By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor
When the weekend rolls around, who doesn’t love brunch? It’s that perfect late morning/early afternoon meal that lets you sleep in a little later or get in that long morning hike. After your late morning, you can meet your friends and sit down for a long meal that can last into the late afternoon. Usually, your meal splurge of the week is filled with all of those indulgent classics such as French toast, pancakes, eggs benedict and huevos rancheros. However, we have found a few places that are serving the classic brunch with a twist and giving an unexpected and tasty breakfast surprise.
Located on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of the Sunset Strip, the market-driven menu at Eveleigh is known for its local, farm-to-table, seasonal ingredients. While nighttime at Eveleigh is always packed, Sunday brunch is not as busy as expected. Reserve a table in advance so that you can sit at the distressed wood tables on the patio at this country-style bungalow and overlook the city of Los Angeles.
We started with the granola with frozen orange yogurt and apple. Cool and refreshing, but not sweet, the frozen yogurt almost made the dish feel like a dessert. The avocado toast with Espelette pepper and boiled egg gribiche is one of the favorite dishes. The classic French egg gribiche is made with hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, capers, cucumbers, cornichons and herbs which added salty, pickled and creamy flavors to the fresh avocado. Going in a more traditional route, we ordered an egg dish. But the soft scrambled eggs on top of chunks of hot smoked ocean trout and house-made English muffin with a rich hollandaise is nothing out of the ordinary.
8725 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Across town in Venice, Scopa Italian Roots is another popular nighttime spot. An Italian menu with a California influence, Scopa is known for approachable, uncomplicated dishes that are full of flavor. And the brunch menu is no exception. Chef Antonia takes typical dishes like the blintz, bagel and lox and the frittata to another level while still keeping them simple and flavorful.
The blintz with market berries, ricotta, and Crème Fraîche was nothing like my grandma's blintzes. The plate comes with two large blintzes that look more like cannoli or egg rolls. Filled with ricotta, they are deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. Between the light creaminess of the ricotta and the crispy crepe, this is decadence. The shortbread biscuits with ricotta, honey, hazelnuts and market berries are another highlight. You don’t have to come to Scopa for dinner to have the house-made ricotta. Instead of the crostini that it is served at night, the ricotta is drizzled with honey and hazelnuts and every bite is heaven.
2905 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90292
Head down to the South Bay for the famous bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter at M.B. Post. It’s worth the drive to Manhattan Beach if you live in L.A. to eat Chef David LeFevre’s food. Sit by the open floor to ceiling windows while watching the casual beach community stroll to the beach across the street.
Getting back to those bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits, the maple butter is exquisite and the sweetness melted into the savory biscuit. The Reiger Farm Peach Coffee Cake with brown butter streusel has both peaches baked into the coffee cake as well as fresh ones on top. The Fitzgerald and Tenerelli Farm Stone Fruit Salad with peach, nectarine and plum and topped with mint and honey is perfect for the summer and makes the average fruit salad pale in comparison. We also tried the French toast, a classic brunch dish, but this one is stuffed with house-made ricotta, Murray Farms pluots and candied almonds. On the savory side, the Nueske's bacon is not to be missed. Meaty but crispy, it is savory and sweet with a little kick thanks to the rosemary, brown sugar and chili it’s cooked in. And, the classic poached egg has Moroccan flavors as it sits on top of harissa piperade, braised garbanzos, chard and date toast.
Brunch in L.A. has never been so exciting. Now I can’t wait for the weekend to come around again so that I can go back to these restaurants and try other dishes, like the “Bubble & Squeak” corned brisket with fingerling potato, green hash and a sunny side egg from Eveleigh, the Challah French Toast with mascarpone and warm prunes at Scopa or the Truffle Honey Laced Fried Chicken with kohlrabi slaw at M.B. Post.
1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266