Finding the Best Brunch in Los Angeles

Bagels and Coffee

Somewhere between the breakfast and lunch hour lies the nebulous brunch. Choosing between your favorite morning and midday meal time is not necessary when you can have a little bit of both.  It’s a difficult meal to take advantage of during the week, but when a lazy weekend arises, grabbing a beautiful brunch is a simple feat. From the Valley to the beach, there are a myriad of places that should satisfy your cravings.

Jack n’ Jill’s

342 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Jack n’ Jill’s is a Beverly Hills institution for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank while dining amongst celebrities.  This restaurant is always bustling with diners so it’s a good idea to arrive early; but if you do end up on hold, pour through the vast menu for an array of brunch eats.  And don’t worry—breakfast is served until close, so you don’t have to miss a thing.  Whether you come with a friend or a large group, the intimate dining space is full of seating for small and large parties alike.  When the place is packed, service may move a little slow, but each server always has a smile because customer service is important to everyone who works here.  With a variety of pancake and egg platters, omelets, hot cereals, soups, salads, and pizzas, you may be surprised by just how vast the offerings are.  Add on a few homemade mini blueberry muffins to your Honey Cured Ham and Eggs Combo, dip your spoon into Jack n’ Jill’s well-known Texas Steak Chili, or fork through the spicy Ginger Chicken Mango Salad and rosemary sourdough bread.  There are also hamburgers, paninis, and wraps to whet your appetite.  Definitely come hungry because Jack n’ Jill’s does not skimp on servings; leaving with a to-go box is always an option, too.  If you do have room at the end of your meal, take a look at the bakery case housing a varied selection of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes – cross your fingers that the Red Velvet Cupcakes are offered the day you visit -- you won’t be disappointed.  Prices range from $8-16 for dishes, which is quite a deal in Beverly Hills; but if driving to this part of town doesn’t appeal, there is a location in Santa Monica for the Westsiders.

Aroma Café

4360 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, California 91604

Many people who live near the intersection of Moorpark Street and Tujunga Avenue know what to expect when they venture anywhere near Aroma Café for brunch: a line.  Anyone who has experienced the occasional long waits also knows the key to getting a table is arriving early because Aroma Café doesn’t accept reservations. While Aroma Coffee & Tea Company, also known as the Aroma Café, boasts an impressive array of organic teas and coffees, the food is the real highlight.  The upside of waiting in line is that you’ll have plenty of time to read through a menu full of salads, melts, burgers, and of course, breakfast.  Breakfast is served until 2:30 pm, so sleeping in late is not an option if you want to enjoy this charming brunch spot.  All food orders are taken inside the main room, and diners are given a number to take to the table where a server will deliver the meal.  The exciting part is finding that elusive table.  We suggest seating in smaller groups, if possible, as seating for large parties may be difficult to secure.  If you like, you may find solace under the shaded trees in the back; if you’re into scoping the scene, fight for one of the street side spots.  And once you’ve secured that prized spot, enjoy the Sweet Griddled Brioche French Toast topped with bananas, the Prosciutto and Egg Panini with rosemary potatoes, the Grilled Chicken Breakfast Tostadas with fruit, and or the classic Egg Salad Sandwiches with smoked bacon.  If you’re, interested in a lighter dish, The Hulk might be a nice option—it has scrambled eggs, chicken breast, vegetables and whole grain toast.  Every meal is generously portioned and priced below $14, making for a very affordable feast.  Remember, Aroma Café is also no stranger to offering delectable desserts.  You may place your order for a healthy lunch, but it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be tempted by the monstrous slices of fresh cakes, brownies, and oversized cookies behind the glass case.  Resist if you can, but we’re betting you’ll give in on your next visit.

Rush Street

9546 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

Rush Street is the new kid on the dining block, and this restaurant-by–day-lounge-by-night is working hard to be a contender on the scene.  The team behind Rush Street  hopes to bring a little of Chicago to Los Angeles, and boasts the largest bar in Culver City -- with high backed booths, and heavy, dark tables, the space is reminiscent of the casual, lively bar scene on Rush Street in Chi-Town.  Combining gourmet bar food with a casual atmosphere, the eatery strives to offer a filling meal to anyone who is ready to give it a try.  It’s also primed to be a great game-watching spot during football season.  We suggest either arriving early or calling in a reservation if you want a good seat for the big game.  In early September brunch was added to the weekend menu, from 9:30 am-3:00 pm – the hefty Red-Eye Burger with cheddar, smoked bacon, and a fried egg; the Belgian Waffles with wild berry maple syrup; or the Spanish Tortilla with lobster, crab, shrimp, and chorizo, should be enough to satiate a hungry patron.  If lighter fare is in your sights, try the Seared Mediterranean Tuna Salad or Roasted Chicken Caesar salad.  Specialty pizzas are also on the menu, featuring flavors like margherita, BBQ chicken, and merguez with roasted peppers.  Wash it all down with any one of Rush Street’s rare microbrew beers, or try the house Bloody Maria,made with tequila, or the Hibiscus—sparkling wine, Chambord and a dash of cranberry juice.  Drinks hover around $8, and plates range between $9 and $16.  It’s a must try for anyone looking to expand their horizons in Culver City.

Café del Rey

4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Café del Rey offers the perfect view for a brunch by overlooking the water.  It may be positioned over a marina, but there is water nonetheless.  The restaurant offers a meal that can’t be beat; every Sunday, a three course prix fixe jazz brunch is offered from 10:30 am-2:30 pm.   On top of that, it includes unlimited champagne, sparkling cider or mimosas.  For $38, it’s well worth the price.  Some patrons may shy away from a previously decided menu, but Café del Rey has fashioned many choices for each course in order to appeal to a variety of tastes.  Start with the White Corn Chowder, the Crab Cakes with fennel and grapefruit, or the Steel Cut Oatmeal with candied walnuts.  Next, choose from at least ten entrées including the Grilled Asparagus Salad with mushrooms and fried egg, the Grilled Lamb Sirloin with polenta and roasted tomatoes, the Spinach Omelet with goat cheese, the Wild Mushroom Orecchiette with tarragon, or the Sirloin Burger with arugula and pickled onion.  If you’re not full by then, you might teeter into the stuffed zone once you choose between the Bread Pudding with a banana rum sauce and vanilla ice cream, the Chocolate Banana Crêpes, or the airy Lemon Vanilla Panna Cotta with rhubarb compote.   The morning mood is mellow and inviting to a local, more mature crowd.  The service is always friendly and eager to please.  Café del Rey brings a quiet, sophisticated, and well-priced meal option to the far Westside.

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