Brunch at the Beach at Del Frisco’s Grille

The heat was at an all time high in Los Angeles and it was over 100 degrees across the city. I had been invited to check out Del Frisco’s Grille’s new brunch menu and brunch at the beach sounded like the perfect antidote. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with a friend.

Del Frisco’s Grille sits on Ocean Avenue, directly across the street from the Santa Monica Pier. Of course, it is summer in Los Angeles, which means that the tourists have descended upon Santa Monica. Hoards of people were trying to cross the street to head to the pier or the beach and I sat patiently at the light, waiting for it to change. I pulled up to the valet, parked and walked into Del Frisco’s. While sitting on the patio, looking out at the ocean sounded lovely, the idea of sitting inside the cool indoor space sounded better so we opted for a lovely booth by a window.

Del Frisco’s Grille is a steakhouse by night, serving up creative twists on American comfort classics. But on the weekends, they are offering a revamped brunch menu that will satisfy both locals and tourists alike. We started with the share dishes on the menu.

The Smoked Salmon Tower is the quintessential brunch platter. Perfectly toasted New York bagels are served with two different cream cheeses, one plain and one an “everything” caper spread. On the top of the tower is smoked salmon from Foley Fish in Boston, red onions, cucumber, tomatoes and capers. I love a good bagel and would have been satisfied with just this dish…..but there was more to come.

The other shared dish on the menu is the Nonna’s Pan Cinnamon Rolls. Six cinnamon rolls are packed together on a hot plate. Bourbon espresso caramel sauce coats the plate and toasted pecans are sprinkled on top. The cinnamon rolls are decadent and we should have been a party of six, not two.

We skipped the healthy, gluten-free Greens & Grains Bowl which consists of a poached cage free egg on top of quinoa, charred broccoli, edamame, dried cranberries, roasted almonds, baby spinach and beets, drizzled with a sweet basil dressing. We also skipped the signature Crabcake Benedict, Croque Madame and the Braised Short Rib Hash. Instead we ordered the gluten-free Eggs in Purgatory, three poached cage-free eggs in roasted tomato pepper sauce, feta and baby arugula served with avocado flatbread. This dish is definitely a play on the tasty Middle Eastern shakshuka dish but the avocado flatbread adds a California touch.

To finish of our brunch, we ordered the signature dish of Lemon Ricotta Pancakes topped with lemon curd, blueberry compote and fresh berries. The pancakes are definitely light and fluffy and the lemon flavor really comes through.

To wash our food down, we tried a few of the brunch cocktails. The Watermelon Frozé, made with Jean-luc Colombo Rosé, Monin Watermelon and watermelon puree, and the Crack Coffee, made with Mt. Gay Black Barrel, Elizabth Allsice Dram, Chai tea syrup, Chameleon Nitro Brew, Half & Half and cinnamon, are both refreshing but a bit too sweet for my taste.

I preferred the Bloody Mary made with horseradish-infused Wheatley vodka and house-made mix. It is just the perfect amount of spice!

There was nothing guilt-free about our brunch. But with the calorie count written on the menu, we knew what we were getting into. (It is a California requirement for restaurants with multiple locations to post this information.) We were quite full and satisfied after our long brunch at Del Frisco’s…..the perfect way to feel after a lazy weekend brunch.

Del Frisco’s Grille
1551 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 395-7333
Hours: Monday to Friday – 11:00am to 11:00pm, Saturday – 10:00am to 11:00pm, and Sunday 10:00am to 10:00pm