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Five brand new brunches to try in May

Jump into spring with the best new brunches in L.A., including perfect new patios, fizzy weekend cocktails and more

Conservatory West Hollywood restaurant brunch with patio
Photograph: Courtesy Conservatory/Jennifer Kane
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Just when you think brunch is over, some of the city’s best chefs and newest spots pull you right back in—and as we enter patio weather, so do some of the city’s newest alfresco options. In Silver Lake and in Highland Park, some of the freshest pastas are on the menu along with eggs, biscuits and bacon, while across the city, there are sunny patios full of mimosas just waiting for you. Here’s your guide to May’s best new brunches. You can always swear off the meal next month. (No you can’t. We’ll have more for you in June.)

Alimento

The allure of Zach Pollack’s Italian bistro is impossible to ignore: in the evening, low lighting and ideal date-night vibes, and in the daytime, a chipper, cheerful neighborhood lunch spot—and, of course, some of the best food in the city. Now, five years in, Pollack’s unveiling another option to fall in love with. Starting May 11—right on time to honor thy mother with a fantastic meal—the chef is launching brunch service, complete with new items such as ricotta doughnut holes with blueberries and mascarpone; crispy polenta tartines with whipped dry salted cod; a potato waffle with pulled brisket; plus sides like house English muffins. Looking for the Alimento classics? Pollack promises they’re not going anywhere—which means you can still order a few of them at brunch, including that insane, stacked-high Chicken Milanese sandwich dripping with pepperoncini slaw.

Beginning May 11; Sat, Sun 10:30am–3pm

Audrey at the Hammer Museum

As if we needed another reason to spend hours on that perfect patio, the Hammer’s new sunny spot at the center of the museum just added brunch service to its indoor-outdoor, modern-Californian restaurant. Of course, one of the trademarks of this type of cuisine is a focus on hyper-seasonal and local produce, and here, chef Lisa Giffen weaves in “micro-regional” touches to complement the goods: a soft scramble with squash blossoms and hojas santo; crab chilaquiles with peas, Panela cheese, guajillo salsa and fried egg; and braised pork with beans, tomatillo and poached egg. If you’re looking for something bright to match the setting, try the coconut chia bowl with cherimoya and passionfruit, or the grain bowl with forbidden rice, soft egg and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Wash it all down with a brunch cocktail—like the Rise & Shine spritz, with cold brew spiked with vermouth and cherry-cardamom bitters—and you might find yourself comfortably there for hours, too.

Sat, Sun 11am–4pm

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Conservatory

WeHo’s Conservatory complex is easy to get lost in, in a good way. There’s a coffee stand and small patio out front, then, inside, there’s the main bar, a front dining room, a fire pit, a back patio and even Society Room, the restaurant’s hidden cocktail bar. You’re welcome to sit almost anywhere (save the coffee patio and Society Room) to enjoy the new brunch service. Make yourself at home and dive into the menu, which is split into two sections: “Nibbles & Toasts” and “Sweet & Savory.” You can dig into toasts covered in ricotta and berries; tuna and caviar; honey, mint and walnut labneh; and smoked salmon and avocado; or opt for tableside caviar bumps, if you’re really looking to ball out (they’re actually only $10, so you can ball on a budget). Craving more substantial fare? There’s a Monte Cristo Dutch baby with ham, gruyere and berries; a double bacon cheeseburger sporting Hook’s cheddar; chilaquiles with two eggs, cotija and salsa verde; and that age-old brunch classic, steak and eggs. Don’t forget the mimosa flights or the coffee old-fashioneds.

Sundays only until May 25; 10:30am–3pm

Hippo

Highland Park’s new pasta go-to serves much, much more than noodles—former Mozza chef and James Beard Award winner Matt Molina’s more than seen to that. But it wouldn’t feel like Hippo if we couldn’t have the option of pasta all the time. Enter this spot’s new mix-and-match brunch, which involves a little of everything you crave on a weekend: morning fare like fluffy gluten-free hotcakes, and baked almond brioche with berry compote and crème fraîche, or eggs with hash browns, toast, house-made sausage, and roasted cherry tomatoes in a garlicky pool of olive oil, not to mention lunchy items (yes, chicken meatball burger, with fresh mozzarella and black-olive aioli on brioche)—and especially pasta. What’s more, Molina’s trademark so-flaky-it-hurts biscuits from sibling spot Everson Royce Bar can also be found on this brunch menu, which is a godsend to anyone east of the river on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Sat, Sun 10am–2pm

