Three standout brunch destinations with happy surprises on the menu

By Angela Matano

When you live in L.A. it’s easy to focus on the negatives, like traffic and crowds, and to forget the many positives, like diversity and opportunity. Those last two come together in the wide variety of cuisines available around the clock to surprise and delight you; one example: brunch!

Forget ham and eggs: chefs have turned up this weekend meal, and unusual dishes abound. Whether you like your breakfast traditional (yes, eggs), fantastical (like a pastrami burrito) or even highfalutin (with champagne), the Westside caters to just about anyone’s taste — sometimes before you’ve even identified it for yourself. Talk about a place where dreams get made.

Stark’s
When someone offers you a dish called “The Cure” on a Sunday — specifically Sunday late morning after a late night — all you can do is say “thank you.” When it turns out that dish is a pastrami breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, smashed avocado, caramelized onions, cheese and roasted peppers, well then it’s time to sing to the heavens. The fresh chips and salsa are almost gilding the lily, but I’ll leave that job to the macroscopic house-made sticky bun. Truly enough for four people to share, the roll comes burnished with cinnamon glaze, laden with pecans and frosted with cream cheese. Consider the lily gilded.
1318 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey | (310) 437-7600 | starksrestaurant.com

Café Del Rey serves a variety of fresh oysters as the sea provides

Cafe del Rey
Champagne and oysters make any part of any day better, so why not begin your day extravagantly? The newly revamped Cafe del Rey showcases a ton of seafood options with a view of the marina that is to die for. Choose from a few options of the shellfish, like Fat Bastards from Willapa Bay or Compass Points from Samish Bay. Briny and plump, the freshness of the mollusks pairs exquisitely with the Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, a multi-vintage full of lively flavor. If you’re still hungry, indulge in lobster hash or smoked salmon eggs benedict. You won’t dwell on the world’s problems for at least the length of your time basking in such copious beauty.
4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey | (310) 823-6395 | cafedelreymarina.com

Yours Truly
Nothing screams of living the good life more than a leisurely brunch in Venice; it’s an Instagrammer’s delight. Mere mortals can still revel in the extremely fresh Market Lettuces salad, topped with chives, crème fraîche and crunchy lemon pepper breadcrumbs, or Nashville Hot Shrimp with cheesy grits, or the Rye Waffle with house-made ricotta and yuzukosho honey. Cocktails such as the Gold 75 — a blend of passionfruit, habanero, citrus, Prosecco and Cocchi Americano — practically sparkle on their way down your throat. If you get to Yours Truly early enough, there should be a limited amount of fresh cinnamon rolls.
1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | (310) 396-9333 | ytvenice.com.

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