Saturday, June 14, 2008

Parking My Butt at Luna Park

I have a personal issue with brunch. For the rare special occasion it can be a lovely thing and something to do on a slow Sunday morning. The menu from place to place is generally the same, consisting of various poached egg and fish offerings with the usual bubbly champagne. I go for “Mother’s Day” and “Easter,” and other random days throughout the year at the behest of friends.

My personal preference is to have breakfast and lunch separate. I like waking up to an omelet or french toast, then progressing a few short hours into something like a burger or sandwich. When I go to brunch I feel pressured to make a decision between the two, leaving one sacrificed and me normally dissatisfied throughout the day wishing I’d chosen the later. A few Sunday’s ago I braved the decision at “Luna Park,” a trendy restaurant on La Brea known for its mojitos.

At around 11:30 in the morning the place was practically empty and we were seated in one of the few wooden booths. On busier nights these would be ideal if you’re looking for privacy. There’s even a curtain you can close to give you and your party a feel of seclusion.

The brunch menu was certainly varied but I could clearly see some breakfast bias. Breakfast was divided into a “sweet” and “savory” section, with “sweet” being carbs and “savory” being protein. I was disappointed in the lack of sugary options. If you want something like pancakes forget it they only have french toast, cream of wheat, and granola for anyone with a sweet tooth. If you’re all about ham and eggs then consider yourself set with triple the options. Lunch was what I expected, consisting of appetizers, a few salads, and a wider assortment of sandwiches.

I found myself juggling between either the fried egg or pastrami sandwich, finally settling on the fried egg. My girlfriend was toying with the idea of french toast but ended up with the salmon and brie frittata. For a starter we both agreed on the goat cheese fondue which comes with bread and apples for dipping.

The fondue arrived quickly. So quickly in fact that while it was wooshed to our table the candle went out. It took some time for us to flag down someone to relight it. For me the appetizer was cute but ended at that. I don’t know why but I always think I’ll like goat cheese more then I do. There is something about the texture that I always find off putting. Plus when you think about it this close to $10 appetizer was just goat cheese and apples, nothing special. I was hoping that lunch would make up for my appetizer ordering faux pas.

Our selections arrived a short while later and the results were in. It didn’t as far as my ordering skills were concerned. My egg sandwich was bland and messy with the fries being forgetful. A big complaint I had was with the cream cheese, which for this sandwich just didn’t work. It needed something stronger like melted cheddar to pull it all together. My girlfriend’s choice was the much better of the two, being something I actually wish I would have ordered. I grudgingly ate the rest of my sandwich and watched her all smiles consuming hers with glee.

Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon, Avocado, Arugula, and Cream Cheese on Brioche with Fries

Smoked Salmon and Brie Cheese Frittata with a Green Salad

Moving beyond our meals we looked at the dessert menu and gave it some thought, but after my previous two choices we decided to leave and make our way to “Joan’s on Third” for some tried and true cupcakes.

Luna Park
672 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-2110


Jen Ko said...

I went there with my boyfriend for dinner. Ordered the cheese fondue as well& I have to agree. I've always wanted to like goat cheese but I've came to conclusion after reading what you said that I might never like goat cheese. lol.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comment Jenn. You'd think that after having goat cheese so many times and never liking it I'd stop trying it again and again, but I can't help eating it when it's in front of me. I'm always hoping that this next time will be different and it never is.