Brunch spots in Southern California that serve it sunny side up
Easter is about spring, family and rebirth. But it’s also about eggs. Dyeing them, hunting for them and eating them. And when you simply can’t face the thought of biting into another hard-boiled one, you might want to think about having someone else cook one up for you at brunch. Because that marvelous meal is as much of a rite of spring as Easter itself. Here are a few of our favorite places to get your yolk on.
-- Jessica Gelt
Beside a trickling pebbled fountain and a pool ringed by posh cabanas, Westwood’s Backyard is the perfect place to lounge like a true Southern Californian. Sunday brings an Easter egg hunt by the pool as well as a three-course meal featuring fresh-baked scones, brioche French toast with fresh berries and sweet butter, and Maine lobster hash. 930 Hilgard Ave., L.A. $42, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (310) 443-8211.
Easter mixes with the kitschy fun of tiki culture at this relaxed, beachy restaurant, which will stage two 45-minute Polynesian shows (one at 10 a.m. and one at noon) as well as offer face painting and family portraits with the Easter bunny. Also on offer: A buffet loaded with Cantonese classics such as kungpao chicken and orange beef alongside more traditional options such as eggs Benedict and fresh salmon. And we’d be amiss not to mention generous pours of unlimited Champagne. 16278 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach. $30 for adults; $13 for kids. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (562) 592-1321.
A Japanese “maid cafe” featuring waitresses in French maid outfits may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider your Easter options, but this fetching art gallery and cafe is offering a kids “craft garden” that’ll keep your little one engaged in fun workshops, including bunny ears-making, yarn flowers and Easter egg-decorating, while you nibble on an a la carte brunch menu featuring carrot-ginger soup, vegetable scrambles with bacon and spinach-and-mushroom quiche. 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6 to $25. (310) 559-6300.
This recently revamped restaurant at the historic downtown Checkers hotel is a fine place to take in a classy meal after a morning of exhausting fun. Chef Todd Allison has created a decadent menu of a la carte deliciousness including Hawaiian French toast with caramelized pineapple; huevos rancheros with Spanish chorizo and avocado crème; and a grilled garden vegetable salad with shaved Manchego cheese and fresh basil pesto. 535 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $12 to $31. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (213) 624-0000.
Go to wine country without the drive at this charming city retreat, which places a premium on locally sourced fare. Sunday’s celebration features a mountainous buffet stocked with unique and tantalizing options including lemon-curd griddle toast with blood-orange syrup and strawberries; silver dollar buttermilk pancakes with kumquat marmalade; and corned beef hash Benedict. As a bonus, servers will be wheeling around a table-side cocktail cart. 1100 Glendon Ave., L.A. $49 for adults; $19 for kids. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (310) 824-3322.
If a Sunday drive is on your agenda, head to Temecula’s wine country, where the lovely Ponte winery is preparing an extravagant Easter celebration including an Easter egg hunt, live music and an Alice in Wonderland-themed brunch buffet featuring costumed characters from the movie (we mean book!). Adults can enjoy the open bar’s mimosas and sangria before sitting down with the family to dig into a plate of three-cheese jalapeño hash or artichoke-stuffed chicken breast, among many other options. 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $70 for adults; $30 for kids. (951) 694-8855.
Enjoy a taste of sunny southern France at this acclaimed French restaurant, where chef Sebastien Archambault will cook with flair in his open kitchen for all comers to view. Main courses such as leg of lamb and fresh fish will be prepared to share family style alongside plates of mashed potatoes and spring veggies. Cheese, charcuterie and oysters will also make the scene, as will a variety of cocktails including heirloom-tomato bloody marys and mimosas. 8401 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $52 for adults; $20 for kids. (323) 785-6090.