 

If you can believe it, these Hippo hotcakes are gluten free.
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

 

The Milky Way

Whether you’re looking for a bit of Hollywood, a bit of kosher or a bit of family-friendly hospitality, Pico-Robertson’s freshly reopened the Milky Way—the cozy restaurant from the Spielberg family (yeah, that Spielberg family)—launches Sunday-only brunch on May 5, and it should cover all the bases. Sure, there are framed personal photos of the puissant director and his relatives all around the space, but try not to get distracted. You’re here for dishes like the latkes with eggs, sour cream and house-made apple compote; the smoked-salmon Benedict with capers and red onions; the huevos rancheros with feta and fried eggs; the smoked-fish platter; and even the Impossible burger topped with roasted green chillies and a runny egg. The setting also feels like you’re in someone’s home, so settle in and pretend you’re a guest of Mr. Spielberg himself (and in a way, you are).

Sun 10am–2pm

Looking for more new menus?

Mexican brunch at Petty Cash Taqueria in Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Petty Cash Taqueria/Jakob N. Layman

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Hinterhof German Kitchen and Beer Garden

Highland Park’s buzzing and buzzy all-vegan beer hall just added brunch to its roster, which, as we all know, is the perfect meal to enjoy alfresco. The dairy-free, meat-free menu involves classics both American and German, plus a few mash-ups and modern interpretations as well. There’s the American, a plate of tofu scramble with house-made bratwurst, potato pancakes and toast; the German Farmer’s Breakfast, an open-faced vegan omelet with fried potatoes, onions, smoky tempeh and pickles, plus your choice of broetchen rolls, toast or gluten-free toast; and even their own take on chicken and waffles, here with a house-made fried seitan cutlet, waffles, poached pear, maple syrup and an arugula salad. On the sweeter note, there’s pretzel-bread French toast, not to mention waffles and pancakes topped with coconut whipped cream—and, of course, there’s plenty of beer.

Sat, Sun 8am–3pm

Los Balcones Studio City

Los Balcones’ Gorge Rodriguez teamed up with Rosaliné’s Ricardo Zarate late last year to open a new, more ecclectic branch of the Los Balcones Peruvian restaurant family. The result? A vibrant menu devoted to mestizo—the cultural blending so pervasive throughout Peru’s peoples, food and art—and now, the restaurant’s opening up its mestizo ethos to brunch service. The offerings include flank steak with green pesto, salt-baked crispy potatoes, and eggs cooked to your choosing; a porchetta sandwich on pan con chicharron with arugula, sweet potato, salsa criolla and a salsa madre aioli; and grilled tiger prawns in bouillabaisse served with creamed Corn, scrambled eggs, salsa madre and amarillo sauce. Of course, with all of that vibrant, spicy food, you’re going to want a cocktail, and Los Balcones has a handful just perfect for the occasion. (Cava with fresh ginger and passion fruit, anyone?)

Sat 11am–2:30pm, Sun 11am–4:30pm

Mister O’s

OK, so this brunch is a couple months old, but believe us when we say it’s great. The midcentury-modern–inspired decor provides a stylish setting for chef Oscar Torres’s imaginative American cuisine in the heart of Studio City, meaning you might enjoy a killer fresno-topped smashburger in the lounge; some bold chilaquiles topped with scrambled eggs, crème fraîche, charred tomatoes and cheddar on the patio; or the deceptively simple Green Eggs & Ham scramble near the fire pit. Our advice? Snag a spot indoors or outdoors, because you’re going to need a table’s surface area to hold all of the dishes and brunch cocktails you’re going to want to order. (And with most dishes hovering around $12, you can order away.)

