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Jun 27, 2012 10:33 PM

Sunday Brunch in LA

I'm new to the area, and I'm looking for a place that serves a good Sunday brunch. I've done a bit of digging around on some outdated threads, and came up with a couple of options.

Saddle Peak Lodge -- a bit far away, but worth the drive if it really stands above the rest
Fig Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel
Zengo, which could be interesting
And maybe 26 Beach

I found these recs from some old threads, so I don't know if anything has changed with the restaurants. Am I missing anything or is there any one place that is much better than the rest?

Thanks for all your help!

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  1. When you say "the area", based on your list, I assume you're on the Westside? Asking for good Sunday brunch places "in LA" may get you recs from all over the place.

    From your list:

    Don't know Saddle Peak Lodge.

    FIG is amazing, but I've never been for brunch. I'd rather go between 5 PM and 6 PM and get to sample more at 50% off.

    I like Zengo for what it is, a decent, but not outstanding, Latin/Asian fusion restaurant, and I've also never been there for brunch.

    26 Beach is nice if you like a lot of variety in your french toasts.

    I'd add the following to your list to consider:

    Joe's Restaurant, which, some on the board have said has declined recently, but is still good in my opinion.

    Farmshop's brunch was excellent foodwise, but we had some really slow service last time we were there, starting with not being seated until 15 minutes past our reservation time when clean and set tables were available, and then not having our orders taken or even had a first contact with our waitress for another 15 minutes. The food just barely made up for it, so we're willing to go back.

    I feel like I'm forgetting some others.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      Thanks for the info. I just realized that I forgot t to mention where I am, and your guess is right. I'm on the Westside, but like I said, I don't mind a bit of a trip if the food is really worth it.

      Based on the info you gave me, I'm leaning towards FIG. I'll probably have to return during the evening to sample the variety, but it also looks pretty good for brunch.

      Farmshop also looks pretty interesting. I'll have to look into it. How does it compare to FIG? I'm getting the same 'seasonal, farm-fresh, locally produced' vibe from both their menu's, so I was wondering if they're similar in terms of quality and taste.

      1. re: wizardoflittlearmenia

        Well, I wasn't explicit, but FIG has a thing called "FIG at Five", which is basically a special 1-hour happy hour where everything on the menu is 50% off, except the steaks and the tasting menu. Yes, drinks are also 50% off.

        I've only been to Farmshop once. I think Fig's food is better than Farmshop, but everything we had a Farmshop was very good. Yes, both are focused on local, farm-fresh stuff.

        For cheaper, diner-y breakfasts, our go-to place is Bagel Nosh in Santa Monica.

        Hey, looked at your post history. Are you from Montreal? Bienvenue! I don't actually speak French, but I lived in Montreal for several years in the 90s. I miss that city and its food! LaFleur's all-dressed 'ot-dogs and poutine! Felix and Norton cookies! Even St-Hubert! (If you couldn't tell, I couldn't afford the fine dining scene when I was living there.)

        1. re: PeterCC

          Cool, so I've narrowed it down to FIG between the two. Some friends are driving up from Irvine, so Saddle Peak may be too far for them.

          And I'm not from Montreal, but have been living there for the past 4 years for school. I just graduated and moved to LA. And I, just like you, miss the food a lot, and on a student's budget, could not afford the fine dining scene either. But I discovered that some of the best foods are the cheapest! So I don't think we missed out on too much. I do miss the montreal smoked meats though. I would kill for a Dunn's or Schwartz's sandwich right now!

          1. re: wizardoflittlearmenia

            I miss the smoked meat too. Redondo Beach Cafe ( apparently serves Montreal smoked meat, and Soleil in Westwood ( a bit closer for Westsiders serves decent poutine.

      2. re: PeterCC

        Had brunch at Saddle Peak Lodge last week and it was truly amazing. Fresh pastries (hot and buttery sticky buns) and wonderful dishes, I had their fantastic breakfast pizza with game sausages, thick cut bacon and egg on the top. My son had their savory rabbit confit pot pie. so good. Most dishes around $15 in their one of a kind rustic setting and it's outdoor patio. Great service. Highly recommended

      3. Scarpetta Beverly Hills has a very nice buffet. Chilled seafood, cheese from the Beverly Hills Cheese Store, fresh pastas and much more. Expensive but worth it.

