Where To Have Brunch On The Westside guide image


Where To Have Brunch On The Westside

Where to have brunch in Venice, Santa Monica, and beyond.

Whatever your preconceived notions of Westsiders are, there’s one stereotype we’ll allow: people who live on the Westside don’t like to leave the Westside. OK, one more: they like brunch. A lot. With these facts in mind, here you’ll find everything you need to know about brunch on the Westside. Whether you haven’t crossed the 405 in six years, or you just need a place to eat before the beach, this guide should point you in the right direction.


Tartine Santa Monica review image

Tartine Santa Monica


1242 20th St, Santa Monica
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Nothing screams “I’m a bread snob and I don’t care who knows it” like a brunch at Tartine. The bakery’s Santa Monica location resides inside a former funeral home we’d happily get married in. There are stucco-clad walls, arched doorways, and a courtyard garden where you can sit and eat a croissant that's still warm. Everything they pull out of the oven, from the morning buns and gougères to the crackly, buttery croissants, will make you reconsider your personal budget just to eat here every day. Outside of the pastries, they also have a full brunch menu involving things like an egg sandwich and a pastrami turkey club with avocado and pickle aioli. Just note that getting your hands on these impeccable breads and pastries will require you to wait in a line that usually wraps around the corner, so plan accordingly.

Located in a part of Culver filled with very cool people who work in very creative offices, Destroyer is a daytime cafe unlike any other. We’re pretty sure the coffee machine was brought here from the future (it’s built into the counter), and it’s entirely possible the food was, too. Seemingly simple dishes like raw oatmeal and almond milk or fig french toast are transformed into works of abstract sci-fi art. A seasonal menu is projected on a wall like a slideshow presentation. And on weekends, the line to order at the counter wraps around the block. Destroyer is straight-up weird and oddly zen, but in the kind of way that has us planning our next meal on the sidewalk patio as you read this.

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photo credit: Andrea D'Agosto

Café Brasil review image

Café Brasil

This Brazilian café has been feeding its Culver City neighbors for over three decades. The colorful space is covered in vintage posters and pictures from Rio de Janeiro, as well as mix and match chairs tucked beneath hand-painted tables. Late mornings at Café Brasil usually involve scrambled eggs with collard greens, fried plantains, pão de queijo, and fresh passion fruit juice. And if you’re coming for brunch on a nice day, grab a seat on the patio and try some great pasteis—fried empanadas stuffed with ground beef, cheese, or hearts of palm.

Hatchet Hall is a fantastic Southern restaurant and an ideal spot for when you want your brunch to feel just a little bit refined. The outdoor patio is big, and eating inside feels like you’re in a statesman’s lake house in Georgia. On Sundays only from 11am-4pm, they serve country-fried steak, homemade biscuits and jam, and smoked salmon toast. Despite its mostly Southern menu, the food will allow you to have an activity-packed Sunday afternoon, even if that just means finally going to dry cleaner only to realize they're closed.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Ospi review image




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Just one block from the boardwalk in Venice, Ospi is one of the hardest weekend tables to snag in the neighborhood. This Italian spot comes from the same people behind one of our other favorite South Bay spots, Jame Enoteca. The menu is filled with razor-thin breakfast pizza topped with bacon and eggs, a breakfast carbonara, and classics like crab cake benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, and a big salmon-topped hash brown. There’s also a fantastic wrap-around front patio that works for almost any occasion, whether it be a first date or a rowdy, wine-drenched feast with friends. Whoever you roll in with, be sure to make reservations in advance. 

There’s a lot to love about Lodge Bread, like their chewy bagels, or nutty German rye, or the famous cinnamon rolls that are roughly the size of a face and haunt us whenever we’re in need of a sweet treat. In other words, few places have mastered the art of baking quite like this Culver City spot, but we also like stopping by for more than just bread and pastries. Their shakshuka, for example, is reason alone to brave the weekend lines, with its soft stewed tomatoes and hints of cumin and cayenne. It goes great with a side of freshly baked whole grain bread.

