Nothing cures a hangover like a Sunday Brunch

Posted in Black Book, LAX, Sustenance on November 23rd, 2010 by adallal

Sunday morning brunch is a special occasion.  It’s an opportunity to recover, rehydrate, reunite and recollect on the prior evening’s festivities – a great start to the homestretch of the weekend before the workweek.  To accomplish this you only need a few simple components: adult beverages, excellent food, and a great atmosphere.  La Grande Orange and 3 Square Cafe and Bakery have those bases covered.

La Grande Orange

If you’re in dire need of a bloody mary to cut your hangover (as I often do), La Grande Orange is a perfect spot to enjoy a Sunday brunch and recover.  Besides the fact they offer a full bar and serve a mean bloody, they also have great breakfast items that (along with the adult beverage) will have you contributing back to society in no time.  My favorites on the menu are the Commuter sandwich and the Acapulco Omelet (the raw jalapenos will fire you up).  Finally, as you’re gnawing on the raw jalapenos and sipping your bloody, you can catch the early football game on the TV inside the bar.  Food, beverages, football – I’m back baby!

3 Square Cafe and Bakery

Weisswurst and bratkartoffeln – it’s extremely rare to come across this German rendition of veal sausage and potatoes here in Los Angeles.  3 Square Cafe and Bakery on Abbot Kinney has perfected it.  If it is food that you need to revive during your Sunday brunch, this is the place to go.  In addition to the grilled veal sausage, 3 Square also features huevos rancheros, German pancakes, and french toast.  You will undoubtedly find yourself eating embarrassing quantities of food.  Need to wait for a table?  No problem – head to the bakery next door for some java, pastries (one of the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll have), or maybe their famed pretzel roll.  Finally, if you do need a little liquid to help cure the hangover, 3 Square offers mimosas, bellinis, and a selection of wine.  Admittedly, none of those can cure a hangover like a bloody, but they’re a nice addition to the food at 3 Square.

Santa Monica Spanish Tapas

Posted in Black Book, LAX, Sustenance on October 9th, 2010 by adallal

Absolutely unstoppable.

I have been to Manchego a handful of times and the experience has been consistently amazing.  The restaurant does not take reservations and does not have a liquor license (no corkage fee), so come with a bit of patience and bring your own booz (there’s a liquor store that sells wine a few doors down in case you forget).  If there is a wait to be seated, I recommend putting your name/cell number down and heading to Salute (another great restaurant/wine bar) across the street for a glass of wine – someone from Manchego will call you when your table is ready.

As for the food, they feature a number of different tapas-style dishes that are Spanish and Mediterranean based.  If the menu feels a bit overwhelming, ask the waiter to bring out a bunch of his/her favorites.  I did this the last time I was there and it introduced me to a number of dishes that I hadn’t tried before.  To be clear, there isn’t a single dish that I’ve had there that wasn’t incredible.

Finally, the service is spot-on.  They’ll do anything they can to accommodate you with seating, they control the flow of items coming out perfectly (including the sequencing), and they are extremely attentive.

It is currently high on my list of restaurants in Santa Monica, so I couldn’t recommend more.

2510 Main St # B
Santa Monica, CA 90405-3583
(310) 450-3900