After well over a year of hard work turning a 1920s-era abandoned brick building in northern Pasadena into an airy, utterly gorgeous functioning restaurant, Christine Moore and her business partner Pam Perkins opened Lincoln just after dawn Monday.
Pasadena residents and sea salt caramel addicts will know Moore from her beloved local shop, Little Flower Candy Co. Lincoln is not, to clarify, a second Little Flower. It's a much larger restaurant, open seven days a week serving the type of locally sourced, homey food for which Moore is known, and with an adjacent old brick building that houses a candy shop, (eventual) wine and cheese store and a private dining room.
Lincoln is open at 6:30 a.m. from Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, serving freshly baked pastries, hearty breakfasts, and lunch-time sandwiches and salads. Little Flower pastry chef Cecilia Leung is doing double-duty as Lincoln's pastry chef, and the pastry production has been moved north to the much-larger Lincoln kitchens.
Lincoln is a big, airy space, about 2,000 square feet of loft ceilings and exposed brick in what was once a machine shop. Inside, Moore and Perkins have filled the space with stuff they bought second-hand from restaurants and junk shops, estate sales and libraries, from Habitat From Humanity and the Glendale public library. "The only thing we bought new is the coffee machine," said Moore on the morning she finally opened her doors.
You can see why: It's a two-group La Marzocco, from which the baristas are pulling shots of Stumptown. In addition to excellent coffee and all those pastries, Lincoln has a breakfast menu featuring breakfast bowls, house-made gravlax, breakfast salad, warm bulgur, huevos rancheros and pancakes. Among the lunch offerings: duck confit and baguette, peel and eat shrimp, farro bowls, hangar steak salad, carrot fritters and a cheese and charcuterie plate.
When Lincoln gets its beer and wine license in January, Moore says it will stay open later for dinner on the weekends, maybe operating the Santa Maria barbecue outside in the big patio or even pulling out the restaurant's ping-pong table.
In the meantime, you can sit inside, beneath the enormous map of Mexico that Moore found in a downtown L.A. estate sale and sip your cortado and eat your financier (which Leung makes in the shape of fish) with a view of the San Gabriels — as well as the olive trees, Carolina cherry trees, kumquat trees and bay laurels that Moore and Perkins planted around the parking lot. Yes, there's parking too.