Chances are, of all the meals you learned to cook during quarantine, brunch wasn’t one of them. After all, Hollandaise sauce is extremely complicated to make, and “bottomless mimosas” don’t feel quite as exciting when you’re drinking them out of a 2018 World Series commemorative cup. But if you love brunch as much as we do, maybe you’re itching to get back on the bandwagon this weekend. These five patios are great places to start your brunch binge.
We don’t have the building plans to back this up, but by our estimate, Ballast Point has the biggest patio in LA County. They’ve got three huge spaces over two levels, which is more than enough room to spread out, and they’ve also rearranged tables to ensure proper social-distancing guidelines (in case you’re wondering, yes, the pic above is old). The food is pretty much what you’d expect for a brewery (burgers, fish tacos, and flatbreads), but you’re really here to sit and look at the ocean for the first time since the beaches closed - the entire place is on Alamitos Bay, so you can stare at the boats going out of the harbor all morning. You’ll also drink some excellent Southern California-brewed beer, like the boozy imperial porter Victory At Sea, aged in High West barrels, or their classic, ubiquitous Sculpin IPA. Seating is first come, first serve.
A Pico Blvd. institution, My Two Cents is an ideal place to sit out on a sidewalk and eat brunch - because it inevitably involves LA’s best shrimp and grits. The buttery shrimp sit in a bath of Creole beurre monté, all over creamy corn parmesan grits. You should also get the grilled pork chop stuffed with plantains, and maybe the turkey meatloaf sandwich, too, if you’re really hungry. Wash it down with some of their iced tea, and top the meal off with whichever of their baked goods has just come out of the oven. Seating is first come, first serve.
We wouldn’t blame you if the only time you’ve ever been to Hinano is when you stumbled in at midnight for a burger and light beer. But the real ones know they also do breakfast every day from 8am-12pm, and if you’ve never had brunch there before, you’re missing out. Their breakfast menu reads like one at a small town diner - but instead of eating your Western omelette or BEC surrounded by surly boomers, you’re on the sidewalk, doing some of LA’s best people-watching by the Venice Boardwalk. They’ve also got 16 taps of beer, and some excellent Bloody Marys. Cash only - and first come, first serve seating.
West Adams’ Alta is an excellent place to get Southern classics, especially at brunch. Whether you prefer something sweet - like cornmeal pancakes with maple brown butter and salted caramel syrup - or something savory, like house-made biscuits with turkey gravy and fried eggs, you’ll be happy. They’re also serving a ton of our favorites from the dinner menu, including the addictive black-eyed pea fritters with spicy cilantro sauce and the perfectly crispy fried chicken. Check their website for more information, or call (323) 571-4999 to make a reservation.
If you want a low-key place to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, check out Loupiotte Kitchen. This tiny Los Feliz spot is an ideal place to spend the morning sitting at a streetside table, drinking French wine and watching Eastside dogwalkers. Make sure you have a macchiato before you start in on the wine list - their espresso drinks are tremendous. As far as food goes, share some pastries, a spinach-and-gruyere omelette, and the cheese and charcuterie board, and you’ll be very happy. Before you know it, four hours have gone by, and you’re six glasses of wine deep. That’s called a proper Saturday morning. Call ahead for a table - (323) 445-2738.