Eggslut’s signature dish: The what and the why of “The Slut”

by | Dec 11, 2016

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ll put an egg on top of anything and eat it. So when I was recently planning a trip to Los Angeles, I learned about Eggslut: a small, trendy chain of breakfast restaurants–specializing in artisan egg dishes–with three locations in Southern California and one in Las Vegas.

Eggslut became an immediate priority.

Eggslut Egg-splained

Eggslut was launched as a food truck a few years ago by Alvin Cailan and Jeff Vales. Cailan was apparently a culinary-institute trained, down-on-his-luck line cook sick of the bullshit that comes with working for someone else.

On a Friday morning in 2011, he came up with the idea of a food truck that served breakfast and specialized in egg dishes. By that afternoon, he landed on the name (according to Cailan, “eggslut” was a term that referred to chefs throughout the 2000s who put eggs on many of their dishes) and he texted it to Vales. By Friday night, Vales had created the logo. And by Monday, that name was slapped on the side of a truck. Eggslut was in business.

The Signature Slut

After it launched, Eggslut grew quickly–expanding beyond the truck into several LA locations–thanks to the high quality ingredients and attention to flavor in its unique dishes and sandwiches. In fact, its sandwiches are so popular and revered, LA Weekly named its Fairfax sandwich one of the top 10 breakfast sandwiches in Los Angeles for 2016. And in 2015, Eater ranked the Fairfax No. 9 on its list of 25 best LA breakfast sandwiches.

But its signature dish, “The Slut,” is what, in my opinion, really sets Eggslut apart from any other trendy SoCal breakfast joint. The Slut is truly a one-of-a-kind dish.

Here’s the not-so-skinny:

“The Slut,” the signature dish of Eggslut, in Grand Central Market, Los Angeles.

The Slut chef fills a small glass jar (think handleless mason jar) about halfway with creamy, buttery “potato puree” (aka mashed potatoes). Then he cracks a fresh organic egg on top of the mashed potatoes, seals the jar closed and sets it in a warm bath of water (a technique Cailan refers to as “sous vide”). An hour later, he removes the jar, opens the lid–revealing a perfectly poached egg atop warm mashed taters–and sprinkles a little gray salt and chives on top. He sets the jar in a cardboard serving dish, adds a few crispy baguette toasts on the side and hands that Slut over to a drooling patron.

To clarify: Customers don’t wait a full hour after ordering The Slut. Clearly, the staff is making them throughout the day.

A Slut So Worthy

It would be unfair for me to drone on and on about the wonderful qualities of this dish without revealing my first impression when I arrived at the Grand Central Market location, grabbed a menu and scanned it for The Slut. That impression was full-on, 100% sticker shock.

When I say The Slut jar is small, I mean it’s about the size of one cup. So, if my calculations are correct, you get about a half-cup of mashed potatoes and one (albeit very fresh and tasty) organic egg with some seasoning sprinkled on top. Add in the three thinly sliced baguette toasts and the $9 price tag seems excessive. Things like “overpriced,” “is it garnished with tiny diamonds of exceptional clarity and quality?” and “Are they out of their f***ing minds?!” immediately popped into my head.

But I took a breath and thought it through, and I came up with several reasons $9 is a reasonable price to charge for The Slut.

  1. The dish was created by a well-trained culinary expert, so it’s almost guaranteed the balance of flavors and textures is going to far exceed anything you’ll get in a local diner or other breakfast establishment.
  2. The ingredients are all fresh, locally sourced and of the highest quality. Or put more simply, the food is 360-degrees good.
  3. Eggslut has the prime location at Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market–situated just inside, facing Broadway. The rent can’t be cheap.
  4. And finally, and most importantly, this dish is truly unique. Mashed potatoes and a poached egg in a jar! It sounds simple, but it really is a work of culinary engineering at its finest. We pay musicians for good songs, actors for great movies and painters for their artistic masterpieces. When a dish truly unique comes along, it’s also worthy of our hard earned money.

In an eggshell, I love The Slut, and the next time I’m in LA, I will make a special trip back to Grand Central Market to enjoy it again.

My Eggs-pert Advice

  • Go in expecting it to be a snack, not a meal.
  • Go in knowing you’re experiencing a simple yet genius feat in culinary engineering.
  • Go in expecting to taste a wonderful dish of fresh ingredients and balanced flavors the snobbiest of foodies have never even heard of.
  • Oh, and go with $9 in your pocket.

You won’t be disappointed.

Watch Chef Cailan make “The Slut” at Eggslut in Las Vegas.

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Eggslut

Eggslut

317 S Broadway, Stall D-1
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013

(213) 625-0292

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