Brunch has quietly gone sophisticated, and at some of Southern California's top restaurants it can be one of the best meals of the week. Going out for brunch to catch up with friends and family has become so popular that even tiny Salt's Cure in WeHo serves more than 200 brunches on weekends. What better way to spend a leisurely weekend morning?
You can pick an old favorite where you know they do their huevos rancheros the way you like them. Or try out a new restaurant without having to reserve weeks ahead. Because the meal bridges lunch and dinner, brunch menus tend to have something for everyone — those perfect eggs, a summery BLT or composed salad, fresh-from-the-oven pastries, bottomless mimosas.
Here are a few newish spots to brunch:
This Silver Lake American bistro, from the folks behind the popular Square One on Fountain Avenue, has just added weekend brunch and a nifty sidewalk terrace. Chef Luke Reyes turns out silver dollar pancakes, roasted cauliflower frittata with smoked mozzarella and a nifty eggs Benedict in which panko-fried green tomatoes stand in for the English muffin and the hollandaise is dosed with Tabasco. Fried chicken comes between a halved biscuit with an egg, a little cheddar and aioli. But think about it: You can order a whole fried chicken with six eggs and buttermilk waffles, biscuits, gravy and hollandaise for $45. Chow down.
Lucky Duck, 2630 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 686-6304, www.luckyduckbysquareone.com. Weekend brunch 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch items, $4 to $17.
Josh Drew (ex-Farmshop) is the chef in residence right now, and he's got a terrific brunch menu in place at the Arts District restaurant. Be sure to reserve a table outside in the courtyard. You might want to start with a mimosa kit (a bottle of bubbly with pitchers of orange juice, peach and melon purees) and the delicate orange blossom brioche with Greek yogurt. Egg-in-the-basket is just about the ideal brunch dish, buttery griddled country bread with a perfectly cooked egg-in-the-hole and sumptuous smoked pork belly on the side. And for something completely refreshing in the heat, try poached shrimp salmorejo with zippy fresh horseradish, green olives and avocado.
Fifty Seven, 712 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 816-8157, www.fiftysevenla.com. Brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch items, $3 to $21.
Superba Food + Bread
At this Venice spot, inside, outside, both get the breeze. Start with a cold brew on draft and pastry chef Lincoln Carter's superb kouign-amann right out of the oven. You could stop there (life is good) or continue with delicious Moroccan eggs coddled with tomatoes and sweet peppers and exotic spices. On the heartier side is the satisfying breakfast sandwich with a linguiça sausage patty and braised kale on a tender pain au lait bun or the salmon belly BLT with pickled onion and bacon. Check out the toasts too, smothered in smoked trout egg salad or burrata and walnut muhammara. And be sure to buy one of head baker Jonathan Eng's baguettes or other loaves to take home for dinner.
Superba Food + Bread, 1900 S. Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 907-5075,www.superbafoodandbread.com. Weekend brunch 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch items, $4 to $14.