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Food

18 Unique Brunches in L.A. if You’re Tired of the Same-Old, Same-Old

September 17, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Whether you prefer a boozy breakfast or a more caffeinated morning, few weekend outings top a solid brunch experience.

L.A. always offers up a plethora of places to get your brunch on, but sometimes you want to switch things up from your tried-and-true favorites. That’s where this list comes in.

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Do you want to try breakfast pizza in a West Adams party atmosphere with live music? Chilaquiles in a 1920s Spanish-style house in Toluca Lake? Share brunch with your pooch in Mid-City? Listen to live jazz at a luxury retreat surrounded by nature in Westlake Village? Imbibe a breakfast Old Fashioned paired up with duck hash in Playa del Rey? We’ve got choices.

Take a cue from our list of NOT the same-old, same-old brunches in Los Angeles for fall 2017 (numbered only for reference, listed in no particular order).

1. The Mar Vista (Mar Vista)

This gorgeous space, opened in early 2017, is loaded with greenery and features a smartly designed Murphy bed-style stage that can be eased down the wall for frequent musical performances. Dedicated to using “ugly” produce, the Mar Vista’s menu is globally inspired and a refreshing addition to the up-and-coming neighborhood. This Sunday-only brunch is served in the company of chill DJ-spun tunes and live art. Food options include a beautiful “cranked bowl” of yogurt and shredded frozen fruit, chilaquiles, a smoked salmon-loaded baked potato, and a bacon & egg hotpot. Pair them with a bellini or a michelada for a boozy affair. -> More info here

2. Manuela (DTLA)

Located at Hauser & Wirth gallery, Manuela is an art-laden restaurant with a menu heavy on fermenting, pickling, preserving and in-house smoking. Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruit served here are grown right outside in Hauser & Wirth’s garden, while eggs come directly from the 12 rare-breed chickens in the adjacent chicken runs. Brunch offerings include hush puppies with molasses butter, grilled Texas quail with labne, a deer burger, Dungeness Crab Louie, and cinnamon churros with dulce de leche. -> More info here

3. Jane Q (Hollywood)

Located at the just-opened Everly Kimpton Hotel near the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, Jane Q. is a bright, airy, counter-style spot utilizing lots of fresh-off-the-farm produce. For brunch, try the Savannah B.E.L.T. sandwich (pickled green tomato, pimento cheese, bacon candy and a fried egg),  the roasted sweet potato with spiced walnuts, yogurt and pickled Fresno chiles, duck confit monkey bread enrobed in mushrooms and melted teleggio cheese, or the avocado parfait. Pair these dishes with an Aperol spritz, Smog City coffee porter, or Sicilian coffee. -> More info here

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4. The Ponte (Beverly Grove)

If the idea of pasta for breakfast appeals to you, check out this casually elegant Italian eatery that’s drawing crowds for its excellent Italian cuisine and superior cocktail list. At brunch, standout dishes include spaghetti pomodoro, which The Ponte’s chef Scott Conant perfected during his years with Scarpetta, and Eggs in Purgatory. A scrumptious take on shakshuka, it features eggs poached in house-made puttanesca sauce atop creamy polenta. Sip on a Lucano Correcto (composed of coffee-infused amaro, rum, coffee liqueur, coffee, chocolate bitters and cream) or the Bloody Mary made with green chile vodka. -> More info here

5. Herringbone (Santa Monica)

This seafood-focused eatery in Santa Monica offers a gorgeous, beachy decor, lush greenery, a playful vibe, and extremely fresh and delicious fish. Oyster fans will want to check out the Salt & Brine Bar’s fresh oysters with kimchi mignonette. At brunch, try the lobster scramble with Maine lobster and caviar, or the crab cake benedict with sriracha hollandaise. You can enjoy endless rose at brunch for $25. -> More info here

6. Friends & Family (East Hollywood)

Located in East Hollywood’s Thai Town, Friends & Family’s brunch is exceptional, offering dishes like olive oil fried eggs topped with chickpeas, harisa & yogurt with olive toast; baked pancake with rhubarb/blood orange house-made preserves; and duck in the hole (an egg fried within a slice of crusty bread, with a duck drumstick on the side). All the jams, breads and pastries served here are made in house, while heritage grains are used for the baked goods. Standout baked options include summer corn hand pie, spinach breakfast galette, and bacon leek quiche. Cool off with the agua fresca of the day. And who says you can’t finish your meal with a meringue ice cream sandwich? -> More info here

