual in addition to holiday dinners. In early December there is tree decorating, holiday movie watching, and braving the insanity of gift shopping for friends and family. At the end of the month is the annual week of vacation I take off of work — the week between Christmas and New Year, during which each day feels longer than the last and I lose track of what day is as quickly as I lose motivation to do anything at all.
Alas, now that it’s a new year and a new decade, it’s still the same old me. Still hanging out with family (I know what you’re thinking) and still happily eating my way through the weekend. I decided to go to breakfast with my sister and brother in law at Cos&Pi in South Pasadena, forgoing any plans for food-related resolutions until further notice.
We set out for Cos&Pi around 9:30 a.m., excited since I’d only heard great things about it. Pictures on Yelp showcase their beautiful array of toasts, which look so colorful and pretty, they don’t appear to be edible. Great looking croissants, baked treats and coffee all won me over to visit Cos&Pi, but the aesthetic of their breakfast dishes certainly didn’t hurt either.
Cos&Pi is located off of Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena. Since we had never been, we had some difficulty finding where it was exactly, then even more trouble finding parking, which took upwards of 10 minutes. I drove by twice without realizing it, and when I finally located them found that there was no street parking available. It wasn’t until I called the restaurant that I discovered they have a small parking lot directly behind for customers to park in. Finally, it was time to eat.
Upon entering there were only a couple of vacant tables that could seat the three of us (self seating), so I rushed over to snag one since the small space was pretty full. It was like we called in a crowd, because not five minutes after our arrival, the line to order was almost out the door. My sister and I ordered and paid, then made our way back to our table where our food was brought to us.
Each time I dine with my sister and brother in law I know I’m going to get a great idea of the variety a restaurant has to offer and get a small taste of almost everything I’d like. We started with the wild berry toast ($5), which is made with homemade raspberry jam and topped with an edible flower. It was delicious, and while $5 seems pricey for a slab of toast — the jam made me forget all about how much I paid for it. My brother in law ordered the Bacon, sausage, egg and cheese croissant ($12), which was as hefty as it sounds, and was topped with garlic aioli — creating a harmonious blend of meats and cheese. I’ve mentioned this before, but he can eat two full meals (which he often does in one sitting) and be just content, yet he said this one sandwich was satisfactory. We can all take his word for it.
My only minor issue with the sandwich options and Cos&Pi overall is the lack of meat and dairy alternatives for those with dietary restrictions given the nature of the restaurant itself. All of their menu (the seven beautiful toasts particularly) screams trendy, hip brunch spot. But lthe offerings lack vegan meat, or turkey or chicken options for breakfast — something even chains like Denny’s and IHOP offer. None of their main “breakfast” dishes are listed as vegan friendly (algthough there is a vegan toast), and all but two of the items contain meat. While everything sounds and is delicious, there is room for variety. Until then, vegans and those sensitive to dairy and gluten don’t have a ton to work with for brunch if they’re not in the mood for toast.
For my own dish, I went with the buttermilk waffle ($12), which reminded me of another Pasadena breakfast favorite — The Pan, where I last ordered the chicken and waffle with berry butter. I knew instantly I had to try the waffle at Cos&Pi because it comes with (you guessed it) berry compote. I’m not sure if it’s a trend, or if waffles have been best complemented with berry jams and butters forever, but either way I certainly had been missing out. While Cos&Pi’s wasn’t served with any protein, it was still delicious since their berry compote, just like the raspberry jam, was made in house.
To drink each of us ordered coffee: An iced Americano with almond milk ($3), a cappuccino ($3.50), and a regular coffee ($3). Cos&Pi also serves lunch all day consisting of burgers, sandwiches and salad, and has an array of beers and wine. If you’re the mimosa type, they have a “Mimosasaurus,” a giant mimosa and the only drink which lists its measurements (750 ml of bubbly and 480 ml of orange juice for $20). That alone should be more than enough for a midday brunch — or perhaps not. I don’t judge.
Despite Cos&Pi’s room for variety, there truly is something for everyone, whether it’s breakfast or lunch (they close at 3 p.m. weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends). While seating is limited during weekend rush hour, get there early for the guaranteed picture perfect meals, great coffee and amazing staff.
303 Pasadena Ave,
Beer and Wine/ Major Cards