Choose-your-own-adventure books were overwhelming as a kid. Did you pick the right ending? Is there a right ending? Why doesn’t the author just write the ending? Being told what to do isn’t always a bad thing, and that goes for restaurants too.
With four different concepts all under one roof, Playa Provisions is the choose-your-own-adventure book of LA restaurants. But unlike the difficult task of deciding the plot of a book that involves an irritable abominable snowman, the stakes at Playa Provisions are low, and there is no wrong way to do it.
Walk into this bright beachside spot in Playa Del Rey and you’ll see the casual order-at-the-counter cafe with a large seating area, a colorful front patio, and a separate ice cream shop. There’s also a marketplace full of cookbooks, kitchenware, and more bottles of aromatic bitters than you ever thought existed. Go past all that and you’ll get to Dockside, their sit-down restaurant with a dinner menu, a full bar, and another patio with fire pits. Oh, and there’s also a hidden whiskey bar in the back.
At first, you won’t know what to do or where to sit or how to tell if one area is better than the others. But while Playa is broken up into different spaces, with different names, all of which are open at different times of the day, it’s easiest to think of it as one big restaurant. Because at the end of the day, the same solid menu exists in every space. You just get to decide where you want to eat it.
Playa Provisions is open for all three meals, and while their dinner is solid, the best time to be here is during the day. Their breakfast, brunch, and lunch menu has daily salads and granola bowls for your bitter healthy friends, a kids menu for your... kids, and delicious sandwiches because your beach body is what it is this year. Playa’s breakfast sandwich, topped with a huge sausage patty, a fried egg, collard greens, and hot sauce, is one of the better things you can eat in the morning on the Westside. The patty melt is sloppy and delicious. And though theirs is not the greatest lobster roll you’ll ever have, you won’t find one stuffed with more lobster meat. Everything is fairly well-priced, and ideal for a post-beach carbo load.
Playa Provisions might seem like too many concepts under one roof, but it’s actually just a laid-back neighborhood spot that leaves the adventure up to you. Without involving any abominable snowmen.
Pastries and donuts rotate daily at Playa Provisions, but if these are here the day you come, get them. And get a bunch for later too.
With a massive turkey and bacon sausage patty, a fried egg, collard greens, and hot sauce all on a perfect ciabatta bun, this is a must-order.
Topped with house BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, gruyere, and arugula, this patty melt is rich and sloppy with a little bit of a kick at the end. The marble rye bread it’s all sandwiched between is excellent as well.
Cajun Shrimp and Crab Benedict
This isn’t a bad dish, but it’s overall lack of flavor is going to leave you underwhelmed. It needs a lot more spice and a little less hollandaise.
Not the greatest lobster roll you’ll ever have, but completely stacked with lobster meat. We wouldn’t run out of the house for this, but if you’re starving, and craving some lobster in your mouth, this will do the trick.
Playa Mai Tai
Hit the showers, mimosa. The Playa Mai Tai is here and it’s what you want to drink at brunch. It’s not something you should order four of, but the pineapple-rum-other good stuff mix is all we need on a foggy Saturday morning.