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More Homey Brunches We Love
Seven spots we just couldn’t squeeze in to this month’s issue
We can’t always fit every one of our favorite places into the magazine—and such was the case with our “Let’s Do Brunch” article, on newsstands now. Only listing five of the city’s best neighborhood brunch destinations left us with many more worthy brunch spots on the cutting room floor. Here, we attempt to ease our conscience by listing seven restaurants whose absence has been keeping us up at night (and our mailboxes full). As for the five lucky establishments that did manage to snag the coveted print space—well, you’ll just have to pick up the issue and see.
Elegant and efficient (that crowd out front moves quickly) BLD is the upscale spot for those who drink their French press coffee with a bit of a raised pinkie. But the fancied-up fare is still full on grub-worthy, with wild mushroom frittata, ricotta blueberry pancakes, and a massive, messy fried egg sandwich that will make Jackson Pollack painting out of your face. The vegan benedict, made with in-house smoked tofu, is satisfying, not second-class. » 7450 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-930-9744 or bldrestaurant.com.
The Venice restaurant’s version of shakshouka (a popular Middle Eastern dish listed on the menu as “Moroccan baked eggs”) finds chunks of merguez in a skillet of eggs and bubbling tomato sauce. It’s a standout on a menu that’s rife with novel breakfast dishes like a shiitake and oyster mushroom omelet and spiced chia pudding. Don’t worry, there’s also high-end comfort fare like fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes dusted with powdered sugar. The only downside: Gjelina doesn’t have a hard liquor license so all the cocktails are made with beer or wine, which only serves to remind you how good a real Bloody Mary tastes on a Sunday morning. » 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-450-1429 or gjelina.com.
The Hart and Hunter
Though the restaurant in the Palihouse Hotel is acclaimed for its dinner fare, fewer people know about its breakfast. The menu is small; the vibe, breezy yet intimate; the biscuits, yogurt, and house-made granola, divine. The joint also boasts one of the best coffee bars around thanks to Handsome Roasters. » 7950 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. 323-424-3055, thehartandthehunter.com.
Hugo’s is the kind of place where you become a regular—or at least, you want to. Breakfast is served until 4 p.m. every day, here, which makes brunch as possible on a Tuesday as a Sunday. The Mexican influence is evident in chilaquiles with chipotle sauce, the massive breakfast burrito stuffed with eggs, tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and classic huevos rancheros. But all three locations have something for everyone‑cinnamon swirl French toast, almond energy pancakes, a classic benedict. Consistency has made this place a landmark—the unfussy vibe has made us all regulars. » 5046 Cornell Rd., Agoura Hills, 818-707-0300. Also at 8401 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood and 12851 Riverside Dr., Studio City, hugosrestaurant.com.
Jessica Koslow is a wizard with flavors—layering sorrel pesto with preserved Meyer lemon, lacto-fermented hot sauce, black radish, and sheep’s milk feta all atop brown rice with a poached egg on top. In the morning, her nimble creations start with the basics—brown rice, brioche toast—and from there add premium ingredients such as Sqirl-brand jams and market produce, for exactly the kinds of dishes we want to eat every single morning. Thanks to the tiny café’s recent renovations, now we can. » 720 N. Virgil Ave. #4, Silver Lake, sqirlla.com.
Step through the iron gates of this cozy Valley spot, order your house-made scone and a cup of Intelligentsia coffee, and grab a spot on the patio next to Sweet Butter’s very own herb garden. Be prepared to spend your afternoon here, as the service can be slow. The chicken and waffles and freshly baked pastries will make the wait worth it. » Sweet Butter, 13824 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 818-788-2832 or sweetbutterkitchen.com
The Old Place
The Malibu canyon residents who head to this rustic cabin every weekend do so for the cast-iron frittatas, blue corn-meal flapjacks, and cowboy-worthy oak-grilled steak and eggs would prefer we left their old-West-style hideaway a secret. Sorry—there’s no hiding cinnamon rolls this good. » 29983 Mulholland Hwy., Agoura Hills, 818-706-9001 or oldplacecornell.com.