Canadian chain OEB Breakfast Co. elevates morning meals with an eatery in Newport Beach.
By Sharon Stello
From a croque-madame to pierogies and duck confit, a lobster scramble and Banana “Cream Pie” French Toast, OEB Breakfast Co. brings new meaning to the word gourmet. The jam-packed menu creates a dilemma for diners because everything sounds good and there’s only so much one can eat. But luckily, with a location recently opened in Westcliff Plaza—the first California installment from this Canadian company—it’s easy to come back again and again.
The bright and cheery eatery offers both indoor and outdoor seating with a little country kitsch in the way of decorative chickens and ceramic crocks as well as fun, modern pendant lights that give a nod to eggs with a white dome and yellow interior.
Start with a mimosa flight that mixes prosecco with juices such as pineapple, mango, orange and grapefruit. Or sip sangria, a peach Bellini, fruit smoothie or coffee while perusing the menu. A few dishes are sure to catch your eye, like the Gnocchi Breakfast Carbonara with double-smoked bacon, brown butter hollandaise, Grana Padano cheese, cracked black pepper and raw egg yolk, and the chilaquiles, made with duck fat-fried corn tortilla chips, salsa roja, cotija cheese, sunny side-up eggs and toppings including cilantro crema.
For more flavor, duck fat is also used to fry the herbed potatoes, which can be ordered as a side, as can the bangers (sausage) in maple-pork and chicken-blueberry varieties and the hand-pinched onion and potato pierogies—a must-try. Signature breakfast bowls bring together a mix of ingredients, but most include poached eggs, duck fat-fried potatoes, fresh local cheese curds and another protein like slow-cooked bacon lardons or Philly-style short rib, topped with brown butter hollandaise.
Although most of OEB’s locations are found in our country’s neighbor to the north, except for this one in Newport and another in Scottsdale, Arizona, the restaurant is committed to the communities it serves, utilizing ingredients from local purveyors such as Bread Artisan Bakery and Ingardia Bros. Produce Inc., both in Santa Ana, and Continental Gourmet Sausage Co. in Glendale for the California cafe.
Mauro Martina, a chef who grew up in Italy and has experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants, founded OEB in 2009 as a chef-driven concept. Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than in the array of eggs Benedict variations on the menu. From Korean bulgogi to truffled squash and wild blue crab, creative toppings abound. Even the traditional Benny features rosemary ham while the Florentine comes with wilted spinach, house-made tomato jam and half an avocado on each side. Not to mention, these are served on a sliced butter croissant—no English muffins here.
And the eatery offers both lighter options—think chia seed pudding or avocado toast, which also incorporates a layer of hummus, tomato jam and fresh-picked herbs—and indulgent choices like French Toast Trifle with brioche, lemon curd, berries, pistachios and torched pavlovas, or the Banana “Cream Pie” French Toast, which is piled high with banana cream, sliced bananas and fresh whipped cream. Pick a few plates to share or keep the decadence all to yourself.
OEB Breakfast Co.
1104 Irvine Ave.