Cafe Stella, Silverlake

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Neighborhood: Silverlake Wait Time: No wait time at all at 11am. Scene: Your typical Silverlake crowd, with a variety of ages – 20-somethings to young families to older couples. They’re all just really cool, ya know? Oh, and Donald Glover was there. You’ve Gotta Have: Café Stella is home to the WORLD’S BEST BENEDICT. Seriously. You can get it with salmon or benedict (I got salmon). But the real kicker is the “ptato nest” it’s served on. So perfectly crunchy and delicious. Their avocado toast is also great. Booze: Okay, so we got here and we looked around and… no one was drinking. No booze?! Sacrebleu! My fearless dining companion, Lindsey, asked the waitress and never fear – yes. They do have breakfast cocktails. Ya just gotta ask! I had a really great bloody mary and Lindsey had a mint julep. Thumbs. Up. In the Area: As mentioned in my Cliff’s Edge post – a ton! I love Ragg Mopp Vintage and ReForm School. We headed over to The Black Cat afterwards for another drink (or two) and LOVED it there. Super chill, awesome bartender and great drinks. The Final Verdict: All in all, THE spot for a perfect Saturday/Sunday Funday. Lindsey and I are constantly gchatting/texting about how we, “want Café Stella.” Need to come back ASAP!

Brunch Hours: Daily, 9am – 3pm
Menu: http://cafestella.com/brunch
Address: 3932 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029 (tucked behind Intelligentsia)
Parking: Street

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Cliff’s Edge, Silverlake

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Neighborhood: Silverlake Wait Time: We made a reservation for 11am. It starts to fill up around noon. Scene: Lots of cool people who wear sunglasses even when it’s super cloudy out (intimidating). Seriously though, the setting is tree house-esque and calming. Very cozy and beautiful. You’ve Gotta Have: I got the Pork Belly Hash, which had bacon, potatoes, brussels sprouts, feta and a fried egg. It was great, and a sensible portion. Booze: No booze today, but the coffee is great! I think I had at least five cups. In the Area: Lots of cute shops down the street at Sunset Junction, including a GREAT vintage one… and a cheese one! What else do you need in life? The Final Verdict: Would definitely come back. And it only took 25 minutes to/from the Westside via the freeways!

Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Menu: http://www.cliffsedgecafe.com/brunchmenu.html
Address: 3626 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Parking: Valet or street
PS: Check out my one of my brunch buddies’ blog at sideofginger.com!

Purple Palms at The Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Springs

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Neighborhood: Palm Springs Wait Time: We made a reservation, but decided to sit at the outside bar instead of sitting inside. If you make a reservation online, I’d try writing “outside preferred” in the comments section to make sure you get a coveted poolside table! If not, the bar was completely empty at 11:30am – no biggie. Scene: Lots of laid-back vacationers. My kind of place. The relaxation just OOZES out of everyone. You’ve Gotta Have: I got the Classic Eggs Benedict which was so. Effing. Good. I got the hollandaise on the side, but man, that was some QUALITY hollandaise. The future husband got the Huevos Rancheros which was also A+. The fried tostada was a nice touch. Even the bartender said it was his favorite dish there. We came on a Sunday – they offer a Champagne Brunch for $40, but you can also order a la carte, which is what we did. (Who wants all of those carbs, anyway? ;)) Booze: Pretty good drinks here. Not as cheap as other places in Palm Springs, but you’re paying for the delightful ambience, which is completely worth it. In the Area: You’re in the heart of Palm Springs. Tons to do and see here. The Final Verdict: Oh, man. We left here and couldn’t stop talking about how it was the most delicious, most delightful brunch ever. Seriously. Come here.

Brunch Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am-11am; Sunday Champagne Brunch 10am – 4pm
Menu: Breakfast: colonypalmshotel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/PurplePalm-breakfast1.pdf
Sunday Brunch: colonypalmshotel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RB-Brunch-Menu-2014.pdf
Address: 572 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Parking: Valet or street.

