- Pei Ni
The Sawtelle neighborhood, in the Westside of Los Angeles, is touted as Little Osaka, the area is home to a delicious hodgepodge of food culture. No matter your budget or foodie preferences, Sawtelle has a brunch restaurant to satisfy your palate. Whether you’re craving noodles or pancakes, brunch is all about treating yourself – here are the ten most worthy brunch places in the neighborhood.
Flores + Sons
Previously named Flores Ladies’ Gunboat Society, Flores + Sons is likely the most famous brunch restaurant on Sawtelle, combining American food with chic. The classy and spacious interior is cast under dim orange light, like the diners at upscale New York hotels. Meanwhile, the restaurant boasts an eclectic menu of comfort foods and a special brunch menu every weekend. Energize your morning with a juicy order of fried chicken and waffles (with the bone). If you are in a playful mood, go for the fried oysters po’ boy sandwich or the bottomless mimosas.
Flores + Sons, 2024 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 424 273 6469
Deemed ‘one of the best breakfasts in LA’ by Zagat, Café 50’s is all about throwback fun. The café’s décor dials back time, with vibrantly colored retro posters covering the walls, an old-school jukebox, classic leather booth seating and funky touches. Nothing defines the indulgence of the era better than a satiating plate of old-fashioned breakfast, such as the earthy Johnny cakes, with New England cornmeal pancakes, or the weekend special, stone ground grits, with grits shipped from a 140-year-old Tennessee grain mill. Come in any day of the week, and you’ll run into a weekly special of free omelettes, sandwiches, shakes or seafood.
Café 50’s, 11623 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 479 1955
Tatsu Ramen is ramen done Millennial style. Key in your preferences on their DIY iPad ordering system, and customize any ramen bowl from the protein to the spices. Options are all natural and range from the Classic Soul Ramen with homemade tonkotsu (pork) broth, to the Naked Ramen, noodles cooked in savory broth and served sans soup. Here, ramen even comes in a burger. For the vegans out there, all dishes can be made with vegan ramen noodles.
Tatsu Ramen, 2123 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 684 2889
Fresh and unpretentious, Evo Café features wholesome Moroccan coffee, smoothies and brunch items for aspiring health gurus. The intimate café boasts a wide range of drinks, from drip coffee to boba to detox smoothies. Go for the white chocolate lavender mocha for a unique and tasty way to energize or a spiced Greek yogurt-richened Moroccan smoothie, with your choice of superfood supplements. To whip up your routine, get the Moroccan breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs and merguez lamb sausage.
Evo Café, 11870 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 481 2224
Juquila Restaurant is a nostalgic Oaxacan restaurant decorated with warm-colored Mexican art and features a jukebox that oozes Spanish songs – just the homey vibe that grandma would serve. The restaurant is famous for its perfectly spiced seafood and anything with mole sauce. If you are the kind of person who needs eggs as badly as coffee in the morning, indulge in one of the breakfast specials, such as chilaquiles with eggs. Sip on the traditional Horchata drink or the devilish Cervesa Importada, imported Mexican beer, served in a glass rimmed with chili powder.
Juquila Restaurant, 11619 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 312 1079
For pretzel enthusiasts, Coffee Tomo, with its specialty pretzels, will be your new love. For food, the coffee shop almost exclusively serves scrumptious fusion pretzels (sorry, egg lovers), but you won’t want anything else. Think sweet potato cheese pretzels and red bean cheese pretzels. Tomo in Japanese means friends, and Coffee Tomo has gourmet Japanese hand-drip coffee to hold the pretzels’ hands. Come here early in the morning and enjoy a pretzel and a cup of joe like you’ve never had in your life.
Coffee Tomo, 11309 Mississippi Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 444 9390
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
Unabashedly hipster, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar has given the familiar burger and fries a facelift. The New American restaurant invented ketchup leather so that the flavor is concentrated and the burger buns don’t go soggy. The modern-looking restaurant is furnished with metal chairs and wooden accent tables and bars and a factory ceiling. Adding a hint of Japanese food culture, the restaurant serves the Chefs Favorite Burger with a sunny fried egg and a side of sweet potato waffle fries. Have a burger like a grown-up, and ditch the fountain drinks, instead choosing from a list of cocktails and Japanese whiskies.
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, 1800 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 444 1411
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle has a way of revamping simple things. Here, the signature noodles are made with Tsukemen noodles, which are slightly fatter than regular ramen, and are to be dipped in the famous tonkotsu soup, simmered for over 60 hours to fully release its savory richness. The interior of the restaurant is adorned with caramel-colored Japanese designs, complete with a ceiling made to look like you’re eating among descending clouds. Since the tonkotsu soup is only offered at lunchtime, be prepared to wait for a table for the specialty. Luckily, the restaurant opened up an annex across the street to accommodate its loyal fans.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle, 2057 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 231 7373
C + M Coffee and Milk
The sleek and sun-soaked café offers much more than the name Coffee and Milk suggests. Like the C+M at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the café in Sawtelle features Intelligentsia coffee. Add a twist of lavender syrup to make a soothing pick-me-up. On creative mornings, try the customizable breakfast sandwich, for which you can choose a bagel or croissant as the bread plus a string of toppings such as eggs, sausages, spinach and cheeses. The café also offers an impressive selection of pastries, including the superstar banana Nutella pop tart.
C + M at Westwood Gateway, 11111 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 622 7663
A brunch list would be incomplete without bagels. Western Bagel is popular for its tasty variety of bagel sandwiches, toasted to the perfect flakiness. Grab their famous breakfast bagel, The Traditional, and bite into the crispy shell and the creamy lox. For the health-conscious, the bagel chain offers low-carb, alternative bagels and low or non-fat cream cheese.
Western Bagel, 11628 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 826 0570
By Pei Ni