a very LIT Cafe in Anaheim
Anaheim is not a city I frequently travel to, but after a visit to recently opened LIT Cafe, I’d say, I may have to make that trip more frequently. Nestled in an unassuming strip mall, LIT Cafe is a minimalist space which is both comfortable and relaxing. I noticed electrical outlets under the banquette seating, which is efficient for those wishing to get some work done while they’re there.
Take your time to check out the menu hanging behind the counter, as well as the items displayed in the cold cases. Order at the cashier, and your food will be brought out when it’s ready.
If you want to start with something light, but satisfying, the Vegan Overnight Oats is displayed in the cold case, and is an immediate satisfaction. It isn’t too sweet and perfectly textured. The oats are served with seasonal fruits, in this case, a variety of berries.
Maybe you’re famished and need something right away, then grab one of the pastries to hold you over while waiting for your food to be prepared. I’d suggest ordering at least one of the pastries or cookies, as they are created in-house by Chef Erica Tjangnaka, who spent a bulk of her career with pastry masterchef, Stephane Treand of ST Patisserie, and her skills shine through when you bite into one of her sweet creations.
Chef Erica runs LIT with her husband Chef David Fujimura, who is responsible for all the delightful items on the menu. Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t met either of them prior to this, seeing I know Stephane, as well as many of the reputable names Chef David has worked with.
The Croissant is a perfect example of Chef Erica’s skills. It is flaky on the outside, and somewhat “hollow” on the inside, which is the ideal consistency you’re looking for.
There are so many things on the menu that jump out, but we couldn’t possibly order everything. LIT Brick Toast ($7.75) looked impressive from the photo, and the ingredients appealed to us. I am not generally at a loss for words when describing a simple dish such as eggs on bread, but I was absolutely blown away after my first bite. I took a second bite, and then a third. How can something this simple taste this good? A thick slice of toast, gratinéed with cheese, is topped with fluffy scrambled eggs, then sprinkled with bits of bacon, scallions, and parsley. It was one of the most delicious things I’d ever eaten, and I’m rarely a fan of scrambled eggs.
My friend orders Chilaquiles ($12) and I want to say, she is a chilaquiles fiend, a connoisseur if you will. After several bites, she is immensely stoked and declares it up to standard. The corn tortillas are crispy, drizzled generously with salsa verde de Jairo, then sprinkled with mozzarella and cotija cheeses. As if that wasn’t enough, it is garnished with grilled applewood smoked bacon and a sunny-side up egg, finished with sour cream and a little mixed cabbage-cilantro slaw. The chips remained firm even towards the end!
I’ve been crazy into salads lately, and Quinoa CHOP! ($11) is absolutely to our liking. Using both fresh and grilled Romaine lettuce ribbon, as well as iceberg as its base, the salad also comprises healthful quinoa, black beans, parsley, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, red onions, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, all tossed in a bright yuzu vinaigrette. We added the House Spice Rub Grilled Salmon ($4.25), which was cooked to perfection… flaky on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
Everything has been so delicious so far, but my ultimate favorite is Lit Loco ($12), a Hawaiian dish that is dear to my heart. This delectable bowl of hot steamed rice is paired with a Japanese-style hamburger steak drizzled with teriyaki jus and gravy. The sunny side egg completes this bowl. There is a potato salad that is reminiscent of Hawaiian plate lunches, and some house-made pickles that helps refresh the palate in between bites.
LIT is absolutely lit in so many ways. The food is simple, but in an elevated way that’s hard to describe. I can’t wait to come back again!
1071 N Tustin Ave
Anaheim, CA 92807