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The Few, the Proud, the Delicious

Paul's Coffee Shop offers an eclectic brand of comfort food in a unique setting.

So we knew Urbanspoon was cool, but this is getting a little spooky. We decided it was time for another lunch column, and it gave us a place that closes at 2. We just decided to cut our hair military-style, and it gave us a Marine Corps-centric diner. We're trying to watch what we eat, and...well, two out of three isn't bad.

When we walked into Paul's Coffee Shop, it was easy to see how it ended up being feature on Food Network's "Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives." One look at the menu, and it was even easier to see why. It's a classic diner, complete with counterside dining and a cast of eccentric regulars and specializing in quintessential comfort food with a few delicious twists.

The menu's absolutely chock full of hearty breakfast fare and plenty of greasy burgers for the lunch crowd. But as a first-timer, we had no choice but to go for one of Paul's specialties: the moco loco, which, as Spanish speakers, we weren't entirely sure we'd want to eat. For the unfamiliar (we Googled it secretly on our phone under the counter so as to avoid looking like rookies), moco loco is a traditional Hawaiian dish of white rice topped with ground beef, eggs and brown gravy. And when it arrived, we found ourselves hoping the diner's Marines theme included a drill sargeant to help us work off our lunch. We also had our doubts about how it would taste, but those doubts disappeared almost as quickly as the dish did. The rice was fluffy, the ground beef was well-seasoned, and the gravy and eggs tied the whole dish together into a heaping Frankenstein's monster of taste-good.

Paul's other specialty follows the diner's theme more directly. Carrying the family-friendly moniker Stuff on a Shingle, it's the mess hall classic of ground beef and eggs on toast, covered in cream gravy, and it's even served on a military-style tray. Definitely something we'll try when we return for breakfast -- though it seems only fitting that we force ourselves to jog in rather than drive when the time comes.

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