Looking for more new menus?
Downtown’s got plenty of restaurants, but when it comes to full brunch spreads, the neighborhood’s almost completely lacking options. Fortunately there’s the spacious new California-meets-Mediterranean spot, Le Grand, where you can nosh on mezze, eggs, house-made pastas, bourbon pancakes and refreshing crudos on weekends. Chef-brothers Alex and Chris Manos—collectively of Providence, Gwen and Mélisse—developed a brunch menu that runs the gamut: vanilla beignets with warm salted caramel sauce; smoked-salmon tartines with cucumber, ricotta, fennel and turmeric; superfood bowls; decadent brioche Benedicts sporting house-made bacon; lamb-shank hash with mustard béarnaise; healthful dragon fruit bowls; and Maine lobster bucatini in a saffron bisque, to name just a few. What’s more, if you opt for a seat on the patio (great people-watching), you’ll also probably catch live music.
There’s plenty of seafood to be had by the seashore at one of Venice’s new hot spots: The draw at Pier House is the kind of breezy boardwalk fare you can imagine visitors nibbling along the boardwalk in the 1920s and beyond (lobster rolls, poached shrimp, calamari), and that’s especially true on the brunch menu. We recommend you start with some poached shrimp, which comes clicked in quality olive oil and coated in fresh dill; from there, there’s the tarragon-studded lobster roll; spaghetti pomodoro with mussels, shrimp and clams; fish tacos with avocado crema—you get the idea. If you’re craving more straightforward morning fare (or a reprieve from seafood), there’s coconut chia seed pudding; brioche French toast with market berries; a croque madame with truffle comté mornay; and a handful of bright, breezy salads to match the setting. (Did we mention the patio? Sit on that patio.)
If Downtown’s Le Grand is a bit too far, the Valley has its own new Cal-Med restaurant. Santuari, tucked into the Toluca Lake Tennis & Fitness Club, is plating up European-inspired resort fare right by the tennis courts—which means you can enjoy those Benedicts in a fantasy that you’re on vacation somewhere breezy and exotic. Lighter bites from executive chef and Wilshire vet Brendan Mica include Greek yogurt with honey, persimmons and mint; rice-and-quinoa salads with sunchokes and carrot; fresh fruit with a saffron sabayon; and roasted carrot hummus with grilled flatbread. Meanwhile, heartier fare means crab Benedict with crispy leeks and grilled focaccia; shakshuka with eggplant, feta and green harissa; short rib hash with poblano peppers and hollandaise; and grilled-prime steak frites with chimichurri. Top it all off with $5 “Santimosas”—available in an array of juice options—or the $8 strawberry gelato served with Spanish sparkling wine. See? Just like you’re on vacation.
Sat, Sun 11am–2pm
San Francisco’s Tartine continues its takeover of L.A.’s bread and baked goods scenes. First came the behemoth Manufactory complex in the Arts District, and now Tartine Sycamore, a sunny, modern Hollywood café sporting house-made bread, sandwiches, pastries, quiches and, of course, Tartine’s signature smørrebrød toasts. The newest member of the Tartine family also has a few tricks up its sleeves: The charmer’s location-unique dishes include a Japanese-style chicken katsu sandwich; a gingery bowl of chicken rice porridge; a BLTA sandwich (that’s bologna, lettuce, tomato and avocado, to you); a fig tartine; and a tomato-and-beet tartine, with more seasonal specials to come. And there are still new Tartine outposts headed for Santa Monica and Silver Lake, both due to open later this year, because, like we said, they’re taking over. (We, for one, welcome our new bread overlords.)
Mon–Fri 7am–3pm; Sat, Sun 8am–4pm
One of our favorite new restaurants of 2019 recently launched brunch service, which means we more than endorse a trip to Venice just to try Vartan Abgaryan’s cooking in the morning. Thankfully the brunch menu includes some of his already cult-classic dishes—the cacio e pepe fingerling potatoes, for instance, and the whipped avocado hummus with salsa macha, too—as well as a few weekend-a.m. exclusives: crab Benedict served over house-made biscuits; a savory Dutch baby with peas, parmesan and morels; smoked salmon with scallion pancake, lemon, soy and smoked roe; and the chef’s Nashville-style hot shrimp, here served with cheesy grits, honey and chives, as opposed to dinner service’s milk bread and cabbage slaw. Who’s down for a day in Venice now?
Sat, Sun 11am–3pm