7. Delicious Pizza (West Adams)

Delicious Pizza — from the guys who started Delicious Vinyl — is home to one of the most delicious and unique brunch options in Los Angeles. At their West Adams location, it’s a friendly, multicultural scene that frequently offers live hip hop and jazz on Sundays. Check out the current exhibit at the location’s art gallery, then settle yourself on the spacious back patio to savor brunch selections like the Pick Me Up Pizza (topped with ricotta, mozzarella, homemade sausage and eggs), the Lean Green Pizza (laden with pesto, mozzarella, mushrooms, roasted peppers, pureed eggplant, basil and eggs), fluffy ricotta-heavy pancakes and some very tasty sangria. -> More info here

Brunch isn't complete without fresh passion fruit on top of Caramelized Pineapple Pancakes. Join us from 10 am – 2:30 pm!

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8. Aroha (Westlake Village)

The only New Zealand eatery in L.A., Aroha is a beautiful, romantic space that’s great for anyone eating gluten-free, as every item on the brunch menu can be made sans gluten. Top brunch dishes include banana pancakes with rum caramel, caramelized pineapple pancakes, and New Zealand venison sausage and eggs. Try a brunch cocktail like the Hamilton (sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, lavender and lemon) or the Aroha Nui (Mount Gay Rum with butterfly pea flower).  -> More info here

9. Baltaire (Brentwood)

A beautifully sprawling dining room, a huge patio with a retractable roof, a ridiculously good-looking clientele and a cut-above wine list help make this ultra-glamorous Brentwood steakhouse a superior place for brunch (or any meal, for that matter). Try a glass of rosé with a globally inspired dish like the albacore and salmon poké bowl with yuzu ponzu, avocado, and house-pickled vegetables, Eggs Sardou with artichoke hearts, spinach, and hollandaise on a housemade cheddar-scallion biscuit, roasted cauliflower steak with lentil chimichurri and sunny-side-up egg, or an ahi nicoise with banyuls vinaigrette & peewee potatoes. -> More info here

10. mar’sel at Terranea Resort (Rancho Palos Verdes)

At mar’sel, enjoy stunning ocean views, exquisite food, and unique drink offerings like the Pacific Granita (a cocktail served tableside and cooled with liquid nitrogen until frozen), seasonal mocktails, and a sangria basket for two. The aforementioned basket offers your choices of three unusual sangrias, including a Pinot Grigio-based sangria with St. Germain, apricot, peach, lavender, gooseberries and a carafe of Prosecco for topping up. Notable brunch dishes include grilled wagyu with roasted bone marrow rice, bok choy, yuzu aioli, and a 65-degree egg; buttermilk fried chicken with a green juice shooter, kimchee, and wild arugula; and black-ink flatbread served with a soft scrambled eggs, diced pancetta, shaved pepato cheese and red chili. -> More info here

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11. The Bellwether (Studio City)

How do you improve on a Bloody Mary? Find out at The Bellwether in Studio City, where Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary is not only made from vodka infused in-house with habanero, but is also garnished with an adorable mini BLT. This Studio City eatery also features Pimm’s Cups, cocktails on tap, and brunch dishes like Eggs in Purgatory (baked in spicy tomato sauce with Calabrian chili, ciabatta bread and pecorino), the Ploughman’s Burger with Branston pickle and clothbound cheddar, or a vanilla kouign-amann. -> More info here

12. Sawyer (Silver Lake)

Serving up seasonal California cuisine with a nod to Southern U.S. influences, this Silver Lake eatery, inspired by Mark Twain’s classic Tom Sawyer, is a beautiful, airy space offering superior cocktails and seafood-centric fare. Try brunch on their lovely patio, enclosed with birch trees, olive trees and vibrant bougainvillea on chilly days the roaring fireplace can be seen put to use.  Standouts include smoked trout salad with horseradish creme fraiche, Maine lobster roll, the catfish po’ boy, pork loin breakfast sandwich and cornmeal blueberry pancakes. -> More info here

