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La Jollans always feel at home at the Living Room

The Living Room, a fixture on Prospect Street for the past 12 years, is more than a coffee house. The funky eatery is more like Grandma’s parlor. With its antique Victorian sofa and other vintage furniture scattered around, the Living Room exudes a homey feeling you don’t expect to find around town.

The back of the restaurant overlooks the water, so find a table near the window. If you prefer alfresco dining, there’s a small sidewalk patio out front that makes a great spot for people watching.

It’s the casual look and informality of the Living Room that makes folks feel at home. Of course, nobody would come back if he or she didn’t love the food and the value prices of everything on the menu.

The cuisine at the Living Room has a Mediterranean flair, and everything is made fresh from scratch, even the large array of cakes that tempt you as you enter. And when it comes to coffee, tea and other beverages, the Living Room takes the cake.

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There are literally dozens of choices, starting with a small cup of European blend house coffee ($1.65) and including iced banana cappuccino ($4.25), Italian soda ($3.25), fresh squeezed orange juice ($3.25), hot white chocolate ($3.50 for a small) and iced Chai tea ($3.25). Beers and wines are available as well.

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. until midnight, so even if you dine elsewhere, you can still come in and enjoy a cup of coffee and dessert at the Living Room after dinner.

The breakfast selections run the gamut, from croissant and bagel sandwiches to fruit bowls, breakfast burritos and quiche. The sandwiches, served with fresh seasonal fruit, are priced from $3.45 for a ham and cheese croissant to $7.45 for a smoked salmon with bagel plate.

Feel free to linger over coffee or stop in during the day for a blended frozen drink such as the mocha frappe freeze ($4.25) or the Hawaiian breeze freeze ($4.25). Smoothies are also available ($4.25).

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The most popular item on the menu is the traditional Caesar salad ($6.95). Add two bucks for the grilled chicken breast topping and you’ll have a satisfying meal with leftovers to take home.

There are several tempting entrees available for lunch and dinner and every entree is served with fresh fruit and a house salad. Try the quiche Lorraine or a vegetarian version ($8.95 each). The chicken burrito is awesome, made with large chunks of white meat and black beans ($8.95).

Another terrific choice is the turkey lasagna ($8.95), and if you miss good old-fashioned chicken pie, try the Living Room’s. It’s made with chicken breast packed into a French puff pastry.

One of our favorites is listed on the menu under “Light Side.” It’s a combination platter that features Middle Eastern dips, plus dolma or boureg, egg rolls filled with ground beef. The platter is $9.95, but you can order any item separately for $4.95.

Don’t even think about passing on dessert, because the European-style cakes and pastries at the Living Room are scrumptious. We shared a slice of tiramisu cake, and it really melts in your mouth. Muffins, scones and a variety of Danish and cinnamon rolls are also available to go with your morning coffee.

One of the newest additions to the Living Room’s dining experience is an omelet bar ($8.95). This made-to-order omelet breakfast is available every Sunday, and if you don’t get there early, you’ll have to fight the crowds. The chef tosses anything you want into the omelet and serves it with fresh fruit.

The Living Room is at 1010 Prospect St. Call (858) 459-1187.