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A spread of Levantine dishes
Brunch at Ammatoli might include Levantine favorites such as musakhan, shakshouka, a Jerusalem bagel, fattet hummus and meat manoushe.
(Shelby Moore)

16 essential brunch favorites from the 101 Best Restaurants guide

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Los Angeles is not only a brunch town, it is its own brunch town.

By that I mean: We have restaurants slinging as many softly scrambled eggs, fluffy-dense pancakes and kerchiefs of smoked salmon as any urban center in America. But the riches of our remarkable, many-faceted dining culture extend to midday weekend rituals throughout the region: braised oxtail hash in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, loco moco with teriyaki-glazed Spam in Silver Lake, Japanese-inspired set meals in Alhambra and Levantine sumac-sprinkled eggs fried in olive oil in Long Beach.

Amid the variety, these places each encourage the easygoing and often nap-inducing brunch frame of mind.

We’ve pulled these 16 restaurant from our annual 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles guide. Three of them, admittedly, are seafood specialists open during weekend brunching hours but not specifically serving brunch-focused menus. The spirit is there, so we thought it made sense to include them.

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Shakshouka with slices of bread and more.
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

础尘尘补迟辞濒í

Long Beach Middle Eastern $$
It’s been a joy to see Dima Habibeh’s Long Beach restaurant grow in size and ambition since its opening five years ago. An expansion last summer doubled the seating in her corner space downtown, adding a central bar hung with plants, a wood-burning oven, a counter to display breads and pastries and more windows for abundant sunlight. In her food, Habibeh — born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother and raised in Jordan — evinces her origins and beyond.

During brunch, the menu of mezze and family-style meats expands to include comforts like fattet hummus, a layered dish of toasted pita, yogurt, hummus and tahini sauce with pomegranate seeds, chickpeas and toasted almonds for texture. An easygoing weekend meal is also an ideal time to focus on the restaurant’s accomplished baking: a manouche with cheese and za’atar pairs ideally with shakshouka.
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A breakfast biscuit served at All Day Baby
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

All Day Baby

Silver Lake Eclectic $$
The only constants at this daydream of a corner diner in Silver Lake are change and the colossal biscuit sandwich. Owner Lien Ta made the decision recently to discontinue dinner service, pivoting to daily hours that run from morning to late afternoon, so the restaurant can now rightly be considered a week-long brunch haven. The menu mix mingles a stellar take on loco moco featuring teriyaki-glazed Spam and a plate-size hotcake with generous sandwiches, big salads and bigger burritos. About that biscuit: White American cheese melts lazily off thick folds of scrambled egg and sausage (or bacon, or both), and a spoonful of strawberry jam makes complete meat-on-sweet sense. I can hardly think of a better weekend morning indulgence. Scan the pastry case for Sam Robinson’s ever-changing, season-minded creations; hopefully the strawberries-and-cream brioche buns will become a springtime pillar.
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A bowl of  gumbo with prawns.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Alta Adams

West Adams Southern $$
Some restaurants swap dishes on their menus so fast that it’s hard to know what to recommend. Though chef and co-owner Keith Corbin keeps new ideas flowing through his kitchen, he has also reassuringly stayed the course with two pillars of his cooking. His lacy, crackling fried chicken has always been terrific, particularly with splotches of his vinegar-bright, Fresno chile-based hot sauce. And it’s hard to imagine dinner without the oxtails braised in miso and soy, served with rice to capture every drop of gravy. Sides of collards, mac and cheese and candied yam gratin? Yes, please. With each of its five years, Alta more deeply anchors itself in the West Adams community, beloved for its cheeky cocktail program (I’m here for the briny Ol’ Dirty Bastard martini), spirited staff and twinkling back patio. All these mainstays are available at brunch, when the kitchen also prepares biscuits smothered in sausage gravy and lacy cornmeal pancakes with brown butter-maple-caramel sauce.
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Closeups of three salads.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

A.O.C.

