Trendy concepts at The Dirty Penguin
The Dirty Penguin in Chino Hills offers trendy breakfast and brunch options at a relatively high price point. The concept that less is more is embraced by this cafe.
The exterior was covered in greenery with a single penguin-shaped neon light indicating its exact location. When I entered the restaurant in the afternoon, I was surprised to see that most seats were filled. The interior of the restaurant was white with pink accents, and this color scheme as well as the natural lighting created a very welcoming vibe. Throughout the room, plants were strategically placed and hang from the ceiling, bringing vibrance and life to the environment.
While there was a wide variety of drinks to choose from, there were only seven food dishes to choose from, three of which included bagel sandwiches and two that were variations of avocado toast. I ordered their original avocado toast served on sourdough toast and topped with pickled red onions, cilantro and lime. The sourdough toast was crunchy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside, which contrasted the creamy texture of the mashed avocado. The cilantro and lime offered a zesty and tangy flavor to an otherwise bland meal.
For my drink, I ordered a lavender latte with oat milk. They carried several different milk options including oat, almond, soy and whole milk which I felt was beneficial for those who have a dairy allergy or dislike dairy in general. The latte itself came out in a baby pink mug with a saucer that reminded me of fake tea parties I had participated in when I was little. I did not immediately taste the lavender in the latte because the coffee overpowered it. However, once the drink cooled down, the floral notes became more prominent. My choice of oat milk led the drink to be creamier than other coffee drinks I’ve had. The drink was slightly sweeter than I would’ve preferred, but other than that, it was very enjoyable.
My only complaint about my experience would be the price. I paid $7.99 for my avocado toast, and I paid $5.25 for my latte. While I felt like the meal was filling, I seemed to be paying for the ambiance and experience rather than the meal itself.
Overall, The Dirty Penguin has an alluring atmosphere and simple yet appetizing brunch options. The creativity invested in the interior alone makes The Dirty Penguin worth a visit.
By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Scene editor
Photo by Bhalpriya Sandhu