Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where To Eat: Brunch (and Lunch) @ Luca on Sunset

(This officially marks the 2nd post in a series that will highlight notable brunches in LA!) 

The Eats: Extremely healthy California fare with Italian influences (i.e., breakfast calzones, pizzas, salads, pastas and more)

The Vibes: Casual. A quiet tranquility seems to always permeate the space, even when packed with patrons.

With-Whom-to-Go: Anyone who would appreciate a light, healthy breakfast or brunch.

The $ Factor: $$; Considering the quality of ingredients used, I’d say the average of $11 for breakfast/brunch items and $10-$15 range for lunch items is a pretty good deal!

The 4-1-1: While brunch technically ends at 3pm, some breakfast/brunch items are served all day.

I’ll Be Back…: For the pastries and the desserts!

My idea of an ideal brunch tends to be on the hedonistic side - I'm talking about endless mimosas, big ornate buffets loaded with high calories, high cholesterol, lots of fatty goodness and tons of flavor.

So it might come as a slight surprise to find that my latest brunch recommendation is Luca on Sunset, which offers the exact opposite of my typical unhealthy binge. After being invited to experience brunch here this past spring and returning ever so often, I've come to appreciate that Luca is subtle and relaxed, serving wholesome food loaded with vitamins and fresh produce, and juice blends that I’d choose over mimosas any day.

The first word that comes to mind to describe this place is fresh. Fresh is evident in the café’s light brown and green décor, in the open kitchen that you have to pass by to grab a table and seat, in the fresh fruits and veggies proudly on display behind the cash registers.

But most importantly, this sense of freshness ends up in unique brunch selections. Many dishes have tons of vegetables, whether that’s three types of mushrooms in the 3 Mushrooms Omelette pictured below…

Or the roasted tomatoes and avocados in the Eggs & Turkey Bacon sandwich, pictured below.

Not only is there a noticeable effort to make super healthy dishes, but there’s an effort to make a variety of different kinds of breakfast dishes. You have savory dishes such as the perfectly warm and flaky Spinach Croissant, pictured below...

...and you also have sweeter options, like the Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes, pictured below (Note: I’d say are by far some of the best in the city. Although still grainier than regular pancakes, they’re actually very fluffy and flavorful).

Most importantly though, after eating here, you leave feeling the way that food should make you feel – energized, reinvigorated, replenished – not sluggish and ready for a 2-hour nap like many big brunches can make you feel.

I also can’t fail to mention that Chef/Owner Luca Giorgetti and his staff create such a warm, inviting, friendly atmosphere. I’ve watched Chef Luca work side by side his team in the kitchen and I’ve seen servers fondly say hello to customers, using their first name. The customer service is truly impeccable.

So whenever you’re in the mood to be kind to your body and give it the proper nourishment it deserves, I highly recommend going to Luca on Sunset. You can’t go wrong with this light California-Italian fare. See you there soon!

P.S. – more Luca on Sunset photos are here: Facebook Album

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Photo credit: Tulani Watkins and ME!

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