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10 Hottest New Brunches Around LA

Soufflé pancakes, sunny patios and more
September 29, 2014
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by Lesley Balla

Brunch is practically a blood sport in LA. Who does it better: those with bottomless mimosas or all-you-can-eat menus? Big breakfast tacos or fluffy French toast? And no one ever said brunch had to be on the weekend — in this town, any random Wednesday will do. Here are 10 new options for everything from steak and eggs to shakshouka — things you definitely want more of in life. 

Poppy + Rose

Why It’s Hot: Hidden in the Flower Mart Downtown, this gem offers well-prepared country-diner food with a seasonal California edge. Under the team of co-owners chef Michael Reed (The Standard in West Hollywood) and chef Ryan and Diana Lamon, who also own the Peaches Smokehouse & Southern Kitchen food truck, everything’s made from scratch and served simply in a charming, sunny spot.

Must-Order: Chicken and waffles, flapjacks, biscuits and gravy and pulled-pork hash.

Hit It Up: The restaurant's open for breakfast and lunch every day but Sunday, and there's a special brunch menu on Saturday, 6 AM-3 PM.

765 S. Wall St.; 213-995-7799

Brilliantshine

Why It's Hot: Adding to the ever-flowing Santa Monica cocktail scene, this newcomer from Julian Cox and Josh Goldman set in the former Renee's Courtyard (behind what's now Tinga) feels a little bit like a speakeasy. But with chef Richie Lopez creating better-than-bar fare, it’s exactly the kind of place that works for weekend patio brunching.

Must-Order: Having come from Ricardo Zarate's Paiche, Lopez puts a slight Peruvian twist on some dishes, like pancakes made with lacuma, a persimmonlike fruit, and chancaca syrup. But there are also American bacon-and-egg breakfasts, along with chilaquiles and beet and pork-belly hash.

Hit It Up: Saturday-Sunday, 9 AM-2:30 PM.

522 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-451-0045

Mastro’s Ocean Club

Why It's Hot: This posh, seafood-centric restaurant overlooks the surf and sand of Malibu, and it's the only Mastro's location in California to serve brunch.

Must-Order: Maine lobster Benedict, rib-eye steak and eggs, breakfast potatoes and thick-cut Neuske’s bacon. The dinner menu is also available, so yeah, get the seafood tower and the famous butter cake.

Hit It Up: Saturday-Sunday, 11 AM-3 PM.

18412 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-454-4357

Malibu Farm

Why It's Hot: While the Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar is great for cocktails and dinner at one end of the historic pier, this cafe at the other end is a standout for breakfast and brunch. Owner Helen Henderson launched the business after cheffing for popular (and often celeb-filled) Malibu parties, and that clientele has followed her. Ingredients come from local farms, including Henderson’s own.

Must-Order: Quinoa oatmeal with maple syrup and coconut milk, massive fried egg sandwiches with bacon and arugula, scrambles with smoked salmon and ricotta or seasonal vegetables, mini Swedish pancakes with fresh berries.

Hit It Up: Breakfast and lunch are served daily, 9 AM-3 PM.

23000 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-456-1112

Bucato

Why It's Hot: Chef Evan Funke has made a name for himself with fantastic handmade pastas, porchetta, focaccia and treviso salads, so it’s no surprise that brunch is just as good as dinner. The patios that surround the Helms Bakery space are the place to be on warm weekend days.

Must-Order: Crispy polenta with wild mushrooms and sunny-side up eggs, baked eggs with roasted tomato and octopus, and lamb chops with soft scrambled eggs and salsa verde. And the focaccia. Always get the focaccia.

Hit It Up: Sunday, 10 AM-3 PM.

3280 Helms Ave.; 310-876-0286

Republique

Why It’s Hot: Walter and Margarita Manzke’s extremely popular restaurant finally added daytime hours, which means breakfast, lunch and brunch are a must. The gorgeous space is even prettier in the day — the old Campanile with its cathedral ceiling and brick walls has been transformed with new colorful tiles, rustic furniture and huge windows that let in lots of light — and exactly where you want to sip Verve coffee and linger at the communal table or near the bakery up front.

Must-Order: Flaky croissants filled with ham, tomato and basil; seasonal fruit tarts and crème brûlée​ bombolini from the pastry case; the insanely custardy brioche French toast; shakshouka; kimchi fried rice with a beautiful poached egg on top.

Hit It Up: Breakfast and brunch served daily, 8 AM-4 PM.

624 S. La Brea Ave.; 310-362-6115

The Church Key

Why It's Hot:  Dim sum carts aren’t quite what you’d expect at this West Hollywood restaurant. Chef Steven Fretz fills them with wildly delicious brioche donuts, bacon bagel balls and canned Bloody Marys. The layout is like your best friend’s director dad’s Hollywood Hills living room: all brick walls, mismatched mod furniture and fireplaces.

Must-Order: While the cart roams around the room, order entrees from the regular menu, including deep-fried French toast, eggs Benedict with truffle hollandaise, puffy German soufflé pancakes and chilaquiles with chorizo and soft scrambled eggs.

Hit It Up: Sunday, 10 AM-3 PM.

8730 Sunset Blvd.; 424-249-3700

Lucky Duck

Why It’s Hot: At Square One's Silver Lake sibling, weekend brunch includes classic dishes with the same seasonal slant as the East Hollywood favorite.

Must-Order: Stone fruit and burrata salad, the famous SQ1 brioche French toast with berries, bacon-topped pancakes and big family-style plates of fried chicken with buttermilk waffles, biscuits, gravy and hollandaise.

Hit It Up: Saturday-Sunday, 9 AM-3 PM.

2630 Hyperion Ave.; 323-686-6304

Crossroads

Why It’s Hot: Vegans, you will not be left out. This popular meat-free Melrose spot added weekend brunch with just as many Bloody Marys and mimosas as the carnivorous joints.

Must-Order: Eggless Benedict or tofu frittata with mushroom bacon; French toast with bananas and almond mascarpone; and the favarolo, a sandwich made with truffle-leek pâté, almond ricotta and crispy sherry mushrooms.

Hit It Up: Sunday, 10 AM-2 PM.

8284 Melrose Ave.; 323-782-9245

Faith & Flower

Why It’s Hot: Chef Michael Hung has put his stamp on the scene with wonderful dishes for dinner, and he’s doing the same at brunch. The tufted velvet banquettes, leather booths and crystal chandeliers are pretty sexy at night but also make a chic backdrop for weekend brunch.

Must-Order: Bone-marrow waffles with chipped beef gravy; slow scrambled egg mousse with truffled country potatoes; eggs Benedict pizza; the bread basket with fresh-baked muffins, croissants and seasonal jams; and sangria by the pitcher.

Hit It Up: Saturday-Sunday, 10 AM-3 PM.

705 W. Ninth St.; 213-239-0642

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