This last week I was in San Diego for work (absolutely gorgeous sights and an awesome city- more posts on that to come) and I adjusted my flight to fly into LA first to see one of my best friends. We spent a short, but exciting, 20 hours in Santa Monica hanging out and enjoying it’s restaurants and beach. Saturday morning we went to Huckleberry Cafe, which I was really excited for. I had seen it on a Top List of some sorts on either Twitter or Yahoo/CNN and remember salivating at the description. This was a perfect opportunity to check out one of the top places in the country because my friend already loved it and it was close.
The line was fitting for a restaurant that obviously was a local favorite and has a national reputation, but it went very quickly. When we arrived there were probably 25 or so people in line, which wasn’t short but also wasn’t as long as it often is according to my friend. Everyone orders at the counter and then you find a table afterwards. Even with that many people there were several tables available and they do a great job of the line moving quickly and clearing out the tables. We spent a little over 10 minutes waiting in line to order and then were seated at a table right away. Small groups (2-4 people) didn’t seem to have a problem getting tables anytime we were there. If you are doing take-out you can order ahead on the phone and skip the line, plus there also is an express line for just coffee and baked goods.
Huckleberry has a lot of fresh, organic, and creative dishes with ingredients from top sources in California and some incredible looking baked goods (from pastries to cake to bread). The brunch menu changes each weekend and some top things when we visited included roasted duck hash, green eggs and ham (!), house-made granola, and a variety of sandwiches. In addition to the baked goods they also have a counter of delicious salads that run the gamut in terms of options. This trip I went for the brisket hash and my friend got the lentil ragu. As we passed the baked good display (which literally everyone kept starting at as they waited) we noticed a sign for a gluten-free chocolate Bundt cake. You all know I have no willpower against a gluten-free version of something I haven’t tried, but I especially wanted to try a Bundt cake. The grandmother of a childhood friend would always bake him one with glazed frosting for his birthday and I always wished I could have a piece.
The brisket hash wasn’t a crispy hash like traditional beef hash, but instead was super tender and juicy pieces of brisket and round of slices of potatoes. It was juicy enough to be almost brothy, but not soup-like. Just enough to add great flavor and a comfort factor. Gooey sunny-side up eggs made it even more filling. My friend really liked the lentil ragu and it was a huge dish (perfect leftovers for a late night snack or next-day lunch). The Bundt cake was also a winner- moist and not too sugary sweet (just right for breakfast). My friend remarked that it didn’t taste gluten-free at all (always a great badge of honor)!
The atmosphere at Huckleberry was relaxed and welcoming and perfectly complemented the delicious food. It was great to be back on the West Coast brunching, even better with one of my best friends. I think Huckleberry is well deserved of it’s long lines of locals and visitors and it’s spot on a Top List. If you’re in Santa Monica looking for a place to brunch check out one of the top (according to someone noteworthy but also me!) places in the country at Huckleberry Cafe.
Huckleberry Cafe- 1014 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA