Where to Go for a Boozy Brunch in Los Angeles

Editor's Note: Where should you drink in Los Angeles? Esther Tseng of e*starLA knows.


[Illustration: Robyn Lee]

Dear Esther, My friends and I are looking for the best spot for a boozy brunch in LA. Got any recommendations? —Dade Rinkin

Great question! Though there's no shortage of sunshine, outdoor dining, and beautiful people, weekend Los Angeles can be a wasteland of expensive drinks with no substance. Whether you mean boozy as in bottomless or as in best cocktails, read on further for my favorites, quantity and quality both considered.

Best Brunch for Bottomless Booze: The Wilshire


The Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica offers a $35-per-person weekend buffet extravaganza on a covered patio with unlimited booze. Build your own Bloody Mary at the impressive bar with plenty of fixin's and enjoy free-pour mimosas—you can even switch between the two. Hot dishes are refreshened throughout service and there's an omelette station to satisfy your egg cravings. If you don't like how your Bloody Mary tastes, you only have yourself to blame.

The Wilshire Restaurant: 2454 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA (map) 310-586-1707; wilshirerestaurant.com

Best Brunch for Cheap Unlimited Mimosas: Barbrix


Hangtown Fry at Barbrix

There's good reason why Barbrix has one of the most popular brunches in Silver Lake: The bottomless mimosas are $5 per person. But it wouldn't be one of the best if the food weren't solid, too, like the Dungeness Crab Hash with poached eggs and tomatillo salsa or the Hangtown Fry, a 3-egg omelet with fried oysters, bacon, scallions and lemon aioli. They do a great job religiously refilling your flute, so you're all smiles throughout your meal.

Barbrix: 2442 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (map) 323-662-2442; barbrix.com

Best Brunch for Cocktails: Big Bar


The Boo Radler at Big Bar

The Alcove on Hillhurst is hardly a secret, but its adjacent Big Bar gets high marks for its great cocktail lineup by Dan Long. You might start out with an effervescent and slightly tart Boo Radler, made with Campari, Oxley Gin, lime, and fizzy grapefruit radler; it's much more interesting than your standard mimosa. Or go with the Port Royal, made with funky Smith + Cross rum, kola tonic, lime, and pineapple. Top-notch spirits are key to the cocktails at Big Bar, and there's something to fit every taste.

Big Bar at The Alcove: 1929 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (map) 323-644-0100; alcovecafe.com/bigbar

Best Everything Brunch: A.O.C.


The Winter's Bark at A.O.C.: tequila with blackberries, orange, mezcal, arbol chile, and licorice tincture.

All of the brunch spots above are great options, but if I had to pick a favorite, the best of the best is A.O.C. There's Caroline Styne's list of 150 sustainable-leaning wines (including 25 different options by the glass), and there's Christiaan Rollich's imaginative menu of food-friendly cocktails. That's before even getting to the stellar cheese and charcuterie selection, or the delicious brunch menu of American breakfast favorites with Suzanne Goin's European-influenced twists. The brick and tile-ensconced patio is perfect for enjoying the Southern California sun.

A.O.C.: 8700 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (map) 310-859-9859; aocwinebar.com

About the Author: Esther Tseng is a Los Angeles based food and cocktail writer. Her best finds are chronicled on e*starLA while her day-to-day ponderings and poisons can be found on Twitter and Instagram @estarLA.