Posts Tagged ‘Brunch’

Punch Bowl Social Denver Offers Pumped Up Brunch

Brunch at Punch Bowl Social Denver

Brunch at Punch Bowl Social Denver

ShopEatSleep contributor Eros David has moved to Denver, expanding our coverage. Stay tuned for more from Colorado!

As the original location of the nationwide watering hole playground, Punch Bowl Social Denver took over an old Big Lots building and made it a destination for craft cocktails and scratch kitchen entrees. On the corner of 1st Ave and Broadway in the historic Baker district, the place is hard to miss with big windows and a giant neon sign.

After teaming up with Top Chef’s Hugh Acheson to revamp the menu from standard bar fare to their own take on Southern-influenced entrees and side dishes, I dropped in to check out their brunch.

The food

For starters, it might be worth grabbing a table here just for Punch Bowl Social’s biscuits. That might be blasphemous to say with Denver Biscuit Company just a few blocks down the road, but PBS really did biscuits justice here. Served with a house-made jam, the buttery-not-oily biscuits are accented with a unique strawberry jam highlighted by hints of ginger, sambal and orange zest.

Biscuit at Punch Bowl Social

Biscuit at Punch Bowl Social

The always-popular chicken and waffles is a satisfying choice at PBS. The chicken is fried with no complaints as to the technique and even has a little kick toward the end of your bites. They tell me there are no special spices on the chicken, just garlic salt and iodized salt, so it might be more sodium than anything else. It’s a solidly executed dish that won’t disappoint, but it’s not my favorite version of chicken and waffles. (That distinction goes to Black Swan in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn).

Chicken and waffles

Chicken and waffles

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09 2017

Brunch gets fancy at Tanzy in Westwood

Tanzy Westwood

Tanzy Westwood

Tanzy, the Chef Bryan Podgorski-helmed restaurant housed inside the iPic Theater in Westwood, conveniently offers brunch to go along with your weekend matinee (there is an express menu available inside the movie theater, too).

Once inside and embraced by the wrapping tree branch decor, you’ll find sweet and savory on the brunch menu from Podgorski (The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro Las Vegas). My favorites are the brioche French toast, which is served bread pudding style, and the bacon and eggs raviolo with a soft poached hen egg, ricotta cheese, wilted spinach and bacon vinaigrette. Both are decadent options sure to satisfy. Getting the orange currant scone would also be a good choice.

Brioche French toast

Brioche French toast

Bacon and eggs raviolo

Bacon and eggs raviolo

Other items didn’t quite hit the mark for me when I visited Tanzy. Dishes were either too salty (corned beef hash, hash browns) or suffered from poor execution (pistachio shells in the Cali Colada). But these are easy fixes that hopefully have been made by now.

Another thing to note: bottomless strawberry mimosas for $14, and any fresh juice concoction on the menu can be turned into a cocktail. Sounds like a good time to me!

Note: This meal was hosted.


11 2014

Littlefork pleasantly surprises, launches brunch

Maple Eggs

Maple Eggs at Littlefork

By now you’ve probably heard of Littlefork, the months-old restaurant from A-Frame owner David Reiss and former Fraiche chef Jason Travi. But in case you haven’t, know that with its inventive and well-executed Atlantic Northeast menu that it’s one of the most exciting restaurants to hit Hollywood in a long time. And now Littlefork, which also has an outstanding cocktail menu from Chicago import Dino Balocchi, has just started offering everyone’s favorite meal — brunch.

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04 2013

Waking up in Echo Park with Brite Spot


I’ve passed by the 64-year-old Brite Spot diner in Echo Park numerous times, usually on the way to Dodger Stadium. I never thought much about it other than noting the sign was pretty cool. But when I heard that Dana Hollister, owner of One-Eyed Gypsy and Villains Tavern in the Arts District downtown and Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, had recently remodeled the restaurant and revamped the menu, I was intrigued.

