Monday, September 14, 2009

Brunch in Brentwood

Amandine Cafe
12225 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 979-3211

Weekend Brunch--the envy of baristas everywhere. Since I'm no longer a coffee-slinger, I had the good fortune of going out for brunch on Saturday.

Amandine Cafe, one of the shiny Wilshire breakfast joints I've seen from the car. The term amandine refers to a dish served with a garnish of almonds. The almond is my favorite nut, so I can't wait to try the almond croissant the next time I go.

We parked on the street, and entered through the rear patio. This place is small, but packed, and running speedily and efficiently. Runners and waiters and cooks whizzing by in their sleek white uniforms and caps, as we passed by the chatty diners. What a spread! Fresh baked artisan loaves and baguettes, huge danish, and delicate, buttery croissants glowing behind glass partitions, begging me to eat them. "Hey Fee. Just give me a try. You won't regret this chocolately filling," said the croissant. "No!" I shouted. "What would my boyfriend say?"

The breakfast menu is simple. French Toast served five ways and a variety of omelettes served with fruit and toast. At first Chason ordered it with the berries confiture, which is a berry reduction, essentially hot preserves, which I was excited about, but he went with the fresh strawberries intead. In addition, there are daily soup and quiche specials. Mon Dieu, I swear to you that French Toast is my favorite food in the world, but at the sight of a slice of Ham, Potato and Onion Quiche, I had to turn my head and go savory for once. I ordered my iced americano, and we found a table with a stack of plates on it. The seating was continually full. It was busy time--12:00 noon--so itd be common to see a few tables uncleared.

We waited for the food with our numbered placecards, in lieu of a paper ticket, while we looked at the humdrum photography for sale on the wall. "Third Year Photography Student," is a direct quote. Lots of out of focus bucolesque pictures of children and clouds, all for sale for more than 50 dollars.

The quiche came with a side salad of mixed greens in a mustard vinaigrette and a few cornichons. I tried one (the little French pickle). Not my thing. The quiche was chock full of cubed pieces of ham and potato, a little too much filling, I thought, and not enough egg. Once you put a fork in it, the bite fell apart. It was supposed to hang together by the layer of melted cheddar on top, but alas.

Chason's French Toast was scrumptious, better even than the donut-like French Toast they served at the Webb Schools dining hall. The strawberries were so tasty, and the texture wonderful. Slightly gooey inside, with a sugary crust. Mmm!

It was a good outing for people watching, I must confess. We sat in the vicinity of two solo diners, both hard at work with their heads buried in a book or a laptop, and next to another couple, who clearly had spent the morning cultivating other carnal pleasures.
There was a mother and her teenage son, who avoided her presence in vain, but finally talked to her over their sandwiches. There was an elderly man who unknowingly took the seat of two younger women, who I hope didn't make him move.

Most satisfying and delicious. A good amount of food. Perhaps slightly pricey, but the taste is worth the penny. I want to go back for more croissants and coffee.

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