brunch

LA Weekly’s Brunch at the Races was quite a treat. Brunch is my all time favorite — I love breakfast, and adding the lunch element heightens the experience. Having never really been into the horse racing scene, I can confidently say the only times I went to Santa Anita Park was for food events. Arriving to the back of the park, I got my coffee mug and was ready for some great eats.

Squid ink bread with lox and yogurt. #sundayfunday

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My first bite and one of the best bites of the event was Status Kuo’s squid ink bread with lox and yogurt. It was so flavorful and a nice play on the classic bagels and lox.

The waffles at the @ggetLA booth was insane!!! #sundayfunday

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Go Get ‘Em Tiger’s waffles with berries blew my mind. The waffle was so light and crispy. I have never had a waffle like this before. It did feel a bit more eggy than flour-y. It was so nice and delicious.

This donut and coffee cream from @superbafoodandbread was bomb. #sundayfunday

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The donut and coffee cream from Superba Food + Bread was something else! The shot of donut and coffee infused cream tasted was great.

This Hainan chicken was superb!! Thanks @senor_gionni

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Johnny Lee killed it with his Hainan chicken dish. The chicken was perfectly tender and moist and the rice was seasoned just right. The ginger and the sauce all mixed to make a perfect bite each time. Full of flavor indeed. Better than Savoy? I think so.

Poppy + Rose had my favorite dish of the event. I know its just a chicken sandwich, but each and every part was perfect. The biscuit was light and fluffy/flakey. The fried chicken was flavorful and juicy — and the pickle was perfect and balanced this whole thing out the best way possible.

Fluffy pancakes & donut muffins from @SweetButterLA with the best display #Brunch at the races #sundayfunday

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The buttermilk pancakes from Sweet Butter Kitchen was a surprise. I tried making pancakes a number of times, and mine never come out this soft and fluffy. Simple and delicious is the name of the game here, and went well with my cold brew from Jones Coffee Pasadena.

The event was quite nice, and seeing the horses at the end was special. It kind of reminded me of LA Weekly’s previous event, Pancake Breakfast. The outdoor venue was refreshing and of course, spacious. Brunch is served!

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Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Vegas. Saving up for a wedding and paying off student loans isn’t something one should take lightly. As for me, my trips to Vegas have been somewhat not as frequent. Fortunately, I have my blog to remind me of the wonderful places I ate at. One my latest trip out, I visited the Encore and fell in love with the property. Before, I assumed it was exactly these me as the Wynn, but it was quieter and definitely more my style. For a nice brunch, I found Society Cafe. The menu and price was that of a cafe (affordable), but the inside decor was impressive and elegant.

We started off with Pretzel bread sticks with mustard butter. These were perfect as starters. The pretzel had a tough skin and a soft inside. The mustard butter was and is an amazing invention. Fatty butter mixed with the acidic mustard was a perfect condiment for the pretzels. The salty, soft, and mustardy treat was a nice start.

We came here for the ultimate steak and eggs sliders. Though we came at the cusp of breakfast ending and lunch starting, the chef graciously prepared this for us. The bacon cheddar muffin hosted filet mignon, scrambled eggs, and creamed spinach. This really was a treat. I was thinking the steak would be too tough for the delicate ingredients inside, causing everything to spill out. The eggs and spinach was such a nice combination, but the filet minion was soft as can be. It was a very elegant, yet comforting kind of breakfast sandwich.

The Mac N Cheese Bites were quite an indulgence. The Mac and cheese bite by themselves were quite perfect themselves — cheesy and crispy. The truffle dipping sauce just created an explosion of flavors and even more creaminess. This was addicting and probably the mot memorable thing at Society Cafe.

We ended things with the frosted flake french toast. Topped with caramelized bananas and whipped cream, this cinnamon heavy, buttery French toast was such a perfect ending. The little nuggets of frosted flakes created such a crunch. It soaked up all that butter and syrup — a perfect combination of sweet, crunchy, custardy goodness.

I liked Encore’s Society Cafe. The ambiance was nice a chic — it’s definitely an upscale breakfast/brunch dining experience. From the appetizer pretzel bread sticks to the comfort food made classy cuisine, this place has my vote. It doesn’t hurt that it’s at one of my favorite properties on the trip as well. Brunch didn’t get any better on the strip.

