Everyone’s favorite social food gathering.
Let’s face it, nothing is more satisfying than a lazy mid-morning meal with friends whether you are hung over, missed breakfast or just need a good Bloody Mary to get your day going.
If you’ve lived in L.A. long enough, you’ve surely eaten your fair share of amazing brunches and drank your way through the city’s many awesome unlimited mimosa spots.
But with the new year comes a new school of chefs and eateries putting their own stamp on brunch, from nifty interpretations on tried-and-true favorites to insanely savory morning takes on pizza, fried rice and even chicken parmesan.
It’s a tasty world out there, so treat yourself to one (or more) of our best brunch picks in Los Angeles for 2016.
List starts after the jump in not particular order.
1. The Fat Dog
The Fat Dog serves brunch in two locations: North Hollywood and West Hollywood. Favorites off the menu include the “Chicken Fried Chicken” served with fresh biscuits and eggs smothered in a sausage gravy as well as a baked eggs with chorizo dish. If you like veggie burgers they also make an exceptional chickpea and brown rice patty that’s served with alfalfa sprouts, tomato, avocado & lemon herb aioli sandwiched between a brioche bun. Although both locations serve almost identical menus the NOHO location extends their menu to include blueberry ricotta pancakes and eggs two ways with breakfast potatoes and sausage. Oh, and don’t sleep on the $5 brunch cocktails either.
Chef Brian Malarkey wants you to join his seaside brunch club, and if you accept the invitation, you’re in for a treat. The menu, inspired by the local markets and laid back vibe of the SoCal beach scene stays true to Malarkey’s philosophy of “Fish Meats Field” with menu highlights that include a Maine lobster roll with lemon mayo, a savory Croque Madame, topped with a fried egg and seasonal quiches made with farmer’s market vegetables and cheese. The Peter Rabbit Mimosa is a popular drink and bottomless mimosas are also available. Did we mention the raw fare with five types of oysters and a whole fish ceviche? This is the brunch spot for seafood lovers.
On any given weekend Walter and Margarita Manzke’s République is swarming with happy diners digging into bowls of kimchi fried rice made with beef short rib and poached eggs, crab omelets and a very drool worthy “Sticky Bomb”, a cream-filled brioche bomboloni with bourbon, bacon, pecans and maple. Simply place your order at the counter (don’t forget the pastry case!) and find your seats at a communal table. The 1928 building is a airy and inviting space which makes it hard not to linger for awhile nibbling pastries and sipping Mimosas after the bowls of fried rice have been devoured.
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This Santa Monica eatery serves up a mean Southern-inspired brunch with shrimp and grits, chorizo breakfast burritos and a… wait for it… fried egg AND pastrami sandwich. Your mouth watering yet? Yup. They also have oysters, charcuterie & cheese boards, salads, avocado toast and donut holes.
5. Ostrich Farm
Brunch is not limited to the weekend at Ostrich Farm. The Eastside eatery serves brunch every day with the exception of Mondays. Try one of their house made pastries like the brioche cinnamon bun, it’s a local favorite. They also have a nice selections of tartines and a variety of sandwiches like duck liver banh mi and a salmon blt. Grab a tangerine mimosa and make it a wet brunch or if you prefer the sober route they have plenty of tea, espresso and juice options too.
6. Trois Familia
Ludo, Jon, and Vinny have taken over the LA food scene and now their latest Silver Lake spot is dishing out brunch to foodies seven days a week. Order dishes like the beef tartar tostada, Chicken Milanesa topped with maggi ranch and thinly sliced cucumbers and my favorite French-Mex creation the Churro French Toast. No matter what day it is you might run into a wait (it’s worst on weekends of course) but it’s well worth it.
7. Bar Amá
Brunch at Bar Amá starts at 11:30am so feel free to hit the snooze button and enjoy your morning in bed. Josef Centeno’s Tex Mex driven restaurant will take good care of you with his elevated comfort food dishes. Try the green enchiladas with chicken and tomatillo or coddled eggs on masa cake. The Chile Relleno stuffed with beef picadillo, cotija, zucchini and mushroom is also a real treat. Aside from the meat-centric items, Centeno has a talent for creating vegetable driven dishes that cater to vegans. Highlights include butternut squash enchiladas with chile honey and spiced pepitas and a eggplant torrada made with piquin chile, walnut oil, lime and cotija.
