We’re breezing into alfresco season, which means it’s the perfect time to drink some mimosas in a botanical garden or opt for poached eggs on a plant-packed patio. Whether you’re looking for bottomless brunch cocktails and scallion pancakes from a Top Chef winner or the city’s best pastries, here’s where to kick off your weekends in March.
For brunch with some scenery, the Edition Hotel’s lush plant-covered Ardor restaurant just launched brunch service so you can wake up to skillet pancakes on one of West Hollywood’s best patios. Chef John Fraser’s keeping the natural focus going on weekend mornings with a menu that’s big on produce: There’s a small seafood raw bar selection, plus options like steak with shiso chimichurri; lobster scrambles; and a breakfast sandwich sporting chicken sausage and Calabrian chili. But the focus here is on vegetables—many sourced from nearby farmers’ markets—which find their way into the likes of breakfast tacos with sweet potato and avocado; a forest-mushroom omelet; crepes with cream and berries; seasonal four-grain porridge; and a Greek mezze platter with turmeric eggs and butternut squash baba ganoush. If that somehow doesn’t do it for you, there are fresh pastries (hello, house croissants and English muffins) and mimosas, not to mention a number of rosés. (Hey, it’s almost prime patio season, remember?)
Sat, Sun 11am–3pm
One of 2019’s best new restaurants is getting into the brunch game with one of the best ways you can start a morning in L.A.: Lincoln Carson’s pastries. The Bon Temps chef and pastry star sadly cut weekday breakfast at his modern Arts District brasserie, which meant that some of the city’s best croissants, cakes and scones disappeared from the scene. Thankfully they’ve returned at the new brunch service, where you can purchase a flight of them via the pastry board, which features a new addition of whipped ricotta and honey. But as brilliant as these baked goods are, they still don’t manage to outshine entrées such as Carson’s crab cake Benedict with tomato jam; the flawless “eggs on eggs” French omelette topped with caviar; and a custardy butternut squash quiche. Even the sides are worth daydreaming about, whether it’s the artful slab of lacquered thick-cut bacon or a bowl of crispy potatoes, which arrive as borderline patatas bravas. Our point? One of the best restaurants in town is now serving one of our favorite new brunches, so grab a few friends and order the menu.
Sat, Sun 10:30am–2pm
Now that the weather’s warming up, why not brunch alfresco? The Kitchen at Descanso Gardens recently underwent a massive revamp, which means the sprawling and iconic botanical gardens have a new all-day café to check out—and on weekends, a new brunch. The Kitchen’s new, more global menu takes its cues from the nature that surrounds it, which means cauliflower al pastor tacos; a tarragon-aioli–topped burger; and produce-packed cocktails—and at brunch, a bar menu of fresh-vegetable bloody Marys, plus floral options such as the Blossom Mimosa, made with chamomile syrup and edible flowers. To eat, look for weekend-only additions such as a daily quiche; beignets with Chantilly cream; and chilaquiles with free-range eggs. Note: You don’t even need to buy admission to the gardens in order to dine here (but if you ask us, tickets max out at $15 and are well worth it).
Sat, Sun 9am–2pm
It’s finally here. Jessica Koslow and Gabriela Cámara’s highly anticipated collab was announced as an all-day restaurant, and now it is. The L.A.-meets-Mexico City concept opened inside Santa Monica’s Proper hotel last October, but a few weeks ago, we finally got a taste of the kind of morning fare the minds behind Sqirl and Contramar might whip up together. What does that look like? As it turns out, a few Sqirl-y rice bowls and salads, topped with local produce and herbage, but also new additions like chorizo and fried eggs; a tlacoyo of house-made masa topped with beans, eggs, crema and avocado; chilaquiles under confit tomato sauce; masa ricotta pancakes with Sqirl’s blood orange and hibiscus marmalade; and blue-crab toast with sorrel, trout roe, fig leaf oil and preserved Meyer lemon. Supplement with a few of the fresh pastries—we’re talking goat-milk cajeta linzers, coconut cream conchas and more—and coffees like the caramely cajetaccino, and you’re kicking off the day in style.
Top Chef winner Hung Huynh gave West Hollywood a sleek Pan-Asian restaurant last fall, plating wagyu-beef potstickers; lobster rangoon; gingery Cantonese shrimp; drunken noodles with short rib; and a cheeky Fukyou chicken with basil late into the night (speaking of late into the night, let’s not forget his downstairs bar, the Choo Choo Club). But this Sunday he’s launching brunch service, curing any Saturday-night hangovers he might’ve caused. You’ll be able to kick things off with a hair-of-the-dog prosecco kit ($45), which includes a bottle of bubbly and juice fixins like strawberry, peach, and orange juice, or opt for $20 bottomless mix-and-match cocktails. To eat, find those evening lobster rangoon and beef potstickers, plus brunch fare like a scallion pancake wrap with eggs and bacon; banana bread French toast with pineapple rum raisin sauce; the Fukyou chicken in sandwich form; steak and eggs; the Warrior stack-of-the-day pancakes; and Benedicts galore. And if Huynh caused you any hangovers due to too much Friday partying, don’t worry—he’s planning on launching Saturday brunch service down the line, too.
Sun with seatings at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Looking for more new menus?
Sometimes "new" means revamping a stalwart, and Josiah Citrin's been on a roll lately. In addition to completely renovating and reimagining his tasting-menu destination, Mélisse, he's also recently redone the brunch menu in his Venice temple to smoke, Charcoal. The new menu is a sprawling trek through griddled goods (pancakes, waffles and the like) and, of course, plenty of eggs, meats and veggies that've hit the grill. Entirely new dishes include the Charcoal Benedict, made with tomato compote and a charcoal-infused, jet-black hollandaise; persimmon pancakes with pomegranate and lemon; cornflake-crusted French toast with blueberry compote; and overnight oats with blackberry molasses. If you were looking for an excuse to try Citrin's expert hand at brunch, now's the time.
Sat, Sun 10:30am-2:30pm
One of the Arts District's favorite watering holes is brighting up our weekends just a little bit earlier, launching brunch to round out its usual evening menu of thoughtful bar bites, burgers and loaded fries. Now you can find morning fare such as egg-topped mushroomy black-rice bowls; a vegan Benedict; a gruyere-gooey breakfast sandwich; habanero-tinged chilaquiles; bagel-and-lox plates; blueberry-and-ricotta pancakes and more, not to mention kimchi bloody Marys, a mulled wine frappé, and a $20 option for bottomless mimosas. Good morning, indeed.
Sat, Sun 11am-4pm
Torrance and Culver City's premier mezcal spots and Oaxacan-food destinations just overhauled their brunch menus, which means a whole lot of new, delicious ways to wake up on a weekend in two separate neighborhoods. Whichever location you pick, look for $15 bottomless micheladas or mimosas (note: the clock is running—you've only got 75 minutes), plus new dishes such as carne asada with fried eggs and Coloradito mole; bistec with eggs, poblano peppers and melted quesillo; and the hangover cocktail—as in seafood cocktail—which involves octopus, shrimp, avocado, green salsa, jalapeño and more.
Sat, Sun 10am-2:30pm
Noodles may be the specialty at Mid-City's new "friendly neighborhood pasta bar," but at brunch, it's all about pancakes. The team behind Met Her at a Bar recently launched a casual next-door restaurant, Met Him at a Bar, and its brunch menu leans into chipper Italian-inspired morning plates (sorry, no egg-topped brunch pasta in sight) and a range of flapjacks such as matcha pancakes, lemon-tart pancakes, tiramisu pancakes, plain pancakes, and pantella pancakes, which involve strawberries, bananas and nutella. You can continue the sweetness with house-made lemon doughnuts and crème brûlée French toast, or lean savory with a sausage-and-peppers sandwich, some eggs Florentine, or the Italian breakfast of eggs with pesto sourdough and confit tomatoes.
Sat, Sun 11am-4pm
Downtown's got a bright and airy new restaurant tucked into its bustling events center: Cal-Italian spot Savoca is now open within LA Live's JW Marriott, and it's built on house-made pastas and other Mediterranean fare, especially when it comes to breakfast. Sure, yes, this is a brunch roundup, but every morning you can dive into a breakfast take on cacio e pepe featuring scrambled eggs and pecorino cheese—which I think most of us, if not all of us, can get behind—or more a.m.-familiar dishes such as poached eggs in a sausage-studded tomato sauce, or some fresh market berries with ricotta.