AOC is a classic, and even if it’s not as exciting as it was 10 years ago, it’s still a great spot to grab a crab omelet or vanilla french toast on a weekend morning. With a roaring fireplace and Juliet balconies circling the courtyard, this California/French spot still has one of the best patios in the city. You might be across the street from the biggest hospital in California, but here, you feel like you’ve been transported to a farm estate deep in Provence.

Maybe you need to apologize to your vegan significant other for eating one too many eggs in front of them, and do penance by buying them a  soy scramble. Plant Food + Wine is the way to go. It’s down at the quieter end of Abbot Kinney (closer to Santa Monica), with an all-white dining room that leads to a stunner of a patio. As for the food, it’s creative, but not so out there that a regular meat-eater wouldn’t be able to find something to like.

While most people in this city only think of Jon & Vinny’s for dinner, you know their true secret lies in their brunch menu. Starting at 8am, their early menu is filled with highlights like the breakfast BLT, buttermilk pancakes, and polenta, as well as some pizza and pasta from the dinner menu.

Gjusta is what every out-of-towner imagines when they think of LA - breezy Venice space, lines of sun-kissed Midwesterners, an entire part of the menu dedicated to “lettuces.” But the food is also really f*cking good. Grab a spot on their expanded patio and enjoy tomato and burrata sandwiches, open-face bagels topped with a farmers market’s worth of produce, and/or the tuna conserva—a slick, oily sandwich packed with roasted peppers, olive tapenade, and crunchy sprouts that will make you question if you’ve ever really eaten sprouts before.

At this all-day wine bar in Venice, you’ll sit in the sun, get swept up in the ocean breeze, and chill with complete strangers as you talk about the pros and cons of The Tennis Channel’s premium subscription. The expansive menu includes scallop aguachile, summer squash salads, burgers, grilled prawns, plus gelato for dessert, and a daily Happy Hour from 3-6pm. There are also slushy cocktails, skin-contact wines, and plenty of draft beers.

There’s nothing that screams “I’m young, I’m fun, I’m in California!” more than tossing back oysters on the half shell on a Santa Monica patio. And the place to do it in West LA is Crudo e Nudo. The former pop-up has found a permanent home on Main Street, where you’ll be treated to a selection of low intervention wines and entirely sustainable seafood, like daily crudos served with herbs and house-made sauces, a full raw bar, and tuna tartare paired with seeded loaves from Gjusta.

With a menu that swings from Korean to Japanese to Mexican to Italian and back again, even the pickiest eaters will discover something great at Interstellar. This Santa Monica all-day cafe is one of the neighborhood’s best sit-down options - and we’ve yet to try anything here that we wouldn’t endorse. Slicing through the crunchy katsu is practically meditative. You’ll have similar perfect-bite experiences with the breakfast burrito, turkey club, and bulgogi burger.

As expected, there are a ton of bright, leafy salads and CBD drinks to be found at this pastel explosion of a lunch spot on Main Street. But you’re going to want a breakfast burrito. There are two on the menu, both of which are huge (seriously, these things weigh as much as an old brick phone, circa 1975), but we prefer the Ancho Hash. It’s the vegetarian burrito, stuffed with eggs, manchego, and Oaxacan cheeses, plus a crispy-crusty caramelized mix of shredded potatoes and peppers, and it’s taken up permanent residency in our groggy morning rotation.

The Best Breakfast Burritos In Los Angeles guide image

LA Guide

The Best Breakfast Burritos In Los Angeles

We’ve always been fans of Hollywood’s Salt’s Cure and we feel very similarly about their Santa Monica breakfast outpost. Simply put, they serve the best pancakes we’ve ever had. They’re all made with oatmeal, and you can taste that coarse, almost nutty texture in every bite. We like the OG griddle cakes, but wouldn’t blame you if you added bananas or blueberries into the mix.

s is as old-school as it gets. This Manhattan Beach spot has been open for almost 60 years and still gets pretty long waits on the weekend. Don’t expect craft cocktails and creative uses of avocado - you’re here for giant stacks of pancakes, with a side order of waffles. Bonus: a pretty awesome ocean view.

Driving up from PCH, you’ll pass crystal shops, outdoor Shakespeare amphitheaters, and homemade art installations that have become local landmarks. It’s a fantastic, fascinating day trip and one that’s made even better by having lunch at Cafe 27. The almost entirely outdoor space is built into the side of a hill with a multi-level patio that feels like you’re eating inside the treehouse of your childhood dreams. But instead of warm M&Ms and juice boxes, you’ll refuel on omelets, sandwiches, and a very good avocado toast.

