Like the caste system of tenth grade, LA’s Westside is socially segmented: hipsters, yuppies, UCLA students, rich people, old people, rich old people, young professionals who bought a house in Mar Vista because at two million dollars it was “super affordable.” The list goes on.
One thing we can confidently assume everyone on the Westside has in common? They don’t like to leave the Westside. Ever. Another thing we can just as confidently assume? They like brunch. A lot. With these facts in mind, we’ve compiled a guide to everything you need to know about brunch on the Westside. Whether you’ve been up since an ungodly hour because you have a kid, are nursing a hangover (and/or looking for daytime boozing), or need that perfect brunch date destination, we’ve got you covered with this updated guide.
With the word bread in its name, it would be a major let down if the Superba brunch was bad. It’s definitely not, especially if you start with a cinnamon roll. The menu is divided into ‘brunchy’ and ‘lunchy’ sections, and if you’re smart you’ll do a little from column A and a little from column B. And/or just get the fried chicken sandwich.
For brunch, the normally dark and vibey Charcoal opens up a wall of windows and turns bright and airy. All the classic brunch foods are here (burgers, hashes, benedicts), but often with a twist. The benedict comes with an inky black charcoal-infused hollandaise (looks scary, tastes good) and the baked potato is stuffed with bacon and eggs. Mandatory: ordering a round of cheddar buttermilk biscuits for the table.
Nighthawk, the Hollywood breakfast bar that closed suddenly earlier this year, is back, now on the Westside, and now serving brunch foods at a time where you would normally eat brunch. Do not bring anyone on a diet here - they will not appreciate the benedict fries or the foie gras-duck egg dish. Sip your spiked cereal milk as you ponder the meaning of adulthood.
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 booze front, and it’s the time of day where you can order a breakfast sandwich and bucatina carbonara and nobody will judge you. Just kidding, all of Venice will judge you, but don’t let that stop you.
Let’s be honest. 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 both a lobster burrito and lobster scrambled eggs. Welcome to the ’Bu.
We tend to avoid places that devote a section of the menu to ‘Wellness Lattes and Teas,’ but The Butcher’s Daughter is actually way less awful that it should be. Sure, there’s an acai bowl and something called cauliflower grits, but there’s also a fairly decent breakfast burrito and excellent coffee. Wellness: 1, us: 0.
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 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.
If you’re okay with a wait, Huckleberry is an excellent casual brunch move with a mystifyingly-delicious egg sandwich. Important to know is that it’s an order-at-the-counter and then be seated situation. Consider standing in line your workout for the day (your reward is ordering both the egg sandwich AND the breakfast burrito).
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. Sometimes a fancy brunch is necessary, and when that time comes, you may as well just go for it at Nobu. The day we discovered Nobu Malibu’s brunch menu (exclusive to this location) was one of the happiest days of our life. This may just be the most prime real estate on the coast – you actually feel like you’re brunching on the ocean. Nobu’s brunch menu is good enough that you can skip your usual rock shrimp order (we promise you’ll be more than fine without it) and go for the sliders and kaya toast instead.
Although it’s tiny and parking is really annoying (then again, when isn’t it), The Tripel in Playa del Rey still stands as one of our favorites. They have a ridiculously long and impressive selection of beers on tap in addition to standard brunchy drinks. This is a great date spot for a daytime date, or even a solo meal (bar seating is an option). If the brunch date goes well, there is a serious dive bar next door to continue the party.
There basically is no Brentwood Country Mart without Farmshop. It’s cute, it’s quaint, and after you enjoy your omelet you can buy a $15 block of cheese at the market on your way out. Expensive cheese aside, FarmShop is perfect for a post-SoulCycle brunch with friends.
Scopa is currently one of the hottest spots on this stretch of Washington Blvd, even at brunch. This is not the type of place you can roll up in yoga pants and the tank top you slept in and try to get away with the “I just worked out” look. You’ll want to look your best while sipping on something from their brunch-specific drink menu and eating their impossibly crispy biscuits. Big groups will love it here.
Ask anyone where to have brunch in Venice? Nine times out of ten Sunny Spot will be your answer. The atmosphere is really the key reason to brunch at Sunny Spot – it’s beachy and vaguely hipster-y (remember you’re in Venice) without being obnoxious. And for $17, you get bottomless mix-and-match Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, and rum punch. Game on.
26 Beach is the perfect place to go for a large group brunch – we can almost guarantee the main dining area will be filled with big tables of girls (presumably with hangovers and bedhead from the previous night) chugging mimosas and ordering salads and fries. Your out-of-towner 20-something cousins will also love it here. It’s worth going just to witness the really interesting décor that can only be described as shabby chic on meth.
French Market Café is a lesser-known spot on the Abbot Kinney brunch scene. It’s one of those neighborhood places that only locals seem to frequent. They probably keep it quiet because they don’t want any non-Venice riff-raff infiltrating. But luckily someone let us in on the secret that is French Market Café and its really incredible patio, and now we can’t get enough of the cheval on a baguette.
The Anchor originally gained street cred for its lobster roll (which is delicious), but it’s also hands-down the best brunch spot on Main Street. The biscuits and gravy are a must-order. Their playlist also deserves mention – it’s got everything from Tom Petty to vintage Bruce Springsteen. Another bonus? They offer bottomless micheladas or mimosas for $14.
Just steps from the Amish street performer who sings Bob Dylan covers in front of the massive Victoria’s Secret on the promenade lies The Misfit. Their fried chicken is some of the best west of the 405 and they bring salted chocolate chip cookies to your table with your check. Insider tip: ask your server for a few of those cookies to go. They always say yes.
If you can manage to hurdle the strollers and walking canes that populate the sidewalks of Montana Avenue on a weekend, Art’s Table is worth a shot. Its outdoor space is coveted in this part of town. So grab one of their tables that line tenth street, soak up the sun and watch people walk in and out of the holistic store across the street while you day drink prosecco and eat short rib hash.