West Hollywood Californian $$$
Suzanne Goin, who essentially codified an entire branch of L.A.’s dining culture, distills the tastes of the California seasons, knowing when their glory is enough or when they gain from ideas inspired by the cooking of North Africa, western Asia and the Mediterranean coasts of Europe. Brunch is often a quieter time at A.O.C., which can be wonderful for last-minute plans and lingering conversation. Some of the restaurant’s enduring dinner favorites find their way onto the brunch menu, including classics like the Parmesan-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, or the fried chicken drizzled with chile-cumin butter that’s served on weekends over a cornmeal pancake. Eggs arrive in the forms of a pale omelet filled with lacy Dungeness crab and gilded with buratta and gentle basil pistou or poached and draped over stout-braised beef brisket hash lightened with horseradish cream. Both A.O.C. locations serve brunch. If the two share little in common physically — West Hollywood has the beckoning patio; the tony decor for Brentwood seems rightly designed around its mesmerizing green and gold wallpaper — they are identical twins philosophically.
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A dish featuring artichoke oysters.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Crossroads Kitchen

Calabasas Vegan $$
Given Southern California’s agricultural riches, I seek out vegan restaurants that place as much importance on regional produce as on plant-based foods that mimic meat, dairy and eggs. Chef-owner Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Kitchen models such balance. Plus, in the restaurant’s 10 years in Los Angeles, it has managed to crack the code on meat-free dining that also carries a sense of occasion. Come to eat the seasons: At a springtime brunch, that means asparagus soup and a chopped salad of snow peas, watermelon radish and celery hearts in mustardy vinaigrette alongside pancakes or a breakfast burrito flecked with plant-based “scrambled eggs” and peppery Impossible breakfast sausage. The restaurant has grown to three locations that include Calabasas and Las Vegas. I will forever favor the clubby Melrose Avenue original that doubles as an entertainment industry hangout.
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Kanpachi Crudo.
(Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

Crudo e Nudo

Santa Monica Seafood $$
I spent one of my happiest lunchtime meals this year with visiting friends at an umbrella-shaded table on Crudo e Nudo’s sidewalk patio. We started by scanning the seafood-centered menu on the wall of the restaurant’s storefront, a seatless space for counter ordering squeezed into one of Santa Monica’s densest Main Street blocks. Striped bass, bigeye tuna and poached abalone crudos arrived first, anointed in various oils and lighted with high beams of citrus and pickles and anchovy colatura. Salads of snap peas and melon refreshed; wisecrack dishes like “Venus nachos” (potato chips pummeled with crème fra?che and bright orange roe, rather than the opulent black beads) and head-on prawns that slathered our hands with Calabrian chile paste and basil oil kept the mood buoyant. Brian Bornemann, with musician-designer Leena Culhane, began Crudo e Nudo as a 2020 pop-up revolving around sustainably farmed and locally caught fish. Since opening their location in 2021, they’ve strived to create an equitable model for staffers, training people in rotating positions to diffuse divisions between kitchen and service crew and to share tips equally.
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Japanese hamachi sashimi, a dish with oysters and Peruvian scallops, shrimp ceviche and Koshihikari rice porridge.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Fishing With Dynamite

Manhattan Beach Seafood $$$
Tables at Manhattan Beach’s star seafood bar have been difficult to reserve for the entire decade it’s been in operation. You’re likely booking at 5 p.m. or grabbing bar stools by luck. The off-white clapboard gives an impression of New England in high summer, but David LeFevre’s menu has always suggested farther-flung inspirations. Alongside a dozen oysters, you might have hamachi sashimi nipped with apple ponzu and shiso, or shrimp ceviche layered over double tostadas with guacamole and cubed mango. Relishing Koshihikari rice porridge speckled with uni, crab and shrimp followed by a Cajun-style seafood boil full of sausage and potatoes seasoned with Old Bay feels organic to the place. If you eat too many fluffy squash rolls or fries swiped through malt vinegar mayo — well? You’re in the prettiest setting for an after-meal stroll. Manhattan Beach is also within reasonable ride-share distance to Inglewood — I burned calories in September screaming “happy birthday” to Beyoncé at SoFi Stadium.
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A stack of fried green tomatoes with a side salad and remoulade.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