Sat & Sun 11am-3pm

Petty Cash Taqueria

République’s brunch is one of the best in the city, so when chef-owners Walter and Margarita Manzke announce a new brunch, listen up. This weekend, their taqueria is launching a menu of Mexican-inspired morning fare such as wild-mushroom sopes with jack cheese, black beans, avocado and fried egg; a Mexican breakfast sandwich with chorizo, potatoes, cheese and eggs; and that perennial favorite, steak and eggs, here made with poblano rice, carne asada, hoja santa and fried eggs. And because Petty Cash is also a killer watering hole, expect strong brunch cocktails, to boot: We’re talking the Champurrado, with chocolate, hazelnut and corn atole, served with a mezcal shot, the Verde Chelada with celery, tomatillo, pasilla, poblano, Mexican lager and salt, and more.

Sat, Sun 9am–3pm

Terra

Perched high above the Westfield Century City and Santa Monica Boulevard, Eataly’s rooftop Italian restaurant, Terra, is now serving brunch. The menu skews toward the flavors and ingredients of Italy, and relies on Terra’s wood-fired grill—because why wouldn’t it? This means you can expect Terra’s take on avocado toast, topped with wood-fired local spicy prawns, crispy chickpeas, herbs and lemon, plus dishes like eggs with creamy polenta, ciambotta (stewed vegetables) and ricotta salata; ricotta-filled Italian crepes with tomato, parmesan and basil; and pork fritters with hard-boiled eggs, caper berries, cucumber, lemon aioli and Calabrian chilies. Don’t forget the handful of fresh pastas on offer, nor the arrosticini, little melt-in-your-mouth skewers of meat fresh off the grill. Finish with a customized drink from the bloody Mary bar, plus that great view from the roof, and you’ve got yourself the mixings for a great brunch.

Sat, Sun 10:30am–3:30pm

Cake Monkey Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Cake Monkey Bakery/Nastassia Johnson

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Cake Monkey Bakery

When pastry chef and co-owner Elizabeth Belkind launched the second location of her charming bakery, she knew she wanted to think outside the cookies and cakes—which leads us to Westlake Village, where the new outpost now offers savories like baked eggs with tomato sauce, parmesan and a hazelnut salsa verde, plus sweets such as chocolate hazelnut babka French toast, and Milk & Honey Toast topped with ricotta, house-made huckleberry preserves, raw honey and seeded crunch. (Obviously, you’re still going to want some cookies and cakes.)

Daily 8am–2:30pm

Imperial Western Beer Co.

For those who like a liquid breakfast—or simply the option to imbibe at brunch—the roomy brewery inside Union Station just launched a weekend menu of dishes to supplement its 20-ish house beers, and it’s exactly what we want to be snacking on while sipping. You can still opt for the raw-bar gems, such as Peruvian-scallop aquachile or a shellfish sampler platter, but if you’re craving breakfast foods, Imperial Western has you covered with biscuits with gravy and fried eggs; chorizo scrambles; and bananas foster French toast. Throw in the burgers, sandwiches and ice cream sundaes, for good measure, and you really might stay there all day.

Sat, Sun noon–3pm

LASA

One of the city’s best Filipino restaurants finally transformed its occasional weekend specials into a full-on brunch menu, and the dishes are just as colorful as the tropical vinyl tablecloths you’ll be dining over. LASA’s weekend lunch service is now officially brunch service, blending Filipino and American classics for dishes like the pan de sal French toast; the country fried tapa, a take on steak and eggs with black-garlic gravy; and the kesong puti pancake, topped with a pool of calamansi curd and a dollop of the soft cheese.

Sat, Sun 11am–3pm

Ms Chi Cafe

Shirley Chung’s dumpling destination now serves an extended menu on weekday mornings—meaning you can now snag a handful of brunch items in addition to Ms Chi’s regular cabal of noodles, rice dishes, potstickers and bao. Of course we’re still partial to the cheeseburger dumplings, but we’re also eyeing the breakfast wontons, filled with sage sausage and scrambled eggs with chili ketchup, not to mention the scallion biscuit with five spice, and the savory brown rice oatmeal with soft egg, chili oil, ginger and poached chicken. For sweets, we’ll take a mochi doughnut with black-sesame matcha glaze, thanks.