13. Ray’s & Stark Bar (Mid-Wilshire)

Situated next to LACMA behind one of L.A.’s most iconic photo sites/artworks —- Chris Burden’s Urban Light — Ray’s recently instituted its “Barky Brunch,” with a menu of canine-friendly dishes, including a chicken liver and brown rice cookie, a steamed chicken and broccoli bowl or a giant bone shaped pizza crust. Their human companions can brunch on dishes like a crispy pork belly sandwich with scrambled eggs and arugula; Croque Madame with béchamel, pistachio ham, aged gruyere, fried egg, and rosemary; or eggs tartine with Maitake mushrooms. -> More info here

14. The Tripel or Playa Provisions (Playa del Rey)

Brooke Willamson’s two Playa del Rey restaurants both offer great brunch experiences. Like the idea of a beer-centric brunch? Then visit The Tripel, known for its amazing beer flights. Here you can savor unique brunchy fare like the sweet carrot farrow with wilted kale, linguica, poached egg, and truffle pecorino, or duck hash with lobster-salted peewee potatoes, duck confit, fried egg, pancetta, and vinegar-cooked greens. At Playa Provisions, you can gaze upon the beach, listen to live jazz, sip the Breakfast Old Fashioned (bourbon, cold brewed coffee, Frangelico, and chocolate bitters) and partake in a coconut chia seed pudding, a bagel topped with beet-cured salmon, or Nutella and banana French toast. -> More info here and here

15. Cascabel (Toluca Lake)

This unique Mexican restaurant is housed within a beautiful 1920s Spanish house with original details. Exposed beams, wooden floors, windows made of leaded or stained glass, seating made of turquoise velvet or burnished leather, and an enormous snake painted on one of the walls all contribute to the very cool decor at Cascabel. Serving Mexican food with a strong L.A. influence, you’ll want to sip on a rosewater margarita, a michelada or a jamaica sangria while enjoying dishes like smoked bacon guacamole, chile relleno with chorizo, shrimp and chile soup, toast topped with anchovies, or chilaquiles with sesame salsa. To really enliven an already festive scene, Cascabel will soon feature live Latin Rock bands during Sunday brunch. -> More info here

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16. The Raymond (Pasadena)

Housed within a 19th-century Craftsman house, The Raymond is a gorgeous spot to get your brunch on. Tucked away off Fair Oaks Avenue, the location transports guests into a serene hideaway far from the bustling streets of Pasadena. At 1886, The Raymond’s bar, talented mixologists painstakingly create some of the best cocktails in Los Angeles. A perfect brunch libation is the gin-based Ramos Fizz, lightly fragranced with orange-flower water and topped with frothy egg white. Or you may want to try a whimsically named cocktail such as the Foghorn Leghorn (made with peach black tea-infused bourbon) or the mezcal-based Woody Woodpecker from the new Cartoons & Cocktails menu. Brunch-time standouts include grapefruit brûlée, apple fritters with maple syrup, avocado eggs benedict topped with chipotle hollandaise, and savory breakfast tacos stuffed with lightly gamey house-made lamb bacon, avocado, black beans and fried eggs. -> More info here

17. Four Seasons (Westlake Village)

Located in Westlake Village, the verdant Four Seasons Hotel is an outstanding place to get away from it all. Lushly landscaped and surrounded by mountains, the resort offers a Jazz and Champagne Brunch every Sunday on its gorgeous Waterfall Lawn. Listen to live jazz as you sip champagne and enjoy the farm-to-table buffet featuring freshly made sushi, crab legs and other seafood, fresh-baked bread, organic produce and much more. -> More info here

18. Valerie Confections (Echo Park)

Valerie Confections offers up tea and dishes that pair well with it, their recently expanded tea program includes small-batch artisanal tea brands offering robust flavors like velvet cacao, blood orange, and smoky green akinomori houjicha. Settle in on the shaded patio with a hot, aromatic cup as you enjoy dishes like kale and goat cheese bread pudding with a fried egg, the croque madame with onion marmalade, or an herb-and-goat-cheese scone. -> More info here

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