As I bite into my early morning burrito at Clockers' Corner, I can't decide which is more magnificent: the San Gabriel Mountains and palm trees shrouded in mist or the thoroughbreds running at full throttle.
The photogenic setting at Santa Anita Park has been featured in films from the Marx Brothers' A Day at the Races in 1937 to Seabiscuit in 2003. But, unlike a typical day at the races, the morning mood is serene. The only sounds are the steady clip clop of walking horses, the staccato clapping of running hooves or an occasional snort as jockeys and trainers work out their horses.
It's the perfect backdrop for my morning meal, where everything from bagels and breakfast burritos to pancakes and omelets is available at Clockers' Corner, the casual counter restaurant at Santa Anita.
As for that breakfast burrito? I'll be honest. It's easy to find a better one just about anywhere in town, but you won't find a better place to eat it. (Next time, I'll play it safe with a toasted bagel with cream cheese.)
285 W. Huntington Dr.
Hours: 7:00 to 10:00 am
Parking is free before 10:00 am. Enter Gate 8 from Baldwin Ave.
Modest prices, magnificent views.