Entering Gentlemen's Breakfast is like walking into a stylized traditional British gentleman's club where pipe tobacco is offered, scotch is poured and conversation encouraged among the Napoleonic-era paintings and Edwardian finery. The eyeglasses featured on shelves against the bitter chocolate walls offer a cue for dialogue. The proprietor will not only wax on about 200-year-old pince-nez, the funny little frameless lenses worn by Theodore Roosevelt, but he will also polish and mend older frames or meld the glasses to fit your bone structure, all while looking as if he just stepped out of 1902 — or 1960, depending on the day of the week. "There are some new contemporary designers that will make glasses very high quality, but I like the vintage glasses because they were handmade instead of being injection molded. They relied on the quality of the design to sell the products, not the label on the side on the temple," De la Plante says. The optician sells only men's frames but will gladly find a funky frame that's suitable for a woman. "Women are wearing more men's frames than ever right now. Like aviators, horn-rimmed glasses … clunky black men's frames," De la Plante says. He conjures up the image of Michelle Pfeiffer's oversized shades in "Scarface." Photo: Vintage sunglasses sit on display for sale in the Gentlemen's Breakfast eyeglass shop in Echo Park.
Katie Falkenberg / For The Times