Brunch by the Beach in L.A.
There’s no better way to kick off the day than with comfort food and an ocean breeze. Some of the best seasonal California cuisine restaurants in LA are by the beach and they all seem to specialize in brunch, each with their own creatively tasting twists.
1802 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Cora’s Coffee Shoppe just off the coast is a cozy cafe with refined comfort-food brunch and lunch. The retro interior is lined with black and white tiled floors, daily fish specials are on a chalkboard and the flowered iron arbor covered patio creates a romantic tunnel for dining outdoors. Discerning dishes include the Orange Pancakes, RIgatoni with White Truffle Oil Meat Sauce and Egg White, Feta and Arugula Omelette.
513 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
For quality quick eats on the Westside, Flake on Rose Ave. is a cheap and cheerful delight. Breakfast is their bread and butter with pieces of toast literally hanging on the walls. Okay, they are actually art; the toast slices are framed and burnt with images of celebrities like Bill Murray and Pee-wee Herman, and on the opposite wall hangs vintage cereal box fronts. They serve cereal, granola, oatmeal, and yogurt bowls with over 20 ingredients, including fruits, nuts, and sweets to concoct your own mix. Their hot savory dishes include favorites like ‘The Super Cro-Jo!’ (scrambled eggs, gouda, bacon, lettuce, tomato and secret sauce on a croissant) and ‘The Veggie Rad!’ (egg white, avocado, veggie sausage, American cheese and secret sauce on an English muffin), both of which are the only menu items with an exclamation mark to their name. Flake’s retro charm, old-timey playlist, indoor/outdoor seating (or simply to-go), and friendly staff make for an overall enjoyable and tasty experience.
533 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Superba Snack Bar in Venice, California is one of the best lunch spots on the West Side, with a varied menu that delivers on taste. The sandwiches are ‘classics’ that have been updated and done extremely well—their version of a BLT, for example, has braised, thick-cut bacon, marinated tomatoes, watercress, and kewpie mayo (add an egg if you wish). The mole meatball sandwich is another delicious option, and order the coffee after your meal—their blend is smooth and packed with flavor, but devoid of any bitterness because of their brewing technique. Jonathan Gold got it right when he titled his review of this joint for The Los Angeles Times, ‘Simply Superba.’
512 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
“I am grateful” is just one of the ways you order lunch at Cafe Gratitude. “I am whole” is another; as is “I am glorious.” Every dish on the menu has a name like this, and whether you’re in the mood for gratitude (the community bowl with shredded kale, black beans, garlic tahini, and quinoa), wholeness (the macrobiotic bowl with braised butternut squash, adzuki beans, and sautéed greens), or glory (the blackened tempeh Caesar wrap), Cafe Gratitude guarantees your meal will be as much an experience in self-affirmation as a delicious jaunt into vegan fair. The Venice location is eclectic in patronage and airy in design, while the swanky Larchmont restaurant draws a more Hollywood cast of characters. Other locations include the Arts District, Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, and a little further south in San Diego. For larger events, Cafe Gratitude can also be hired for catering services.
395 Santa Monica Pl #300, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
A shopping mall is probably the last place you’d look for a quality brunch, but Sonoma Wine Garden in the Santa Monica Place mall may be the best boozy brunch in Los Angeles. With ocean views and cozy cushioned seating, you are transported from the bustling promenade to a secluded rustic haven for the best meal of the day. For $28, you get your choice of a garden-fresh breakfast plate with personal favorites including the basil, bacon, and avocado eggs benedict, large egg-in-the-middle brunch pizza and fluffy brioche French toast. The thick bacon served with syrup is a tasty side to cut into and their parmesan-sprinkled truffle fries are the perfect addition to share. For two hours, glasses of unlimited bubbly are served with elegant flavors like the addictive Austrian elderflower and fruity fresh apricot purée. While most all-you-can-drink brunches are a sloppy and sloshy whirlwind, Sonoma Wine Garden redefines the experience with their touch of gourmet class.
1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
The seasonal small-plates sharing menu at M.B. Post brings out the social side of dining. Upon entering, the liveliness wraps you in a friendly bear hug. The decorative accents pay tribute to the space’s post office past and are as thoughtful as the ingredients in each dish. From the pop of the candied ginger in the granola parfait to the lemony freshness of the Belly Button lox bagel, each bite has a distinct flavorful burst. The drink selections, whether cocktails or tea, are as just as carefully crafted and even the most basic breakfast item, biscuits, are transformed into a delicious must-have plate of its own.