        Tavern in Brentwood has a nice brunch with it's Brisket hash with sunny-side eggs and horseradish cream.

        My favorite pancakes are the 49er flapjacks at The Original Pancake House on PCH in Redondo Beach My favorite waffles are the bacon chedder ones at Uncle Bill's in Manhattan Beach. Great scrambles at Martha's 22nd St. Grill on the beach in Hermosa.

        Zengo in Santa Monica has a $35 brunch with all the small plates and drinks you'd like. I love their duck hash.

        Gjelina in Venice is wonderful but always packed.

        I am a big fan of Saddle Peak Lodge and it's one of a kind rural setting. Try the wild game sausage trio.

        Wonderful food at Brent's Deli in Northridge. Great smoked fish plates and corned beef hash. Best deli in town.

        But my favorite of all is the dim sum at Sea Harbour in SGV.

        Welcome to LA.

        1. From your list I would go to Saddle Peak Lodge.

          1. Consider among your Westside brunch options: Manhattan Beach Post (my current favorite); Joe's in Venice; and Scarpetta. I have had excellent brunches with both impeccable food and service at these three restaurants.

            2 Replies
            1. re: foufou

              Thanks for all the great suggestions guys!

              As I mentioned above, friends from Irvine are driving up, so Saddle Peak may be too far. Scarpetta also looks interesting. A bit pricey, but may be worth the extra cash.

              And how could I forget Dim Sum! Thanks wienermobile! I think we're going for a more traditional brunch setting this time, but I will have to go for Dim Sum sometime VERY soon. You guys think the Dim Sum at Sea Harbour is the best? (I'm sure there are tons of other threads about Dim Sum, so I will research it a bit later on).

              1. re: wizardoflittlearmenia

                Yes there are a ton of threads on dim sum. Here's a recent one:

                Sea Harbour does seem to be the number one choice, with Elite being a close second.

            2. An alternative may be Roof on Wilshire. It's got a Greenspan-designed menu, rather affordable prices for a "hotel" rooftop brunch next to a nice glimmering pool.

              But by all means, go to Farmshop for the fantastic brunch food. Out of your list, NOTHING (not even the bougie Tavern chock full of sweaters-over-shoulders) is comprable to the food at Farmshop. The Mexican-heavy FIG brunch menu is not on par with its dinner menu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TonyC

                I've not had brunch at FIG and I've only had brunch at Farmshop, so I know I'm comparing apples-to-oranges, but I found FIG to be better in every way compared to Farmshop. Not to say Farmshop is bad at all; like I said above, the food was good enough to overcome the poor service we had enough to try Farmshop again in the future, so that's saying something.

                Case in point, we had really terrible service at Milo & Olive that their excellent food couldn't overcome. We had eaten takeout from there several times and loved it, so we wanted to try actually eating there and seeing how the pizza was right out of the oven instead of half an hour later after we got it home. We arrived, were told the wait would be 20-30 minutes, so my wife and one of my kids went to Petco less than two blocks away. Well, not 10 minutes after, the host said they had a table for us. I ask if my other kid and I could be seated now, as the rest of my party was just up the street and would be right back. The host says that everyone had to be present to be seated and if they weren't back in five minutes, he'd have to give the table to someone else. I called my wife and asked them to come back right away and told the host that they're coming right back. After a few minutes, I told the host that I could actually see them walking back, but by the time they got back, he had already given our table away. ?!?

                Anyway, wizardoflittlearmenia, someone recently asked for breakfast choices in the area and someone else mentioned Milo & Olive in that thread, and the OP of that thread loved it. (Edit: It was this thread: I suggest you try it for yourself, because I recognize that maybe our experience was an anomaly (they've always been great for takeout before then) and their breakfast menu does look pretty good, but for the time being we can't bring ourselves to patronize that place again after that experience.