Five brand new brunches to try in January

Say farewell to 2019 with the best new brunches in L.A. for bottomless drinks, rooftop dining and more
The Waterfront brunch in Venice California
Photograph: Courtesy The Waterfront
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You know the old adage: new year, new brunch. Or at least that’s how we’re choosing to remember it. Just because we’re all grinding back into our workweeks and daily routines, that doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves to something new. Use these new brunches to spice up your January—or help ease yourself back into non-holiday life. Whether you’re looking for a sky-high brunch or a Bloody Mary or six, here’s where to find great new weekend dining in L.A.

Atrium

With a semi-secluded patio just off Vermont and an interior that boasts velvet booths, skylights and plenty of greenery, Atrium is a darling neighborhood spot for weekend mornings, inside and out. The menu is as eclectic and as globally-inspired as the dinner service, which means you can expect dishes like the mountain of crispy fingerling potatoes drizzled with salsa taquera and chipotle queso topped with a sunny egg; a cauliflower hash with poached eggs, bacon and a honey mustard glaze; and a fried-egg bành mí with pork belly, house-pickled vegetables and cilantro. This is a neighborhood restaurant, so don’t be surprised to see plenty of strollers—but parents need a drink, too, so expect cheeky brunch cocktails like the bright and herbaceous Tequila Cleanse. Don’t pass up Gregory Baumgartner’s pastries, either.

Sat, Sun 10am–3pm

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Gray Tavern

Studio City’s new gastropub may be tapas-oriented in the evening, but at brunch—“a.k.a. you woke up at lunchtime!”—they’ve got an annotated menu that features multiple takes on avocado toast (“Not pretentious! I swear!”), stuffed French toast, a chorizo aioli burger (“Nothing wrong with a burger for breakfast!”), salmon Benedict and “#HangoverFoods” like Kurobuta pork belly hash with crispy potatoes, Brussels sprouts, a fried egg and some honey dijon. There’s a comfy back patio, if you’re looking for a little privacy, but if you’re into people-watching, the seats overlooking Ventura Boulevard should do the trick.

Sat, Sun noon–4pm

Margot

Looking for brunch with a view? The team behind Norah brings us Culver City’s gorgeous new rooftop restaurant, Margot, which perches atop the Platform complex and features sweeping views of L.A. The brunch menu here is as light and breezy as the atmosphere: salads with hazelnut vinaigrettes and citrus; a crudo bar where the likes of puffed black rice and anchovy sauce mix with sea bream; and vegetables like charred broccoli arrive topped with pistachios and feta. Those craving heartier fare will find a handful of focaccia sandwiches, not to mention L.A.-brunch classics like grain bowls, decked-out avocado toast—plus some fried chicken with Calabrian honey and a dish of poached eggs with polenta and roasted-pepper sugo. (And yes, there are cocktails.)

Sat, Sun 11am–2:30pm

Photograph: Courtesy Simone

Simone

Bloody Mary fans, meet your new weekend hang. This Arts District restaurant not only launched brunch service last month, it launched a whole menu of Bloody Mary variants, all designed by Kaiko Tulloch—who just so happened to win a Bloody Mary championship in the U.K. There’s the Little Tokyo Mary, made with vodka, wasabi oil, gochujang, tomato, black vinegar, cucumber, chili and sesame, and the Clarified Mary, with dill Aquavit, Dolin dry vermouth, tomato seed water, chili oil and mushroom, and a handful of others (including, yes, a more classic take). All that sipping is sure to work up an appetite, so look to chef Jessica Largey’s brunch menu, which includes short rib porridge with grilled broccolini, soft egg and her insanely good macadamia salsa macha; polenta-and-plantain hot cakes with caviar and shallot crème fraîche; and buttermilk fried chicken with radish slaw and poblano aioli. Take note: Simone's brunch service is only available in its front bar, Duello.

