Marina del Rey’s newest breakfast spot turns the most important meal of the day into a celebration

By Jessica Koslow

Bru’s Wiffle 3105 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey | (310) 881-9162 | bruswiffle.com

The Chocolate Waffle Party at Bru’s Wiffle is a celebration of Oreos, whipped cream and chocolate sauce

I remember the day I drove down Washington Boulevard and saw the sign for Bru’s Wiffle.

“Wha? Where’sa Café Buna?” I blurted out to myself.

Turns out, Café Buna has eased on down the road to the space formerly occupied by Joni’s Coffee Rosters, and leaving room for this new casual breakfast spot in Marina del Rey.

And if there’s anything I love as much as pancakes, it’s waffles. Lucky for me, Bru’s Wiffle specializes in both (more pancakes coming soon).

“My full name is Ebru,” says owner Ebru Fidan Caplan. “My friends started to call me Bru. When I was looking for a name for my restaurant, one of my friends said, ‘What about Bru’s Waffle?’ I wanted something different. My other my friend said, ‘What about Bru’s Wiffle? It sounds like waffle.’ I loved it!”

This past February, my husband’s birthday was creeping up, and I wanted to plan something special. My husband and I have many things in common — one of which is our love of waffles. I invited our whole extended family to brunch at Bru’s Wiffle.

The menu options were impressive. Even though it wasn’t his birthday, my dad celebrated with the banana split waffle loaded with ice cream, whipped cream, bananas, strawberries and chocolate sauce. My husband ordered the Smoked Salmon Scramble, a waffle topped with eggs, mozzarella, smoked salmon and slices of avocado, sprinkled with diced red onion. It truly felt like a party as the dishes paraded out of the kitchen to our table.

By the end of the meal, everyone at our table was glowing with a satiated smile. But what’s a brunch birthday celebration without a song and a sweet for the birthday guy?

Bru’s Wiffle knew what to do. Our eyes popped as a plate overflowing with chocolate gooey goodness arrived in front of my husband with a lit candle: It was a chocolate pancake stuffed with chocolate whipped cream and peanut butter, dripping with housemade chocolate sauce and dotted with Oreos.

Caplan was raised in Turkey. When she was a young girl, her parents owned a boutique hotel on the country’s Mediterranean coast. Caplan helped her mom cook, and the two would often introduce their guests to Turkish cuisine.

Caplan studied hotel management in college and her career path took her on a 25-year journey in the restaurant business, working long hours for lunch and dinner.

“I wanted to make waffles, pancakes and crepes,” she says. “I love waffles!”

Caplan loves chocolate, too. As evidenced by my husband’s chocolate birthday surprise and the house favorite “Chocolate Waffle Party — a chocolate waffle stuffed with butter cream and topped with Oreos, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

In 1995, Caplan came to L.A. for language school and fell in love with the city. Five years later, she followed her heart and moved here, and in 2010 she opened the Santa Monica location of Bru’s Wiffle.

“I love every single dish on the menu,” she says. “I created the menu and put everything I like. I love spicy food. So my favorites are Chicken on Fire [waffle + grilled onions, grilled jalapeños, Oaxacan cheese and Bru’s blazing sauce] and beef chorizo quesadilla bun burger, but also Bru’s French Toast [strawberries, bananas, blueberries, mango, peanut butter, fresh whipped cream and cinnamon sourdough bread], the avocado fries and the grain bowl [farro, barley, bell peppers, spicy crispy chickpeas, kale, crispy Brussels sprouts, cucumber, feta cheese, avocado].”

The restaurant makes everything fresh daily, from the chocolate sauce with real Belgian chocolate to the freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice.

“There’s no microwave in our kitchen,” Caplan assures. “I believe good, fresh ingredients make a huge difference.”

This new local favorite, open daily except for Mondays, recently started serving mimosas, Bloody Marys, sangria and the local Venice beer Lucky Duck. Their happy hour is from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, with items like Hello Morning (crispy chicken, waffle, egg any style) for $11.95 and the Breakfast Sando (eggs, bacon, turkey sausage patty and cheddar cheese on a milk bun served with breakfast potatoes) for $10.95.

Café Buna might be a tough act to follow, but Bru’s Wiffle has wooed the neighborhood with its tasty breakfast, brunch and lunch fare — and waffles.

“I love Marina del Rey,” says Caplan. “Our neighbors come and welcome us. I feel like we have a new family here.”

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