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Valley Brunch Help Please

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  • Heidi Aug 21, 2008 08:25 PM

I am looking for somewhere for brunch on Sunday. Was planning to go to Boneyard but was advised when I called that they do not open until 12 but that is too late. Unfortunately, I have several criteria: not too casual (ie no counter ordering or chaotic, prefer on the nicer side), food doesn't have to be earth shattering, but good at least, no buffet only, must have a variety as there are picky eaters, picky in general people, non-meat eaters, a trying/complaining mother, age range is 10 to 75. All this in a party of 8. Needs to be in the valley due to logistical/schedule challenges. Bizou is an option, but looking for different/better.

Ideas that would work well IMO had we not had constraints: Max (time constraint) Getty (location constraint).

Thank you in advance for your help.

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  1. Not sure if this would fit the bill, but our family happens to be going to brunch on Sunday at Chez Nous in Toluca Lake. Not earth shattering, but reliable and great pastries.

    You may also want to consider Cafe Cordiale. Warm, sedate atmosphere with solid, if somewhat boring, fare. Good for a wide range of ages and tastes.

    http://www.cheznousrestaurant.com/cli...

    http://www.cafecordiale.com/brunchmen...

    ~Suebee

    -----
    Chez Nous
    10550 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

    Cafe Cordiale
    14015 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

    1. I'll second Cafe Cordiale for a sedate atmosphere.

      For a jazz brunch, try Spazio on Ventura in Sherman Oaks.

      1. Third Cordiale.

        Too bad you can't get to Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. Buffet and a la carte options.

        MArmalade in Sherman Oaks is very nice for lunch. No buffet at all, but a very extensive and nice menu.

        I know that El Torito does a brinch, but that may be a bit much.

        What about INdian? Woodland's in Chatsworth has an amazing brunch. Not really ritzy, though.

        Does Stanley's do a brunch?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Diana

          Yes, Stanleys does a brunch, and it far surpasses any food put out at Cordiale, and the setting is light years better - Cordiale is like a glorified Denny's with food to match.
          And the patio out back at Stanleys is superb, especially if hearing is of concern for the older attendees, and the earlier part of the day should be ideal, not too hot nor cool.

          1. re: carter

            I disagree with the review of Cordiale, but am glad Stanley's does Brunch!

            1. re: Diana

              For someone 75 and kvetchy, definitely Cafe Cordiale. The atmosphere is much quieter and the seats more comfortable. We'll be there for my father's 85th birthday!

            2. re: carter

              Carter, I usually agree with you, but Stanley's?? Every time my mom drags me there I feel like I've been transported back to 1986 both with the menu (bland Chinese Chick Salad, etc.) and the decor. In fact, I mentioned Stanley's being stuck in time to my mom recently and she actually said that that's what she loves about it, that it hasn't changed since the 80's! :)

              ~Suebee

          2. Not an earth-shattering suggestion but was at Pain Quotidien this AM and we ordered what's one of the best oatmeals in town, a middle eastern plate (I was craving it at 8AM), a bread basket which is awesome especially when we spread some of their dark chocolate spread (free on table) on the bread. And their eggs and omelets are always solid.

            2 Replies
            1. re: la tache burger

              Have PQ's coffee and lattes improved in recent months? They used to be sub-par, yet I have not been in quite a while to reassess.
              Pane Dolce is getting tired and not trying to improve, even though its cup of coffee is ok, the latte is not as good, and thus I end up at Peet's most of the time, as was the case this morning, among many!
              However, Pane Dolce does do oatmeal very well.
              Now a middle eastern plate at 8am - how Turkish, etc. Sounds like a good idea.

              1. re: carter

                if you're talking about the peets in studio city I probably see you there all the time as I'm there almost every AM. No, PQ espresso drinks are subpar at best. I find their coffee palatable and I think it actually may have improved over the past year. Either that or I've learned to appreciate it. BTW, I think as far as Peets shops in LA the one is Studio City has consistently the best drip coffee.

            2. Thanks for the ideas so far. Is Pain Quotidien somewhat of a nice atmosphere? Good bread/bakery might be some consolation for putting up with family. The newest constraint is that the reservations have to be no later than 10:30 which knocks some more ideas out too. I'm actually thinking about the farm of Beverly Hills despite having to hear "we are going to a mall? why would we go to a mall?"

              3 Replies
              1. re: Heidi

                Le Pain is an import of a Belgian chain with communal tables, for the ost part. Good food from a limited menu, nice bread, icy coffee. May not be a comfortable as you had hped foor, though.

                What about the Aroma Bakery Cafe on Ventura in Encino?
                www.aromabakery.com

                1. re: Diana

                  I think Le Pain and Aroma might be a bit noisy and more on the casual side and I don't think they take reservations. Does Kate Mantilini's do a brunch in Woodland Hills? That might be right up your alley.

                2. re: Heidi

                  Pain has very good bread, baked on the premises (i think) every day, and a good variety, all organic, great walnut and whole wheat sour dough, very good baguette, etc. Yes it's casual, but I prefer the food to most places being mentioned here. All organic (i think) and fresh and tasty. Again, it will not change your life by any means, but solid, and the communal table atmospher is fun, and there are plenty of tables that are not communal. I remember my first time there I said, this is such a cool place.

                3. La Frite has a good diverse menu. I second Marmalade as well. Isn't there still a Daily Grill in Studio City?

                  1. Try CiCi's Cafe in Tarzana, pretty good Brunch.
                    http://ciciscafe.com/menu/

                    I would avoid Marmalade in Sherman Oaks, I have gone a few times and have always been dissapointed with the food. The omelete was bland, chicken was grey. My husband's french toast was dry. Not very good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CarlieInLA

                      Au Pain has the BEST Quiche Lorraine. The recipe was published in last week's LA Times. I've seen big parties at the communal table. Not a bad choice. I've never eaten at the Farm in Topanga Mall, I know it's pricey, but ??
                      Cici's is good, but 10 people might overwhelm them. It's good, but service is SLOW. Then again, if you're going early maybe the crush won't be as bad.

                    2. I realize brunch was some time ago, but have you tried breakfast at Hugo's in Sherman Oaks? Very tasty. I'm also fond of brunch at Mo's Restaurant in Toluca Lake on occasion.