My 2 Cents

Mid-Wilshire Soul Food Californian $$
My introduction to chef Alisa Reynolds’ cooking came during the pandemic, when she devised a sub-project called Tacos Negros while her Mid-City restaurant, My 2 Cents, struggled for business. The fan favorite quickly became oxtails cooked for six hours until the meat had reduced to a filigree, which Reynolds gathered into a corn tortilla with roasted tomato and whiskey reduction for a one-two acid punch. The tacos remain on the lunch and dinner menu. For Sunday brunch, Reynolds devises mix-and-match plates that consist of a baked egg, a downy biscuit and combinations such as fried catfish and greens, grilled pork chop and cheese grits or barbecued chicken over waffles.
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A bowl full of shrimp and grits.
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

Post & Beam

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw American $$$
At Post & Beam, the destination restaurant of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw shopping plaza, John and Roni Cleveland’s standout dishes sing with the flavors of the American South: cornbread with honey butter sliding around its crackling surface, shrimp and grits with shrimp butter and beef bacon, jerk catfish over dirty rice and greens fortified with ham hock. Brunch at Post & Beam draws crowds in its own right. Braised oxtail hash, riddled with roasted peppers and onions and served with poached eggs and mustard-spiked hollandaise sauce, is one of L.A.’s sterling weekend dishes. Pecan pie French toast with cinnamon cream and bourbon caramel easily doubles as dessert.
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Digging into a pupusa dish with mushroom, avocado, black crema, salsa roja and  fried egg.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

搁é辫耻产濒颈辩耻别

Hancock Park American $$$
Margarita and Walter Manzke’s all-day Californian restaurant reached its 10th anniversary in November. Eating here, you can taste exactly where you are in the world. During weekend brunch, when the line inevitably trails out the door (and moves mercifully quickly), that means the menu zigzags from avocado toast and frittata full of seasonal vegetables to shakshouka with poached eggs and a nicely mustardy Cuban sandwich available after 11 a.m. Before reaching the counter to order, you’ll be gazing at Margarita’s best-in-class selection of pastries. The selection starts with cream and custard creations (éclairs, rolled mixed berry pavlova, perhaps a beautifully wobbly strawberry tres leches) perched on a chilled surface. The crowd inches forward; cakes, cookies, muffins, caneles, crostatas, tarts, brioches, Danishes and croissants come into view, crowded on wooden boards or stacked on stands. There are no wrong choices.
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A dish of hummus and soft-boiled eggs at Saffy's in Hollywood.
(Joseph Weaver / Saffy’s)

Saffy's Coffee & Tea

East Hollywood Middle Eastern $$$
It took no time for Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ third blockbuster to feel essential to Los Angeles. Housed in an Art Deco space across from the big blue Church of Scientology building in East Hollywood, Saffy’s is smaller in scale and slightly more casual than the couple’s downtown successes, Bestia and Bavel. It is just as loud as its siblings inside and out, but most important, the food brims with earthy goodness. Order weekend brunch from the restaurant’s next-door coffee and tea shop. Lean toward breakfast with challah french toast or Gergis’ excellent biscuits layered with ham and cheese. Among more savory options, the beef and lamb pita sandwich recalls the restaurant’s dinnertime shawarma — arguably the defining dish on the menu.
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LA Pink Salad features bitter greens  with bleu cheese, fried quinoa, fried shallots a dressing and topped with shaved pecorino.
(Oscar Mendoza / For The Times)

Saltie Girl

West Hollywood Seafood $$$
Boston-based Saltie Girl charged into West Hollywood in late 2022 with a collection of more than 130 tinned fish divided into 18 categories of fish and shellfish. Standards like sardines in olive oil set a baseline for racier options: smoked oysters, scallops in spiced tomato sauce, hake in salsa verde, mackerel with roasted garlic and dozens more. Some need no adornment; others taste ideal slightly mashed into buttered bread with a sprinkle of salt and piquillo pepper relish, all of which are part of the presentation. No matter when, you probably also want a lobster roll — I prefer the warmed buttery version over the chilled one napped in mayo. The brunch menu encompasses the restaurant’s savory dinnertime standards, plus soft-scrambled eggs with caviar and, truly on brand, fried lobster over a waffle.
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Bandeja paisa, market braised greens, corn arepa, arroz chaufa, yucca fries, Colombian hot dog and market green salad.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Selva

