This place used to offer anything on the breakfast/brunch menu, if you came on Saturday or Sunday before 10AM, for $7.95! Ah, those were the days! And the food they offered for brunch was some of the most inventive in town. Now, you pay full price anytime all the time, but the food is still better than most breakfast joints. Their homemade granolas are incredible. I have it topped with fresh fruit and vanilla yoghurt. The fruit is always well selected and very fresh. They make about six different benedict dishes that all have the potential to make this place legendary. The ingredients are always fresh as can be and the hollandaise needs just a bit more lemon to make it perfect. However (and this is a BIG however), they really have an overall problem with plating. It effects everything they serve but it almost ruins the benedicts. I know hollandaise is a delicate suace that can't get too hot, but how you deal with that is too make sure you pull all the ingredients together quickly. Pull the eggs out of the poaching trays, get 'em atop those slabs of Canadian bacon and pour the sauce on and GET IT TO THE TABLE. The eggs should help warm the sauce a bit in this scenario, but it seems they are always putting luke warm sauce on top of eggs that have gotten cold. The dish comes to you tepid and makes you think it has been sitting around. Not too appetizing. Sad, as I know from the flavors they have a potentially great benedict. Too many other inventive and mighty tasty dishes to mention but I can say the pancakes are quite delicious! All portions are very generous and the prices, even though not as low as days of yore, are still really fair.
Honestly, this is some of the best food I've ever had in the Los Angeles area. The restaurant is a bit difficult to find, tucked on a side street in the heart of east downtown L.A., but if you know the restaurant State & Church, it's just across the street. It's a big red door. So, first let's talk about the beer. The menu is filled with artisan Belgian style beers, both imported and domestic. You can't go wrong, but talk to your waiter about what you like, or what you feel like having, and you'll get a good recommendation. Be bold - the selection changes all the time. I highly recommend the Ommegang Witte, if available - sweet, summery, just great. Then the appetizers. There are several mussel dishes to choose from - just pick one. I love the smoked salmon bruschetta - it's out of this world. And the mushroom risotto ... ay yi. I got a taste of the salmon sandwich and one of the burgers - they're pretty much fantastic. But let me tell you, it's all about the smoked wild boar sausage, with pureed roasted sweet potatoes, black kale and pearl onions. I haven't tasted boar sausage like this since my last meal in Venice (Italy, not the beach town). And if you're not adventurous for the boar, head straight for the grilled smoked salmon and taste a bit of heaven. Seriously, this is my new favorite restaurant.
f you like the Golden Gopher in Downtown LA, you'll probably like Seventh Grand Whiskey Lounge. The place is pretty cool... it's situated right between Olive and Grand on 7th Ave... the neon sign is a bit hard to see. Parking wasn't the easiest of tasks and they don't have valet parking so try and find parking where you can, or arrive early. The great thing about the place is that it's cool, happening, and there is no cover! The bar is on the second floor, so they'll card you on the first and you'll walk up a flight of stairs carpeted in a hip dark plaid. At the top of the stairs you'll notice that one of the walls has got a large 3 shelf cabinet that's filled with Maker's Mark Whiskey. I went on a Saturday night and they have a DJ spinning some music. Near the DJ is the private VIP room which is sometimes roped off for parties, and next to that is the pool table. For you smokers there is a long patio that runs along side the building with plenty of tables and outdoor seating. It's cool, but for a non-smoker like me... I didn't stay out there too long. The drinks were nice and strong and there's a wide variety of beers on tap. All in All a cool place to hang out without breaking the bank on cover and overly priced drinks.