Sat, Sun 10am–2pm

Pikoh

Ricardo Zarate’s newest project isn’t Peruvian, but an all-day café that sports a menu full of surprises. At brunch, start with the handful of cocktails: the Spanish Coffee, made with Grand Marnier, overproof rum, demerara, La Colombe coffee, fresh whipped cream and cinnamon dust; the Buck Bunny, with London Dry gin, mastiha, fresh carrot, ginger, lemon, honey and orange bitters; and the Rebel Compliance, made of cognac, aquavit, salted cold brew, demerara, bitters and citrus oil—to name a few. From there, dive into smoked salmon tartines with yuzu kosho cream cheese and poached egg on house-made quinoa bread; shakshuka, here comprised of a tomato-and-bonito stew with prawns and eggs; and even pork poblano tonkatsu curry with egg. And if you’re looking for something a bit more straightforward, there’s a burger, a salad, an activated-charcoal bowl—you get the idea.

Sat, Sun 10am–3pm

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Brunch at Jolie bistro in Bel Air Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Jolie

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Alta Adams

In need of a little comfort? Keith Corbin’s L.A. spin on soul food launches this weekend, with a menu that’s peppered with the likes of biscuits and green-garlic gravy; cornmeal pancakes with brown-butter maple caramel; and steak and eggs with green sauce and fried potatoes. There’ll also be daily pastries, plus lighter plates like the avocado toast with spice and cilantro on Tartine bread and the collard-green salad. Obviously wash it down with a few of Alta’s new brunch cocktails, including but not limited to an aquavit bloody Mary and $20 bottomless mimosas.

Sat, Sun 11am–2pm

 

House of Machines

Looking for brunch without all the pomp and circumstance? Opt for a bite in the Arts District’s unconventional House of Machines, a café-cum-motorbike shop with outposts in Japan and South Africa. L.A.’s iteration of the industrial-meets-bespoke gathering space is a haven for motorcycle lovers, beer heads and music enthusiasts, but in the mornings, it’s also a spot to grab a meal such as brioche breakfast sandwiches featuring fontina, fried eggs, bacon, spicy aioli and avocado; breakfast burritos stuffed with tater tots, cheddar, eggs and barbacoa; and spinach frittatas with heirloom tomatoes, goat cheese and chimichurri.

Daily 8–11:30am

Jolie

There’s a new French bistro in town, and it’s serving up plenty of swank in Bel Air. Stop by on weekends for breezy fare, including build-your-own charcuterie and cheese boards, plus other snacky bites like a smoked-salmon deli board with baguette and farmers’ market salad. When it comes to entrées, look forward to a truffled egg scramble with crème fraîche, chopped chives, soft goat cheese and grilled bread; brûléed oatmeal with blueberries, toasted Spanish almonds, golden raisins and your choice of milk; a fried-egg sandwich stuffed with gruyère, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, herb aioli and Niman Ranch bacon; and baked eggs in a Basque-pepper stew with Greek yogurt and toasted baguette.

Sat, Sun 10am–4pm

Meat District Co.

This meat-centric gastropub changed hands last year, and its current owners—the mother-and-son team of Anoush Ketsoyan and Agasi Gukasyan—have been slowly rolling out a few changes. The latest? A new brunch menu, which is, of course, also relatively meat-centric. There’s a filet Benedict, topped with chipotle hollandaise and Korean chili flakes; the requisite steak and eggs, here made with grass-fed hanger steak; and, of course, a burger with an egg option (always add egg to your burger at brunch). But there’s also peanut butter and jelly pancakes; French toast with mascarpone; and a classic wedge salad (with bacon, naturally).

Sun 11am–3pm

Simonette

Late risers, Simonette’s got your number. The Palihotel’s new bistro offers an all-day brunch (that runs until 5pm!) with morning fare like a classic French omelet with soft cheese, cracked pepper, chives and butter lettuce; a country hash of confit chicken, potatoes, vegetable gravy and fried eggs; buckwheat crêpes with sunny egg, ham and comté cheese; and French toast with Nutella, banana, toasted coconut and pistachios. Of course there’s heartier afternoon fare, too, such as the steak frites under sauce au poivre, and the moules frites with white wine, shallots, garlic confit and shoestring fries. Thirsty? Quench that with a miso-tinged bloody Mary or some sparkling-wine mimosas.

Sat, Sun 9am–5pm

The Waterfront brunch in Venice California
Photograph: Courtesy The Waterfront

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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–3p

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

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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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