blu jam cafe

a classic choice for brunch

Back in the day, before LA peaked in brunch terms, there was a little cafe in the heart of Melrose before Melrose became a center for tourists and suburban teens coming to take photos in front of a pink wall. A lot has changed since 2006: there are now more excellent brunch spots than there are weekends in a year, each trendier and prettier and more instagrammable than the next. But Blu Jam is still there, with a line out the door. Despite three (3!) locations in the Valley. They’ve expanded a lot in the past few years, with six locations in LA, but most impressively, two locations in Tokyo too (Tokyo and LA are truly soul sister cities).

In a city where restaurants come and go with the season, and where trends are always in competition with each other, it says a lot when a restaurant is able to stick around and maintain popularity without the frills. Blu Jam has become a bit of a brunch institution. Sure it’s not the prettiest meal you can get in this shallow shallow city. You can’t get rainbow latte art here. But they hold onto that diner-like charm: with a lengthy menu of Californian comforts (ie: everything from benedicts to burritos). A few Yelp-darling specialties (crunchy french toast). And enough breadth to satisfy a big group. And so Blu Jam jams on as a reliable option for brunch in a city full of brunch options

the details


LA: Melrose | Downtown | Brentwood | Sherman Oaks | Tarzana | Woodland Hills
Tokyo: Shibuya | Minato

Hours8am – 3pm every day
Price$$ – pretty much the whole menu is between $10-20 
Aestheticpretty plain and simple, dark tables, sunny patios, etc.

good to know

Go here for: a lazy brunch

Order this: Kamil’s breakfast (any excuse to eat mac and cheese for breakfast) and crunchy french toast for the table

Amount of time to spend: about an hour, plus change with the wait

When to come: gauge it with the Yelp waitlist if possible, it can get pretty busy on the weekends. DTLA location is pretty chill though. 

Parking (LA): let’s see. Melrose sucks always. There is residential street parking but the residents are tyrannical so beware. The Valley is the burbs which means (drumroll please) free (albeit crowded) parking lots! Downtown is the same downtown deal: try finding a meter, or just suck it up and pay for a lot, there are usually $5-10 day parking ones around. Brentwood can be a hit or miss. Depending on time of day, there’s metered parking on Wilshire, but be sure to triple check signs by the residential streets, they vary.

Last visited: June 2019

Last updated: June 2020

while you're here