There’s a bit of back story when it comes to Break of Dawn, which almost everybody who eats here is familiar with. Long story short, the chef and owner, Dee Nguyen, used to be the Executive Sous Chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, but some medical complications arose with his son and during a medical procedure with the infant to correct it, his breathing tube was accidentally blocked and he went without oxygen for ten minutes. He was in a coma for a month and when he finally woke up, his motor skills were severely hampered. Dee decided to leave his position at the Ritz-Carlton and open up Break of Dawn so that he could work closer to home and have a more manageable schedule. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, and the rest of the week it closes between 1:30pm and 2pm so that Dee can spend more time looking after his son.
It’s a pretty devastating story, but it’d be a lot more devastating if Break of Dawn sucked. Which it doesn’t. Even if you didn’t know the history of the place, the food alone would win you over. It’s Asian fusion brunch, and it’s a bit lighter and more refined than traditional comfort food. Plus they’ve got dishes like Green Eggs and Ham and French Toast Creme Brulee. Let me repeat that. French Toast. Creme Brulee. It’s not the best thing on the menu, but c’mon!
NOTE: If you are looking for the best thing on menu, I can vouch for the Mac and Cheese, Smoked Salmon, and Sausage and Rice. Order whichever of those sound the best to you and you can’t go wrong.
$3.50 Vietnamese Coffee
$13 Skillet (new potato, bacon, chipotle, cheddar poached eggs)
$13 Mac and Cheese (Sicilian sausage, short rib, bacon fried eggs, parmesan cream)
$12 Sausage and Rice (Hawaiian sausage, green papaya, two fried eggs)
Break of Dawn
24351 Avenida De La Carlota
Laguna Hills, CA 92653