Long Beach Colombian $$
Carlos Jurado, a veteran chef of Los Angeles restaurants, including stints at Vespertine and Border Grill, returns to the foods and the town he knew growing up: His parents relocated from Colombia to Long Beach when he was 3, and he started making regular trips to see family in South America when he was a teenager. His dinner menu revolves around smoky meats and soulful sides like grilled arepas filled with corn and queso, braised greens flecked with pork belly, and first-rate smashed and fried plantains served with hogao, an ubiquitous Colombian tomato-onion condiment. Sunday brunch is my favorite meal at Selva for two keystone dishes. Bandeja paisa is a one-platter feast synonymous with Colombia that arrays steak, grilled chorizo or morcilla, extra-crisp hunks of pork belly, plantains, smoky beans, white rice, an arepa, a fried egg and sliced avocado on one monumental platter. As if that weren’t plenty, brunch is also when Jurado makes his joy-ride version of a Colombian hot dog. A link of paprika-stained Colombian chorizo peeks out from beneath charred onions and peppers, crumbled cotija, green chile jam, aioli mixed with ají (mulchy, punchy Colombian salsa verde) and smashed potato chips dusted with chile powder. This is a two-handed, face-planting commitment to polish off, and I never tire of its layered pleasures.

Read the full review of Selva.
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Two flan tacos on a white plate from Evil Cooks.
(Annie Noelker / For The Times)

Smorgasburg L.A.

Downtown L.A. Eclectic $$
Can a Sunday stroll through Smorgasburg L.A. count as brunch? Why not? At face value, the weekly open-air congregates food trucks and other culinary businesses in Row DTLA’s back lot. Under the direction of General Manager Zach Brooks, the gathering has grown into a vital incubator and connector of talent. As one wonderful instance: Juan Garcia and Ivan Flores run a pop-up they call Goat Mafia, serving a deeply spiced, Jalisco-style goat birria based on Garcia’s father’s recipe. Rhea Patel Michel and Marcel Michel established Saucy Chick Rotisserie, a pop-up featuring rotisserie chicken and sides that express flavors honoring Marcel’s Mexican roots and Rhea’s Gujarati lineage. Both are Smorgasburg regulars. They joined forces recently to open a restaurant in East Pasadena that — win, win — serves their respective specialties under one roof. The pleasure of attending Smorgasburg in its eighth year is revisiting vendors that have gained citywide followings, while also scouting out newcomers. That might mean sharing a breakfast burrito from Jonathan Perez’s Macheen, garlicky Jordanian chicken shawarma from newcomer Miya Miya and a green chorizo torta with a flan taco from Evil Cooks.
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A Jollof Platter with fried catfish.
(Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

Two Hommés

Inglewood West African $$
At their Inglewood bistro, Abdoulaye “AB” Balde and Marcus “Mando” Yaw take a global perspective on comfort foods, particularly with an eye for incorporating defining flavors of several African countries. Senegalese dibi, the grilled lamb mustardy from its marinade, plumps egg rolls also filled with plantains and red cabbage. A platter of lightly curried Ghanaian-style jollof, coupled with a bowl of creamy black beans, serves as a base for a range of optional meats and seafoods, including shrimp glowing with Ethiopian berbere spice, supple fried catfish or short ribs braised in root beer. This is feasting by which to melt the day’s stress — or, over shrimp and grits and chicken over brown sugar waffles at brunch, to rally for the week ahead. For another serotonin boost, study the collage of classic R&B albums on one wall that often inspires the restaurant’s playlist. I spied Minnie Riperton, Chaka Khan, the O’Jays and the 45-record sleeve of Whitney Houston’s “Love Will Save the Day” that still lives on a shelf in my childhood bedroom.
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A plate with steelhead, bacon, eggs  and toast, and one with chicken thigh with omiso soup and avocado.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Yang’s Kitchen

Alhambra Chinese $$
Though Christian Yang and Maggie Ho’s Alhambra restaurant has been directing creatively charged ideas toward its dinner service, the place is arguably most cherished for its universalist daytime menu, when breakfast platters of soft-scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon criss-cross with Japanese-inspired set morning meals and lunchier plates like lemony fried chicken wings and pickled cucumber salad laced with gochugaru. Bringing all the different directions together is an irresistible hubcap-size pancake textured with cornmeal and mochi; it’s thin and lacy around the edges, with a center like an unusually plush crepe. I want it no matter what else I’ve ordered.
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