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MB Post, Manhattan Beach

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Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach Wait Time: They take reservations! Scene: Casual, with lots of young people who look like they spend a good amount of time on the beach. The décor here is rad, too. You’ve Gotta Have: Holy mother of God. This makes TWO amazing brunch places in a row now. I promise my standards haven’t gone down; I’ve just bumped these restaurants up in the queue of posts because they are that good! I got the frittata with potato, baby broccoli, white cheddar and piperade. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life (and that’s not just my post-Spin class belly talking). Usually frittatas are pretty predictable, but this one was a pleasant surprise. It was bursting with flavor! Note that MB Post does “family style” servings, so I had plenty to bring home. Booze: I did not have booze (I know, gosh, on a roll lately), but they have way too many brunch cocktails to list at $12 each. I will come here again and test them out for you guys, promise. In the Area: There is a ton in this area – shopping, beach, etc. I must admit – I fell in love with Manhattan Beach during this brunch jaunt. What a charming little area! The Final Verdict: Definitely worth the trek from LA for.

Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Menu: http://eatmbpost.com/assets/menus/3/original/Brunch.pdf
Address: 1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Parking: Lots of parking garages and metered street parking in the area.

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Bru’s Wiffle, Santa Monica

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Neighborhood: Santa Monica Wait Time: About 20 minutes at 10:30am-ish. We were seated earlier because we sat outside. Prepare yourself for a wait, but it’s SO worth it! Scene: Chill crowd – it was a lot of 20/30-somethings on the day we went. You’ve Gotta Have: Well, it’s a waffle place, so it’s only appropriate to have something with waffles in it, right? I got the vegetarian eggs benedict with portobello mushroom, tomatoes, & spinach on mini waffles. I got the hollandaise on the side as I was trying to be healthy, and I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t really care for hollandaise. Anyway. It. Was. Amazing. So good that I was thinking about it all weekend after I had it. And my mouth is watering a bit just typing this up. I need to have this again. Booze: I did not have booze, but they have a variety of mimosas, bellinis and beermosas for $9 - $10. In the Area: You can head to the beach after! It’d be a long-ish (but not impossible) walk, or a quick drive. Final Verdict: This is a new Westside fave. I will most definitely be back… and soon! This place was so good that I’ve decided I need to add a rating system to this blog. It gets 5/5! =)

Brunch Hours: Tuesday - Friday 8am - 3pm; Saturday & Sunday 8am - 4pm; Closed on Mondays
Menu: bruswiffle.com/menu
Address: 2408 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Parking: Street parking – I had no trouble finding a metered spot.

Elmer’s, Palm Springs

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Neighborhood: Palm Springs Wait Time: I’ve never had to wait for a table here, no matter what time I’ve arrived! Scene: Elmer’s has a diner feel and a mixed crowd of young people, families and retirees. Apparently it’s a pretty big chain in the northwest, and the Palm Springs location is the one random outlier! Ask the hostess to sit on the porch – it’s quieter and you can enjoy the Palm Springs sunshine. (View pictured below.) You’ve Gotta Have: My staple here is the Avocado Benedict. I do love a good benedict. It’s pretty simple – two poached eggs, Hollandaise, avocado, and tomato on top of English muffins. It’s perfect though, and I think I’ve ordered it like 10+ times, at least. Get it, you won’t be sorry! Booze: They serve booze, but I’ve actually never had it here. Sorry, folks. In the Area: This restaurant is smack dab in the middle of The Ace Hotel & Swim Club and The Saguaro. Head to The Ace for an A+ bloody mary after your meal! Final Verdict: I keep coming back, and back, and back…

Brunch Hours: Daily, 6am-9pm
Menu: eatatelmers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Elmers_Core_Menu_2012.pdf
Address: 1030 E. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA, 92264
Parking: Free lot.

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The Village Idiot, West Hollywood

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Neighborhood: West Hollywood Wait Time: No wait time at 11:30am, and plenty of tables available even when we left around 1:30ish. Scene: Calm and quiet… if you’ve been here at night, you know it’s usually quite the opposite! It’s a great place to chat and catch-up without having to yell across the table. Also, this is a great place to come if you don’t want to wait for two hours to get a table at Blu Jam, which is a couple doors down. You’ve Gotta Have: The Chicken Fried Steak with gravy, home fries and two fried eggs. I almost didn’t get it to be, ya know, healthy, but I couldn’t resist. And it was magical. I want to eat it again right now. MAGICAL, I tell you. Booze: As if the Chicken Fried Steak wasn’t enough – their bloody mary here is top notch, and priced very reasonably at $5. Ask for it spicy. If you’re in a bubbly mood, you can get a bottle for $15 with OJ, raspberry puree or peach puree. They have a few other brunch booze specials as well. In the Area: The shops on Melrose, and the Melrose Trading Post (flea market) on Sundays. Final Verdict: OMG OMG OMG THE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK. A++++.

Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Menu: villageidiotla.com/data/images/final_brunch2.jpg
Address: 7383 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Parking: Meter or free parking in the neighborhood (but pay attention to the signs/restrictions)

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The Misfit, Santa Monica

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Neighborhood: Santa Monica Wait Time: No wait time at 11:30am, but this place does get busy. They don’t take reservations, so get here early if you can… or shop at the Anthro across the street while you wait. (Convenient!) Scene: Great décor here… like a cozy library. There’s a small outdoor patio, too. You’ve Gotta Have: The Classic French Omelet, which has sautéed spinach, gruyere cheese and herbs… make sure you add the sautéed mushrooms! Also, their crispy chicken sandwich (which is technically on the lunch menu) is one of the best things I have EVER eaten. So. Good. Booze: I highly recommend the bloody mary – it’s great, and a reasonable price at $8. My dining companion got the “Lucy’s Spiked Lemonade,” which has Tito’s Vodka (THE BEST) and rosemary. Bonus – it was apparently happy hour, so the spiked lemonade was only $5. In the Area: The Misfit is right off the 3rd Street Promenade and very close to the beach. The Final Verdict: The Misfit is always a solid choice, albeit a small brunch menu. My benedict-loving self would approve of an addition in that area. ;)

Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Menu: themisfitbar.com/menu/brunch
Address: 225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Parking: Meter or one of the garages in the area

John O’Groats, Cheviot Hills

Neighborhood: Cheviot Hills Wait Time: 10 minutes at 9:30am for a table of seven. And yes, that time is much more breakfast than brunch, but we were eating with grandparents who get up at 5am. Scene: This is a homey, family-owned restaurant. Angela and Robert Jacoby opened it in 1982, and their son Paul joined the business soon after. You’ll see him here every morning greeting and seating patrons, and his enthusiasm and friendliness is contagious! As far as the crowd goes, you’ll see lots of Cheviot Hills fams getting their brunch on here. You’ve Gotta Have: John O’Groats has the best breakfast burrito on the west side. The “Latino Heat” has eggs, spicy turkey sausage, cheddar cheese and jalapeño chilies with sour cream, salsa and avocado garnish. It is perfect. And it comes with a side of home fries. Booze: You don’t really come here for the booze. In the Area: This is a neighborhood joint, but there is a park nearby and you can stroll through lovely Cheviot Hills to walk off brunch. The Final Verdict: My haiku dedicated to the breakfast burrito - Breakfast burrito / You are oh so good / Perfectly cheesy.

Brunch Hours: Daily, 7am-3pm
Menu: ogroatsrestaurant.com/west-la-breakfast
Address: 10516 Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064
Parking: Street parking

True Food Kitchen, Santa Monica

Neighborhood: Santa Monica Wait Time: About a 15 minute wait (which they said would be 25-35 minutes) at 12:45pm. Scene: Great décor. Lots of healthy lookin’, lululemon wearin’ (myself included, on that one) types. I’ve seen Diana Ross, Luke Wilson and Rachel Bilson here before, so odds are good that you’ll spot a celeb. You’ve Gotta Have: Oh, oh. Their huevos rancheros are oh so good. I had a split-second thought of getting their sweet potato hash as a side. I didn’t. Major tactical error. They’re really good and I still had room to spare after eating my huevos rancheros. (I really love food, okay?) Don’t make the same mistake I did. Booze: They don’t have bloody marys on the menu, but they can make them. And they make them well. So good. Probably because it’s organic tomato juice from tomatoes picked the day prior. Thumbs up. You can also get a mimosa if your heart desires (also not on the menu). Besides the typical brunch drinks, they have a variety of other fancy pants cocktails. And I’ve never had a cocktail at True Food I didn’t like. In the Area: Tons of shopping to shop off that buzz. The Final Verdict: Healthy. Delicious. Lots to do in area. Can’t go wrong.

Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Menu: foxrc.com/frcwp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/TFK_SantaMonica_Brunch_Menu.pdf
Address: 395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 172 Santa Monica, California 90401
Parking: Lot at Santa Monica Place. It can get pretty crazy, so make sure you allow for ample time to get in AND out of the garage – it’s taken me 30 minutes to exit before.

Because brunch is the best meal of the week.