‘Hawaiian & Japanese inspired breakfast & brunch’
The quirkily named ‘Morning Wood’ is the latest craze in the El Camino Real, San Bruno area with fantastic reviews, and a long line to get in!
We were a party of 5, and when the first person arrived at 8.45, there were already 25 people in line. This was a Saturday so I suggest arriving early if you want to be seated in good time. Be sure to add your name to the waiting list inside before joining the queue. At 10.15 we were finally called in to be seated.
Service was great, shortly after we sat down a waitress came to take our drinks order while we pondered the menu. Once the drinks came we were ready to order & went for 1 *okonormiyaki, 3 oh so loco moco’s with a meatloaf patty, 1 oh so loco moco with mochiko chix (chicken) & 1 portion of their strawberry milk french toast.
The okornomiyaki looked incredible, and the pictures don’t do the size of the dish any justice. the portion was very generous and can easily be shared between two. This wasn’t my dish but I did have a taste and unfortunately it wasn’t what I expected. Its listed as ‘corned beef korokke/wasabi green tea leaf slaw/pickled ginger/katsuobushi/house sauce/sous vide eggs’ however we could hardly taste the corned beef, and all the sauce, oil and dressings meant it was super rich. A bit too heavy for one person so early in the day.
The meatloaf patty oh so loco moco was a the chosen meal for 3 of our party, however all 3 were left disappointed. The rice, eggs & gravy were delicious however all 3 commented that the meat was a little sour, and almost tasted like it was going off! We did ask a waitress whether it was meant to have a ‘sour’ taste and apparently this is intentional due to rhe addition of worchester sauce to the patty seasoning. Even still, it left a bad taste in our mouths and unfortunately wasnt enjoyable which was a shame since the rest of the dish tasted so good!
The oh so loco moco with chicken was my dish, and undoubtedly the best dish we ordered. The rice was perfectly cooked, the gravy was tasty and the chicken complemented the meal in the best way, with the crunchy fried texture a welcome addition to the rice gravy & ‘sunny side up’ eggs. I really enjoyed this dish, and just like the rest of the meals we had, the portion size was very very generous.
The strawberry milk french toast looked absolutely incredible. It came later than the rest of the food & is indicated on the menu [please allow at least 15-20min]. Since this was just an addition to our main meals we were happy to wait.
Unfortunately, the presentation is the only thing we enjoyed about this dish. The toast was very, very soggy and didn’t really taste of anything, it was very bland. The crust of the toast which was a bit more crunchy was slightly better, but the rest of the meal was left untouched. For a dish that took much longer to come out than the rest of the dishes it was very disappointing.
There aren’t many Japanese/Hawaiian fusion brunch spots and it’s clear that a lot of thought and care went into crafting their menu. However, based on this visit, the food just wasn’t worth the hype (or the wait!). If you really do want to try Morning Wood, i’d suggest waiting for the hype to die down, because so will the queues, or going on a weekday where I understand the queue is much shorter.
As a collective, we gave our experience of Morning Wood a 3/5.