seriously. scott & i say so.
tell your friends you heard it here first.
*already-in-a-relationship or married date night. do not attempt on a first date.
:: why ::
though i love swanky spots, we're not club-goers that need to be seen at a trendy spot. and while we love good food, we're not foodies yearning to try the next big thing, like molecular gastronomy or the "it" celebrity chef's new spot.
brunch is often outdoors, with sunshine and a breeze. bonus!
brunch is softer on the wallet. score!
brunch is especially good for two vegetarians and one non-drinker. check!
the only problem with brunch? there's often a wait and when you finally get seated, you're stuck sitting just inches away from the butts of the people waiting for their table, while they stare at you, hoping for you to vacate your table as soon as possible. i love doughboys, but it's true. or, other good spots have seating indoors so you miss that sunny, breezy vibe. m street kitchen on main st in santa monica or village idiot on melrose fall into this category (though their heavenly banana ricotta pancakes make a visit worth it, regardless).
that's why i'm so happy we discovered and fell in love with brunch on the terrace at the crescent hotel yesterday morning.
:: where ::
the crescent is a boutique hotel on crescent drive in beverly hills. for you locals, it's just a block south of where they're doing construction for the new annenberg center for performing arts, near the courthouse and city hall.
brunch is served on their outdoor terrace, which is in front of the building, directly outside of the hotel lobby and bar. pictured, top left, you can see the fabric panels, walling off this area.
boutique hotels are what you make them, both as an overnight guest or a dining visitor, like we were. they can go so right or so wrong. lucky for us, the experience was so, so right.
in short, it was amazing.
i ordered a peach bellini, sat back and let l.a. drift away. the two drinks may have helped, but by the end of the meal, i was telling scott that i felt like we were on vacation outside of the city.
:: what ::
we were started off with lemon scones with rhubarb filling. then we split the mini pancakes small plate. brulee banana, candied pecans, whipped maple butter. my sweet tooth was in love with these.
kabocha squash omelette, kabocha squash, kale, tomato confit, goat cheese, corn avocado relish and the prosciutto omelette, creme fraiche, mushrooms, truffle oil.
obviously, as vegetarians, we held the prosciutto on that second one, which may seem like a pointless order, but with the mushrooms alone it was perfect. savory and rich, but not heavy. the squash omelette was our favorite dish of the day. i've had omlettes and scrambles with similar ingredients, but this went above and beyond.
everything was so fresh and flavorful. seriously, every bite i'd look at scott like, "can you believe this?!" the salads on the side of the omelettes were sprinkled with a vinaigrette and salt and somehow this simple combo amounted to so much more than i expected. not an afterthought but a side crave-worthy on its own.
and if that weren't enough, we were so kindly treated to the pain perdu, with whipped maple cream cheese, minus the usually-included candied bacon bits. though you could make it your entree, it was a perfect shared "dessert" for the table.
the setting and food was perfect, but i give a lot of credit to our waitress, daheli, who was vibrant and super friendly. in an intimate setting like this, service like that makes all the difference.
:: when ::
as in, when you go, or when we go next time...
though we have to stick with meat-free dishes, other diners were gobbling down the breakfast burrito and i heard the stuffed peppers are amazing. and while i loved my bellinis, word is their bloody marys are the drink to order!
as for us, the waffle panini totally piqued scott's interest. and, we'll be eating far less! this brunch was our breakfast, lunch, and half our dinner as well, considering we didn't eat again until we nibbled on some veggies around 7pm!
cheers to the chef, lenora! she's too pretty to be hidden in the kitchen, but with her back there, we will be returning very soon!