Sat, Sun 10:30am–3pm

The Waterfront

Enjoy your eggs with a bit of salt air at the Waterfront, a Venice institution freshly reopened after a year-long renovation. The new space includes a handful of spots perfect for brunching: Front bar for cocktails? Ideal. The beachy back lounge for couch seating? Sounds good to us. But the gem of them all is the back patio, all trellised and right off the Venice Boardwalk. The food is bright and simple at this all-day café, with breakfast tacos on house-made flour tortillas; acai bowls; multigrain waffles; and a breakfast burrito all on offer; non-brunch plates, also available, include burgers, fish tacos, farmers’ market salads and a grain bowl with tahini-and-ginger dressing. Stop by between 10am and noon and find bottomless mimosas, but a real draw here is the cocktail menu: all fruity and tropical and including frozen margaritas—perfect for a day at the beach, don’t you think? 

Sat, Sun 10am–3pm

Looking for more new menus?

Brunch at Jame Enoteca restaurant in El Segundo
Photograph: Courtesy Jame Enoteca

Five brand new brunches to try in December

Jame Enoteca

El Segundo’s new neighborhood Italian spot may be known for its hand-rolled pastas, but the brunch menu looks like it could carve out a beloved space of its own with locals. In addition to the full lunch menu of pastas, salads and parm and pesto-slathered sandwiches, brunch includes a handful of dishes we’re salivating over: brie-stuffed French toast with seasonal compote; roasted-pancetta eggs Benedict on a house-made English muffin; strata packed with roasted scallions, house-made turkey sausage and cheddar; a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, where the bun is a fresh-baked biscuit made with parmigiano, maple and pancetta—just to get your imagination going. See also: mimosas and sparkling wine.

Sat, Sun 11am–2:30pm

Porridge + Puffs

Minh Phan’s porridge pop-up finally landed its own brick-and-mortar location, and with it, nn even more adventurous menu of savory porridges and vegetable small plates packed with farmers’ market ingredients that rotate often. A bowl might feature turmeric, fermented greens, soy-braised chicken or duck chicharrones, and at brunch the menu somehow gets even better. Some 12-hour sake-braised beef might form a hash with coconut, curry and chrysanthemum, while some eggs poached in red wine sauce might join Chinese sausage in a crispy fried sweet-rice and bean porridge. Don’t leave without the brown butter mochi with miso caramel. 

Sun 10am–2pm 

Tesse

Now you can take a trip to the French countryside by way of the Sunset Strip at Tesse. Traditional dishes and Francophile spins on more familiar staples abound, whipped up by executive chef-partner Raphael Francois and pastry chef-partner Sally Camacho Mueller. There are the requisites: steak and eggs, here with watercress and pistou; pancakes, but of the limoncello variety; a smoked-salmon Benedict made with herbed hollandaise and house brioche. Then there’s duck leg confit with sour cream and mango; rigatoni with ragout and fried eggs; and a “pizza” that tops crêpes with prosciutto, ricotta and marinated tomatoes. Want to ball out? Add caviar to any dish. 

Sat, Sun 11am–3pm

Thunderbird

Brentwood’s new Southwestern-inspired bar is a neighborhood spot with options to spare. Beers run the gamut, from local craft brews to cheap cans, and you can even snag bucket service—five beers with five shots—for the table. There’s skee ball, a photo booth, boozy slushies, mezcal-heavy cocktails and classics, and if you’re hungry, you can expect Frito pie, puffy tacos (and the regular variety), burritos and chile con queso. Of course if you’re coming by during brunch you can expect much of this, in addition to morning fare such as piles of chilaquiles and huevos rancheros—served in giant skillets—plus an egg-topped breakfast Cubano sandwich and micheladas. 

Sat noon–3pm, Sun 10am–3pm

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck

Fans of the mix and match—and especially of dim sum—listen up: Every Sunday now through December 23, WP24 by Wolfgang Puck is opening its doors and its kitchen for a brunch buffet that takes you behind the scenes. Whisk up to the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton for “Kitchen Brunch,” which leads you through unlimited bites from a variety of cooking stations spread throughout the dining room and kitchen. There’s a dessert table, piled with croissants and sweets and other baked goods, as well as a Peking duck table, a Belgian waffle station and all the traditional brunch trappings: sausage, eggs, bacon, you get the idea. In the kitchen is where things get interesting: This is where you’ll find stations for sushi, congee, dim sum, custom eggs and a wok—and, of course, it’s all unlimited. (Pass the scallop-and-shrimp dumplings, please.)

Sun, December 2, 9, 16 and 23. Seatings at 11am and 1pm; $75 per person, $25 per child 12 and under. 

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