Santa Monica: Breakfast/Brunch on Fri/Sat
New Yorker visiting the LA area with my boyfriend, and we're looking for impressive breakfast and brunch in Santa Monica.
We're looking for places to get things like french toast, waffles, egg dishes, pancakes, etc. but on a Friday or Saturday (not sure if brunch is a Sunday-only thing at many restaurantslike it is in other parts of the country).
We're staying at 5th and Marine St., at a friend's place but I'm not really familiar with the area.
Restaurants within walking distance (up to a mile or so) would be great. Ability to make a reservation would be nice, but not necessary, as we're used to long waits for good food in NYC. And ability to get those sorts of foods around noon or 1pm is even better!
Our favorite places in New York City are Prune, Clinton Street Baking Company, Balthazar, Jane, Shopsin's, The Neptune Room, Blue Ribbon Bakery, and Pastis.
I can't say how they compare with the places you listed in NYC but here are a few additional good breakfast/brunch options that are within about a mile of where you are staying:
Cora's [1802 Ocean Avenue in S.M.]--lovely outdoor patio.
Hal's [1349 Abbot Kinney in Venice]--hip vibe.
Joe's [brunch Saturday/Sunday - 1023 Abbot Kinney in Venice]--classic Californian.
Ocean & Vine [Loew's Hotel - 1700 Ocean Avenue in S.M.]--ocean view.
Omelette Parlor [2732 Main St. in S.M.]--more popular than it deserves but decent.
3 Square Cafe [1121 Abbot Kinney in Venice]--new kid on the block, sit outside.
It would require a short drive but I love the breakfasts at Pacific Dining Car [2700 Wilshire Blvd. in S.M.]--very classy look and, unlike dinner, reasonable prices.
re: New Trial
Second 3 Square and Omelette Parlor. Jinky's is pretty traditional, but certainly nothing outstanding, though if you like chili, they always offer several chilis from Chili My Soul.
But to compare to NYC type places, Snug Harbor and Bread and Porridge are places where people wait to have breakfast. I also like Patrick's Roadhouse.
Blue Plate on Montana is pretty traditional breakfast fare, and Patrick Dempsey is there much. -)
Head a little bit east to John O'Groats for great pancakes
You might consider heading up to Amandine for a less traditional, but stellar almond or chocolate croissant and a lovely seat out on the sidewalk.
26 Beach in Venice
re: New Trial
That's a nice list. I would vote for Pacific Dining Car for Friday breakfast at lunch time (their website says it's available 24/7):
And, Joe's for Saturday breakfast at lunch time.
If walking is an attraction, then The Firehouse at Rose & Main St. is just 5 blocks away and I believe you can get breakfast served until 4 p.m. I haven't eaten there in years, so I'll just say it's more than most likely will not be rated as "Impressive". 4 blocks west from the Firehouse is the Waterfront Cafe, but the reason to go there is for the beer, ocean breezes and people watching.
Second Cora's and 3 Square.
Omelette Parlor is nothing special but a longtime breakfast place for SM.
Bread & Porridge is highly overrated (and long waits) but it's got the whole Mexican/American fusion breakfast thing down (with healthy sausages.)
John O'Groats is great, but you'll need to grab a cab.
Not sure if either of these would qualify as "impressive" -- perhaps other 'hounds will chime in -- but here are two more options a nice walk from your location:
Though I would never recommend it for dinner, it is a viable option for Saturday brunch (served till 3:30). The outside patio is pretty and pleasant.
Urth Caffé - Santa Monica branch
2327 Main Street
I wasn't able to find their menu online, but I do believe they serve breakfast-type foods. You can search this site for reviews.
Enjoy your visit!
I would avoid Urth for brunch unless you want a salad/sandwich-type brunch as opposed to a breakfast-type brunch. Their omelettes are chewy, prefab egg patties topped with vegetables and cheese. Not their strength by any means, even though I'll grant that the amazing coffee options almost make you forget that little detail.
I'm a real fan of the food at Snug Harbor. The atmosphere is definitely diner-ish, but I've never had anything disappointing there off of their breakfast menu.