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Little Next Door – Parisian Brunch

by Franklin on February 15, 2014

Find your passport, grab a plane, and fly over to Paris. Grab brunch at your local brasserie, and there is your European/French breakfast with freshly baked bread and all the classics. Instead, drive down 3rd Street near Crescent Heights and you will be at Little Next Door. The French inspired brasserie is spot on with the colors, cuisine and bakery selections. I enjoyed the food and Little Next Door is a great contender amongst the many breakfast spots in this area.

We started things off with a caramel latte. Doctors say, drink water in the morning to jump start your internal organs. Well, caffeine does the same, except really fast. Coffee Latte over water always! We missed the latte art, but this large cup of caramel latte was delicious. Not too sweet, the coffee flavor was pure and delightful. It was creamy, delicious, and all I could wish was to have had this last with our dessert.

We were treated with some delicious bread. One could only assume this was all made in house. It was light, airy and perfect with the olive oil and balsamic mix. The mixture was sweet, acidic, and was zesty from the herbs and garlic inside. I was glad there wasn’t a lot of bread that was served — that would have been bad.

The Croque Madame is almost the perfect breakfast. It is cheesy, has ham, and of course, a runny egg on top. The grilled ham in this one was really nice in quality. You could taste the freshness and the actual pork flavor came out. This open faced sandwich made with whole wheat bread was a covered in amazingly melted and toasted cheese. The combination with the simple vinaigrette salad was satisfying. The simplicity of this dish is what made me enjoy it.

Eggs Benedict is another one of those classic brunch menu items. We opted for the Wild Mushroom Eggs Benedict. I appreciated the lightness and delicate Hollandaise sauce. It usually is a bit on the sour side or rich with too much butter. Theirs was just a compliment to this dish. The mushrooms were the star — it had a good bite to it with an earthy flavor. The egg was poached perfectly, and the egg yolk was warm and running. I appreciated that the bread was toast with crust cut off instead of an English muffin. This made it easy to cut and eat with a fork. The side house green salad went well with this dish.

Of course, we had to finish things off with macarons. My favorite was the caramel, something the waiter picked out for us. The other 3 were total misses. I tried a bunch of macarons in my day, and these were just so-so. The inside was moist, but a little too moist, almost wet. The outside crust was nice, but the inside was a bit off. A good macaron has a nice firm outer crust, and the inside should be light, then dense as you chew. Their flavors were ok, but the texture was a bit off. I wish I had a chance to try some of their other pastries and baked goods.

Little Next Door does a good job in bringing France to 3rd Street. The decor is on point, and the food items are delicious. I could only imagine food in France to be only slightly better (maybe a little more than slightly). It was relaxing eating brunch outside, people watching and seeing the cars wiz by on the street. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it is safe to say breakfast is king here.

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To me, Sunday is all about going to church. A close second is Sunday Brunch. At Duke’s in Huntington Beach, brunch is king. Eating glutonous amounts of food after church seems a little hypocritical, but brunch is a different story. And remember, you are on a food blog, not a religioun blog. Brunch is more about variety than over eating. Sometimes, I don’t want just eggs and bacon. A lot of the times, I want a little bit of everything. Thank goodness for Sunday Brunch. To top it all off, this was right in the middle of beautiful Huntington Beach. Sunday Funday, it is.

From all different varieties, the display was quite imppresive. My favorites were the roast beef, sausage, bacon, and eggs benedict. Forgot that I was a carnivore, did ya? Of course, every brunch needs an omelet bar, and theirs didn’t skimp on the ingredients. All of the food, ranging from the ginger shoyu chicken to the Hawaiian style Poke was fresh and delicious.

The desserts and pastries were plenty to choose from. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, chocolate dipped strawberries and fresh fruit stacked so high on tables. My favorite was the coconut french toast. The coconut gave it a nice crunchy and sweet texture on the outside. I don’t see why not all the restaurants do it like this.

Huntington Beach is easily one of my favorite beaches in Orange County. Sitting right at the start of the Huntington Beach pier, Duke’s is difficult to miss. Eating in the outside patio area, with the views of the ocean and beach all made for a great experience. Nothing beats brunch right in front of the water. Simply Beautiful.

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