March 10, 2009

Canele: It's what's for brunch

Some people don't like eating sweet things for breakfast, but I always need something sweet to balance out a savory meal. As for breakfast, I would rather take something sweet in the morning than something really salty like bacon and eggs. I was at IHOP this morning with my dad and I didn't order the pancakes, but a "french" french toast (which doesn't make sense to me), which was essentially a large beignet filled with creme and topped with strawberries and whipped cream. I then proceeded to the two small sausages, over-medium eggs (that's how I like 'em), and has browns (actually quite good).

Even though GQ recently declared LA as the Best Breakfast Town in the country, I wonder where I can find the ideal pancake. Anyways, GQ sorely missed out on some of the better options, focusing on a small section of West Third and the Beverly districts nearby The Grove.

It's well acknowledged at this point that Canele is my favorite restaurant in the entire city, and when I mentioned the article to Jane Choi, the maitre'd and part owner of the restaurant, she recommended that we come by for their weekend brunch, which goes from 11-3 on Saturdays and Sundays.
I had to get the fresh squeezed blood orange juice since they're in season. The cup had a rich, thick flavor, redolent of punch, and puckery without being cloying. I could have a glass of this every morning (plus the color is fantastic). Coffee was better than average, but nothing to write home about.
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The french toast, not only a superb example, but one that humbles the eater, comes with a fresh fruit compote and warm syrup. The slightly crispy, eggy outside gives way to an ethereal, velvetly, almost custardy filling that is like nothing I've ever had for breakfast. If you've had a perfect souffle for breakfast, then you might be close. I don't know what kind of wizardry Chef Corina Weibel, who was faithfully behind the stove making most of the breakfast meals, did to create this dish, but it is simply amazing. It's also reasonably priced at $7.50.
Christine and I were sharing the french toast while getting an egg dish for the each of us. She had the quiche lorraine, featuring large chunks of delicious applewood smoked bacon. The fried potatoes and the arugula salad that came next to it were also idea. The quiche was warm, oozy, and perfectly textured.
I had the omelette, which I asked to be filled with all four options. If you opt for less than four, than you get a varying proportion of the ingredients (if you just get goat cheese, you'll get a mound of goat cheese). The omelette was filled with tomato confit, goat cheese, carmelized onions and mushrooms. The whole package was expertly wound in a fluffy omelette that rivals even what I can make at 4AM (inside joke, on a recent occasion, we were at Christine house drinking wine and having a great time. People had the munchies so I stood at the stove making delicious omelettes since that was quickest thing we could make - 4AM people!)

Anyways, the omelette was great, stuffed with quality ingredients and a savory complement to the wonderful french toast. For other options, you can order eggs in a variety of other ways, one being "shirred", which is essentially baked and stacked with the toppings. I'll have to get that next time. There's also a few sandwiches and some cocktails like a blood orange mimosa (depending on the season).
That's the look of satisfaction in a beautiful girl.

The morning that we were there, it was so peaceful at Canele. Light bathed the front of the house, illuminating a loving mother and her infant dining at the communal table. A few tables were occupied near the door and that was about it. Maybe there's a line on other days, but it was such a relief to be eating at a restaurant where the food is top notch, the service is stellar, and the ambiance is relaxing. You couldn't ask for more to start out your weekend day.

Canele Restaurant
3219 Glendale Blvd. (in Atwater Village)
Los Angeles, CA 90039


burumun said...

Yay, you finally reviewed Canele! :D
I have yet to check it out, now I'll have to do both dinner and brunch.
Looks like I need to do their brunch soon while blood orange is still in season! Fresh squeezed blood orange juice sounds and looks so delicious ...

Susan said...

oooh i'm excited!! i love breakfast. =D how much was the omelet?

Cafe Pasadena said...

Canele is your fav restaurant in LA City?
Did I hear you right? Is it dog friendly?
Well, food IS such a personal thing...

mattatouille said...

Fiona: yeah, that blood orange juice is well worth $4. A pound of oranges is usually $2.50, and it probably takes 2-3 pounds to make that much juice.

Susan: the omelet is like $12? not cheap, but not expensive. the fried potatoes are also excellent. you and albert should definitely come here before church one day.

cafepasadena: I don't think it is dog friendly since there isn't a patio...

choisauce said...

i want that custardy french toast again :(

that last pic could very easily be a sad face (sad that the french toast is all gone. wah wah waaaaaah :*(***(

Diana said...

This review just prompted me to send the link to my friend and tell him, "I want to go there."

We are both drooling over the picture of that French toast!

mattatouille said...

choisauce: we'll go back, you know we will :)

Diana: definitely get those french toasts. they will not disappoint.

Mike said...

I just did brunch at Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas for the umpteenth time and have been looking for a change. Saddle Peak is great especially if you're into meat dishes and serves a fabulous brunch. You should check it out sometime if you're ever in the area. They have a wonderfully thick french toast.