22 Jun Step Inside The Little Door Santa Monica
The Little Door restaurant is like a little secret hideaway, but it’s not a secret. The space on 3rd Street in West Hollywood has been known as a romantic French restaurant since it opened in 1996. It seems to be tucked away but it’s actually on a busy street and easy to find, if you are looking for it. In September (2014), The Little Door opened a second location, tucked out in the open on 26th Street, just south of San Vicente, in Santa Monica (across the street from the Brentwood Country Mart).
With ornate wrought iron fencing covering the entrance on 26th Street, it is easy to miss The Little Door Santa Monica, if you are not looking. There are no signs that pop out as you drive by. But, located in the former space of Mimi’s, enter the “little door” and you are in a large open patio area. To the right is indoor dining and bar and there are two private rooms in the rear [who hadn’t been to a bridal shower, baby shower or birthday lunch in those spaces when it was Mimi’s?]. But what the Little Door Santa Monica offers is lots of outdoor dining space that will make you feel like you have been transported to a French Mediterranean village…..white washed walls with blue accents and lots of fresh greenery. While the space may be a perfect romantic destination at night, it is an ideal spot for a weekend brunch.
Just in time for summer, The Little Door Santa Monica started serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 2pm. The menu is French with Moroccan and Mediterranean influences.
What better way to start brunch than with cocktails. I tend to shy away from Mimosas as many places don’t use fresh juice or quality sparkling wine. But, at The Little Door Santa Monica, the Mimosa is made with Bailly Lapierre Cremant de Bourgogne and fresh organic orange juice. The Cremant de Bourgogne has more body and structure than a Prosecco but also has brighter, fresher notes than a Champagne. Another classic to order is a Bloody Mary, made with Chef’s spices, tomato juice and Beluga Vodka. There is the perfect amount of subtle heat that sits on the back of the palate and in the throat.
As we sipped on our drinks, we ordered a Breakfast Basket to start. The basket includes a Pain a Chocolate, a Butter Croissant and an Almond Croissant that come fresh from bakery at The Little Next Door (located next to The Little Door in West Hollywood). I could have easily made a meal of just this basket of hot flaky, buttery happiness.
Egg dishes are a staple of any brunch and while tempted by the roasted baby artichokes omelet with spinach and goat cheese or the seared foie gras with poached eggs, fingerling potato frites and green lentils on a truffle brioche toast with port wine reduction, we opted for Eggs Benedict. There are three Eggs Benedict choices – grilled mini filet mignon benedict with bernaise hollandaise, wild mushroom benedict with black truffle hollandaise and Moroccan crab cake benedict with harissa and preserved lemon hollandaise.
We opted for the Moroccan Crab Cake Benedict with harissa and preserved lemon hollandaise. Instead of English muffins (or brioche toast), the eggs sit on the crab cakes which have spice notes that are nicely balanced by the sweet citrus of the preserved lemon hollandaise. The harissa added just a touch of heat, cutting through any sweetness. The crab cake benedict is served with a fruited tabbouleh and Moroccan greens. This dishes truly exemplifies the French, Moroccan and Mediterranean influences in the menu.
We also ordered the Smoked Salmon and Mini Waffles. The waffles are soft and a little sweet. Pile on the cream cheese, lox, chopped hardboiled eggs, onions, tomatoes and capers and it’s like a sophisticated form of bagels and lox.
There are also salad, appetizer and entree options for those who don’t want breakfast at brunch. But, I will be heading back for brunch for more croissants and to try another egg dish. And, I will be heading there for dinner, specifically for the dessert board that I stared at throughout brunch. With beignets and chocolate souffle on the menu, I will be there soon!
The Little Door Santa Monica
246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402