Whilst breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, I hate brunch. I’ve always wanted to like it after all, what’s nicer than meeting friends for brunch at the weekends? But the problem is, if you combine breakfast and lunch, you end up missing a meal! This is not a good thing.
Not only that, in reality brunch really is just breakfast or lunch – you either end up with something eggy or just a boring old lunch dish.
Saying that, I’ve had some pretty great weekend brunches (and have made up for it with afternoon tea later in the day) whilst we’ve been travelling and so perhaps brunch is on the road to redemption with me.
The main reason being that I’ve discovered the key to a good brunch is courses. Yes, that’s right, a starter and a main, and possibly even dessert.
On the Saturday morning that Luis and Sergio were leaving LA, we drove over to Brentwood Country Mart, a lovely little collection of shops and restaurants dotted around two large, sun-filled courtyards, and had brunch at Farmshop, a restaurant and as the name suggests, a food shop.
I was very happy to see there were dishes to start with as well as main brunch plates so I ordered us chopped chicken liver with grapes, caper berries and sourdough and a big platter of speck with marinated melon and burrata.
The chicken liver was the stand out dish – rich and creamy, with deep livery undertones, topped with fresh herbs.
We then each ordered a main dish – I chose the frittata with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, squash and crispy squash blossoms – the goat cheese and squash blossoms really made this dish, as did the copious amount of olive oil drizzled over the plate. Luis had homemade pastrami (which was delicious and just melted in your mouth) with heirloom cauliflower, beans, wild mushrooms, eggs sunny side up and green tomato ketchup – great dish. Sergio had the shirred eggs with chorizo, wild (and bitter) greens, chickpeas and yoghurt – basically the eggs were baked with all the ingredients around them, resulting in a lovely heavy, warming dish, with eggs still runny. Simon ordered coddled eggs, which were served in a small bowl and sprinkled with mushrooms, with a side of smoked salmon, and served simply with toast.
We also tried a big bowl of greek yoghurt with homemade granola and a big bowl of fresh berries – also incredibly fresh and amazing. Really love these farm to table concepts and wish we had them in HK!
Brentwood Country Mall
225 26th Street Santa Monica, CA 90402