Yes! The Brunchies are BACK! Not quite on the grand scale of years past but The 2021 Brunchies will take a new form to go along with these new times. I decided I did not want to go another year without my most beloved honorarium so rather than individual categories — since I was not able to try as many new brunch spots as I would in “normal” times — I’m going to share with you some of the brunches that simply stood out to me this year, as well as restaurants I’m hopeful to try in 2022. And then, additionally, a link to a few articles with solid “best of” recommendations worthy of checking out.
I also want to add how sad I’ve been in these last two years to see so many restaurants close down. Any small business that has fallen victim to Covid-19 is heartbreaking. So please, support small businesses as best you can. Order delivery and take-out from your favorite local eateries. Go dine out on their new patios and try their special take-home kits. Let’s not let so many of these place fall by the wayside.
AND PLEASE! If you have a brunch recommendation of your own, I would LOVE to hear it. Drop it in the comments or send it my way on social media.
STELLAR ATLAS was one of my favorite Quarantine-time discoveries. They produce fresh coffee and fresh bagels – all homemade in Burbank for pick-up or delivery. My personal favorite are the sesame seed bagels but definitely try his nugz and pretzel nugz.
When I ventured back out into the world, as it was in the Spring, one of the first restaurants I visited was WOOD AND WATER in Sherman Oaks. I had the gravalax benedict which comes on potato pancakes, topped with caviar. I’d perviously only been there for dinner, which was delicious. Glad to know they’re well-rounded.
In truth CONSERVATORY in WeHo was one of the only restaurants I repeat-visited this year, due in large part to their wonderful patio – and my friend Claire’s addiction to it. (I don’t even know if the restaurant even has indoor seating, actually.) The service rocks, the food is great and the cocktail program is top notch.
PIZZANA (locations in Brentwood and Beverly Hills) is not exactly a brunch spot but I was into it the moment I saw their Chef, Daniele Uditi beat Bobby Flay with his signature white pizza — the Cacio e Pepe pizza. On the off chance you don’t know what Cacio e Pepe is, the pizza is topped with provoloncino di agerola, fior di latte, parmigiano crema and cracked black pepper. (If you have to google any of that, I will not judge you.)
The breakfast sandwich at HIGHLY LIKELY is really tasty with its squishy soft bun, soft scrambled eggs and Wisconsin cheddar cheese sauce. It’s a gem of a coffee shop in Culver City.
Another Culver City gem in MARGOT with its rooftop patio. I had poached eggs and polenta with a roasted red pepper sugo and feta. I went back for dinner not long after and though it was a pricey evening, it was just as good as the brunch. And let me give you this tip: Use the valet parking. Finding street parking in that neighborhood is a nightmare.
So! There you have it. Thus concludes The Brunchies 2021. Perhaps because of the way and weight of our world, every meal out of the house felt so much more special this year and it’s my sincere hope that this feeling carries over into every meal with friends and family in the future. Many of us realize now that these are not moments to take for granted.
If you’re thirsty for more, here are some great articles to refer to:
- “100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America” (Big ups to THE FRONT YARD, which is in my neighborhood!)
- “Los Angeles Food Writers Share Their Go-To Restaurants in 2021“
- “The Most Exciting LA Restaurant Openings For 2021“
- “The Best Brunch Spots in LA” (as of November 2021)
And lastly, a short list of restaurants I am eager to try in 2022:
- The Rooftop by JG
- The Great Maple
- The Girl and the Goat
- Manuela (A note here: I have been to Manuela for dinner. It was one of the worst restaurant experiences of my life, no joke. But a handful of people I know insist their brunch is amazing and my curiosity is getting the better of me.)
- Poppy + Rose
- Ostrich Farm (if/when they reopen)
Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy new year. May the coming year be kind to us all.