The Plachinta Melt: A tasty Romanian twist on lunch

By Valentina Silva

Not too far from Verdugo Bar, hiding under a “Bakery #1″ sign in a Glassell Park strip mall, is a breakfast and lunch spot that should be packed every day. It’s not, and selfishly I’d like to keep it that way, but I believe in restaurant karma. So, here it goes: Lemon Poppy Seed Kitchen is a small restaurant run by friendly people that specializes in Romanian flatbreads called plachintas—two tortilla-like layers stuffed with feta, dill and scallion or bacon and cheddar, for example. They are divine, scrumptious, lovely, addictive, and served three ways: warm and sliced with a side of sour cream; folded over melted mozzarella, greens, olives and tomatoes; or under two yolky eggs, swiss chard and onions.

The Muffuletta/Photo by Valentina Silva

It may take you a few visits to move on from the Plachinta Melt, but when you do, try the Muffuletta sandwich. Departing some from the traditional southern specialty, LPK’s rendition is stacked high and color consciously with mortadella, genoa salami, smoked ham, provolone and olive tapenade. The bread, in this case, is a pillowy, slightly sweet roll. It’s gigantic, but simple and served with a side salad. On the vegetarian side, there’s the Veggie Philly, which replaces steak with portabello mushrooms and includes pasilla peppers and paprika lemon ailoli. All sandwiches are served with a side salad.

Dessert is baked fresh daily and changes all the time. One day, there’s a chocolate chip bread pudding to lust after, the next there’s a  cinnamon-sugar doughnut muffin you can’t escape. The cookies are big and buttery, and the orange olive oil cake, a particular favorite, is moist and refined. If you take any of these to go, you’ll most likely find yourself breaking into that little pink box on the way home.


Lemon Poppy Kitchen
3324 Verdugo Rd. Glassell Park, 90065
Tuesday – Friday: 7am – 3pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 3pm
Closed Mondays


  1. FrameMonsterMike

    awesome. thats right down the road!

  2. I just went there for the first time this weekend! I had the planchita with eggs. It was really good, and their coffee is great too (which they refilled-free of charge) they sell pretty good jam too.

  3. Went there for the first time this weekend. 12 on Sunday.

    Waited 15 minutes to order, 15 minutes for my coffee, and then ~45 minutes after that for my food. The person two spots in line behind me finished their food before I even got mine. I’m not usually one to notice who got what food when, or care for that matter, but it was definitely a downer.

    Looking forward to the new options in the neighborhood but will wait until they have the kinks worked out to go back.

  4. Mmmm, I’ve eaten the plachintas when they were sold at the Echo Park Farmer’s Market and they were SO GOOD. I’ll have to venture to the store front. Yum!

  5. The name of this place caught my attention initially but after a great “Eastsider” review I will go check it out…..

  6. I go here all the time, really great breakfast options that feel like they are destined to become staples in my (and many others) routine. Savory grains and plachinta breakfasts are game changers. Never had to wait more than 20-30 minutes for food personally, even on a weekend when it can get a little crazy in there.. but for a good reason. Worth the wait, well worth checking out. Oh, and on the weekends any special that has hash or biscuits in the name is probably one of the best things you’ve ever eaten.

  7. I love this place. Excellent breakfast, great staff and inspired, flavorful food.

  8. George Vreeland Hill

    A friend told me about this place and I went and loved it.
    Excellent food.

    George Vreeland Hill

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