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01 2013

Travelogue: La Jolla, California

La Jolla Cove's sea lions

La Jolla Cove’s sea lions

To celebrate our first wedding anniversary, Rory and I took a weekend trip down to La Jolla, just north of downtown San Diego. La Jolla, an affluent beach community that’s home to UC San Diego, is just a couple hours’ drive from Los Angeles, so it’s easy to either make a day trip or weekend out of a visit there.

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07 2012

The Inland Empire just got interesting with Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

When I think of restaurants in the Inland Empire, chains come to mind. But Ra Pour, a high-end restaurant and bar in Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens retail complex, has changed the way I think about dining in the I.E. (there are still a lot of chain restaurants, though).

Ra Pour, the jewel in restaurateur Karim Webb’s crown, is helmed by Executive Chef Greg Stillman, a French Laundry and Patina Restaurant Group alumnus, so right off you know you’re getting a quality meal. However, the combination of a high-end eatery with a club-like after-hours feel, including live music that makes conversation tough, is a bit strange. But given the area’s other options, Ra Pour is probably one of your best bets.

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05 2012

(Not your) everyday brunch at Luca on Sunset

Pastry Chef Rebecca West's pastries

Pastry Chef Rebecca West's pastries

Brunch is normally a weekend occurrence, but sometimes it’s nice to have breakfast foods at lunchtime during the week. You can do that at Luca on Sunset in West Hollywood, where brunch is served until 3 p.m. daily.

Chef Luca Giorgetti, who grew up in a Tuscan farmhouse, offers a slew of healthy breakfast items (no butter and little salt), including omelets, scrambles, breakfast and croissant sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, smoothies, juices and many other dishes. And Pastry Chef Rebecca West makes some amazing pastries (these, of course, contain “just enough” butter), including the flaky croissants used in Giorgetti’s sandwiches.

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04 2012

Sweet fun: Max Brenner Las Vegas

Milkshake in an Alice cup at Max Brenner

Yes, I’m writing this post a month and a half late. But I wanted to document my bachelorette party on this blog in some way, so I’m going to tell you about my meal at chocolate heaven-on-earth Max Brenner in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. This may not have been the best meal in terms of food, but it was definitely the most fun.

The best part of the menu was the variety of drinks. My friends and I ordered the Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate (red chili, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper), the Melting Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (hot chocolate with tons of mini marshmallows on top), what I think was the Hazelnut Cream Chocolate Milkshake (vanilla bourbon ice cream, dark chocolate truffle and whipped cream) and the Chocolate Chai (chai spice blend infused with white chocolate). All were very good, but my favorite was the chai, which was enhanced by the white chocolate, not overpowered as I had feared. The presentation of the drinks is noteworthy, too, as Max Brenner has created his own cups for different drinks (the Hug Mug for hot chocolates, the Alice for milkshakes, a tea pot that dispenses when you place it on top of your cup).

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05 2011

An oasis on the Sunset Strip: Eveleigh

Bubble & Squeak

When I first walked into Eveleigh (“ever-lee”), I couldn’t believe this rustic-looking restaurant sat on the Sunset Strip. It was way too laid-back. The reclaimed and repurposed wood, the communal tables, the live lemon trees and the open-air dining room made me feel more as if I were in Napa than smack in the middle of the trendiest part of West Hollywood. That’s a good thing, by the way.

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03 2011

Longest brunch ever, and not in a good way: Casa del Mar


Casa del Mar, a 1920s Santa Monica hotel with beautiful unobstructed views of the beach, recently introduced a $29 Sunday brunch, with your choice of an appetizer, entree and all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. Sounds great, right? I thought so, too, so I invited a bunch of my friends to try it out yesterday. Boy, were we disappointed.

It wasn’t so much the food, which was fine for the most part, though some of it had its problems, too. It was the extremely slow service that really got us. Since I made the reservation for the meal, my experience with the hotel started before anyone else’s, and it didn’t start off well.

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11 2009