Brunch is essentially Rose Cafe’s reason for being. The huge interior and two patios are at their best during daylight hours, there’s plenty of choice on the alcohol front, and you can order both a breakfast sandwich and carbonara and nobody will judge you. Just kidding, all of Venice will judge you, but don’t let that stop you.

Cheviot Hills might not technically be the Westside, but John O’Groats is barely over the 405, and also we like it too much to not include it. This old-school diner is the kind of spot where you’ll sit next to a couple dissecting their granddaughter’s soccer game and debating the best dogsitter for their corgi over perfectly fluffy pancakes. Weekends usually mean you’ll wait, but you can always pour yourself a cup of self-serve coffee from the big carafe out front and wander over to the nearby golf course to continue living out your suburban fantasies. Once you sit down, focus on the classics and grab an order of the Biscuits From Heaven.

The Best Restaurants In Venice guide image

LA Guide

The Best Restaurants In Venice

Your brother-in-law is in town and insisting that you spend Sunday morning browsing the stalls on the Venice Boardwalk. The very least he can do is buy you brunch at Great White to make up for it. This Australian cafe is at enough of a distance from the tourists that actual Venice locals don’t mind hanging out here, and the food helps too. It gets crowded, so you’ll probably end up squeezed in next to a surfer and his German shepherd, but there’s nothing in that situation that should annoy anyone. Get a tater tot-filled breakfast burrito and a flat white, and hope that Geoff realizes that this, not the Boardwalk, is the actually-good part of Venice.

With the word bread in its name, it would be a major letdown if the Superba brunch was bad. It’s definitely not, especially if you start with a cinnamon bun. The all-day menu has a wide range of options, but if you’re smart you’ll just get the fried chicken sandwich.

We know that you’re never going to drive to Malibu just for brunch. But maybe you have friends in town, or maybe you won the life lottery and actually live out there. Either way, do yourself a favor and get to Malibu Farm. For brunch, this restaurant at the start of the pier is the way to go - mostly because there’s a lobster burrito.

The Best Restaurants In Malibu guide image

LA Guide

The Best Restaurants In Malibu

There’s no denying that on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Blvd, Gjelina reigns supreme. While there may be an aggressive wait and uncomfortably attractive people inside, Gjelina is always a good idea. Their Neapolitan pizzas, lemon ricotta pancakes, and soft scrambles are among our all-time brunch favorites. Go ahead and wait the extra 30 minutes to sit outside, we promise the out-of-towners you’re trying to impress will love it.

Again, you’re probably not driving specifically to Malibu for brunch, unless you’re dating a stoner surfer who lives in his van on the PCH. Or if it’s at Nobu. This may just be the most prime real estate on the coast - you actually feel like you’re eating on the ocean. And the day we discovered Nobu Malibu’s brunch menu (exclusive to this location) was one of the happiest days of our life. You can skip your usual rock shrimp order and go for the sliders and kaya toast instead.

Before you spend a day at the beach pretending you’ve played beach volleyball before and forgetting to put on sunscreen, you’ll need brunch. And Playa Provisions is about as close as you can get to eating eggs on the beach, without the risk of sand in your scramble. The outdoor dining room has dune views, and you can sit next to a fireplace that makes you feel like you’re at a bonfire at Dockweiler (before you go to an actual bonfire at Dockweiler). Get one of their cocktails and you won’t ever want a mimosa in the morning again.

Where To Eat & Drink In Playa Del Rey guide image

LA Guide

Where To Eat & Drink In Playa Del Rey

There basically is no Brentwood Country Mart without Farmshop. It’s nice inside, there’s plenty of room to park your stroller, and there’s Jennifer Garner wrangling her kids in the corner. And after you enjoy your omelet, you can buy a $15 block of cheese at the market on your way out.

Scopa is not the type of place where you can roll up in whatever you slept in the night before and try to get away with the “I just worked out” look. This is where you come for your best friend’s birthday brunch, with great cocktails and crispy biscuits. Big groups will love it here.

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