Brunch often feels like the most simple of meals. It usually consists of a combination of eggs, potatoes, a fatty protein and a fruit cup.

These ingredients typically take shape as scrambled or poached eggs, with hashed or skillet potatoes, and meat comes in the form of regular bacon slices or thick-cut and sweet bacon slices dressed up in a name like Millionaire Bacon. The race to differentiate in presentation and title has become exhausting.

Simmer down, zealous brunch aficionados: I know there are some innovative creations out there. The point is, brunch is an extremely popular phenomenon while the meals are usually the same basic ingredients. And then there is that a rare gem in the South Bay breakfast+lunch scene. Instead of dressing up classic dishes with fancy twists, Pastis Bistro decides to focus on just making them perfect.

Offering the brunch atmosphere rumored to be found only in San Francisco, Pastis measures up without the horrendous big city lines. The restaurant is located on California Avenue, where the Sunday Farmer’s Market is held, providing a great way to kill time before or after the meal. On both visits, I walked in with no reservation around the most popular pre-noon brunch time and was seated and served immediately.

Seating at the bar section on the left and the restaurant section on the right are both tight. There is just a hair more than elbow room between tables. The eclectic French themed decor and tables provide that French sidewalk cafe feel. The menu items are all in French, which can be overwhelming at first. But the descriptions provide a better explanation and the helpful wait staff knows their menu well and can address any questions. My special requests for dishes were easily accommodated. If there was not already enough of a French vibe happening, our waiter also eloquently sold us on the day’s specials in his French accent.

The freshly made beignets ($6) are well known to regulars. They come in six bite-sized puffs sprinkled with a perfectly indulgent powdered sugar that is not too sweet. It is best to consume them fresh and warm as the magic does start to wear off as the dish cools. On the regular menu is the Croque Monsieur ($12.50) made of ham, eggs any style, and bechamel sauce inside sliced French bread all sealed together by melted Swiss cheese on top. The simple touch of melting the cheese on top elevates the sandwich to a gourmet level.

A very French option is the Sandwich Au Confit De Canard ($15.95), which is a duck confit sandwich with a hunk of melted brie cheese and aioli sauce. It was nice to taste duck confit paired with more flavors than just a crispy duck leg on a bed of lettuce. In the sandwich it was much more flavorful with the brie cheese. The specials of the day are definitely worth listening to or else a great dish like the Lamb Shank Eggs Benedict ($15.95) would be missed. Shredded lamb shank meat is layered between a buttery English muffin and eggs smothered in hollandaise sauce of the perfect consistency, not too runny and not clumpy. For vegetarians, the Veggie Omelette ($12.95), which can also have meat added, is a hefty portion of fluffy omelette with tomato and vegetables, topped with a slice of cheese. It is served with an interesting strawberry scone to add a sweet note. All brunch items come with a decent-sized pile of crispy skillet potatoes.

Brunch does not have to try too hard. It is simply a time to enjoy a breakfast, lunch and everything in between. Pastis understands this concept and makes simple dishes with quality meats and cheese, perfectly cooked eggs in any style, and always-crispy potatoes. The daily specials are not gimmicky and the service does not disappoint. Neither will the beignets.