8. Love & Salt
This Manhattan Beach seaside eatery is quickly becoming a go-to brunch spot for locals and foodies alike. And what’s not to love? They have bottomless Mix n Match brunch cocktails (double fist pumping) that include a citrus spritz, Manhattan breeze and michelada. Brunch gets even better when you order the ciabatta nutella toast, half smoked fish board (think bagels and fish charcuterie), chicken parmesan sando, avocado toast topped with a poach egg and the duck egg pizza. Have I hit all the savory notes in your heart yet? Good.
Situated in the heart of the Sunset Strip, Estrella offers one bad-ass brunch. Top Chef alum Dakota Weiss fills the menu with local, seasonal, and nutritious ingredients, producing standouts such as “The Rolling Stone” a bacon-wrapped avocado stuffed with a poached egg and served with heirloom tomatoes. The drinks are just as cool and ingredients are inspired by the ethos of well-known classic rock songs. Think “Florence-Nightingale” and “Dream On.” In addition to cocktails, fresh juices from Paleta and caffeine from Verve Coffee Roasters will help revive weekenders needing to recover before the work week.
10. Toca Madera
Weekend brunch at Toca Madera is an indulgence in modern Mexican cuisine. The menu, curated by Chef Raymond Alvarez, includes dishes like chipotle chicken and churro waffle and a very tender, well-marinated carne asada with eggs. The vegan brunch menu sounds as good as the regular menu with enticing options like the “burro” a play on the breakfast burrito, and of course the vegan chicken and waffle dish, probably the most popular brunch dish amongst vegans. Top your meal off with a morning cocktail like the But First, Coffee made with Vanilla infused el jimador and stumptown cold brew or the Adios Felisha made with Don Julio tequila, cucumber, mint, tajin and a seasonal paleta.
11. More Than Waffles
Crispy, warm Belgian Waffles is the name of this game. From plain, pumpkin spice to coconut pecan and even bacon & cheddar it’s going to be a tough decision to make. For those who don’t feel like getting waffles (what?) the omelet, French toast, crepes, pancakes, Benedict’s options are just as endless.
12. The Bellwether
Nashville Hot Chicken for brunch? Umm… sign me up! The brainchild between two Father’s Office alums Chef Ted Hopson and Beverage Director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether is a great addition to the blossoming food scene of Studio City’s Ventura Boulevard. During brunch service find sharable dishes like the brioche french toast, Neuske’s bacon with maple-bacon jam and a crispy pork rillettes dish with potato rosti, ham hock gravy, sunny egg and crispy pig ear. And just so you know the drink program at The Bellwether is just as impressive. Take the Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary made with house infused habanero vodka, a bacon salt rim AND a mini BLT as a garnish.
13. Dudley Market
Just steps from the beach, Chef Jesse Barber is preparing an impressive brunch over at Dudley Market. Inspired by the vibrancy of the Venice neighborhood Barber, whips up dishes like avocado toast, croque madame, and delicious French omelettes with soft shell crab. Utilizing local, seasonally fresh ingredients, from farmers and artisan purveyors, Chef Barber is a great addition to the growing food scene in Venice.
Ledlow in DTLA is Josef Centeno’s fourth restaurant in the Historic Core, and the brunch game is strong. The Americana focused menu gets the full Centeno treatment, like the plainly named “Breakfast Combo” a plate of fried eggs, duck fat potatoes, crispy pork belly and salsa verde, best combo ever? we think so. The “Baked Eggs En Cocotte” with tomatoes, beef, mushroom and pea tendrils is perfect for those craving something more comforting and don’t miss out on the cocktails from seasonal mimosa’s to a Brandy milk punch made of brandy, milk, nutmeg and vanilla.
Order up some charcuterie to share and a round of Bloody Mary’s made with heirloom tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a perfect start to brunch at Terrine. This place is NOT for people on a diet or vegetarians. Chef Kris Moringstar knows his way around an animal, case in point his smoked veal tongue Benedict topped with spinach and chive hollandiase sauce on a house made english muffin. After one bite you won’t miss that sorry Canadian Bacon combo you see at diners. The beautiful patio makes for a great LA brunch backdrop where you’ll spot pickled brined fried chicken and grits, eggs in Purgatory and house smoked brisket hash at every table.
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s beloved A.O.C. serves some of the most scrumptious brunch dishes in Los Angeles. A fan favorite is the Spanish fried chicken & cornmeal waffle accompanied by jamon butter and maple syrup. Another solid choice is the wood-oven baked eggs with chickpeas, cavolo nero, tomato confit, feta, and sumac served in a cast iron skillet. Request a table outside in the courtyard and bring your shades for a true L.A. experience.
So what do you think is the best brunch spot in Los Angeles? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!