Social Pecan Roll with Sticky Toffee
Banana Walnut Muffin with Caramel Center
Glazed Raspberry and Blackberry Muffin
Blueberry Muffin with Streusel
Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
PB&J Pancakes – House Ground Peanut Butter, House Daily Jam, Buttermilk Pancakes
Smoked Salmon and Broccoli Tort – Parmesan Broccoli Tort, Roasted Sweet Pepper Coulis, Smoked Salmon, Greens
Egg Mac Kitchen – Fried Egg, Spicy Guacamole, Charred Corn, Crema
Avocado Toast – Smashed Avocado, Shaved Parmesan, Greens, Bacon Vinaigrette, Roasted Tomato, Poached Eggs
Strawberry Shortcake French Toast – Angel Food Cake, Orange Zest Batter, Strawberry Gastrique, Whipped Cream
Pork Belly Benne – Smoked Pork, Charros, Guajillo Sauce, Tomatillo Salsa, Corn Masa, Bearnaise, House Potatoes, Green Salad
White Chocolate French Toast – Salted Caramel, White Chocolate Mousse, Candied Strawberries
Foie Mac Muffin – Short Rib, English Muffin, Poached Egg, Bearnaise, Foie Gras, Foie Pan Sauce
An unabashed fan ever since entering the narrow and homey ‘Social Eatery’ for the first time to the display of housebaked pastries and Noble Tonic No1 & 2 it was with old pals, local legends, plus a longtime friend of the house that a party of five was gathered for the newly launched Boutique Brunch on the Saturday proceeding Valentine’s Day and although baked goods are currently in a state of transition thanks to staffing the new items crafted by Chefs Antonio Nunez and Javier Chavez are every bit as well crafted and delicious as patrons have come to expect.
Starting with a sprawling menu intended to gauge local tastes and since curtailing the offerings to focus on favorites while also allowing for creativity despite a small kitchen, it was once again with a great showing of hospitality that hosts, severs and chefs greeted diners within the jammed-packed space now generating 45 minute waits as patio season is about to begin, and although wait times may seem excessive to those used to chains the quality of craftsmanship and expediting remains remarkable even when compared to the best of what is offered nationwide – whether Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, or even trendy Brooklyn.
Stating that the new menu is meant to make things seasonal while also giving diners the chance to experience novel ingredients in ways that they may have never conceived, it was with carte blanche deferred to the Kitchen that the morning’s family-style experience was undertaken and kicking off with pastries the new menu sees a focus on American Classics, the Pumpkin Donut and Pear Fritter so lightly fried that they may as well have been baked while the Monkey Bread remains a city-wide standard bearer, the Social Pecan Roll tasting great, the current appearance admittedly a bit deceiving.
Impressed by the buttery Pecan Loaf plus Cookies with a crisp rim and soft center, but finding the Berry-based Muffins to have regressed to the dryness experienced early in the restaurant’s existence, menu based items got underway with a pile of three buttermilk flapjacks shellacked in housemade peanut butter plus jam and with even those who tend to avoid “sweet breakfasts” already smiling another cup of coffee helped clear the palate before veering savory, the vegetal Broccoli Tort eating something like an egg-souffle or fluffy fritatta with saline cheesy notes underlying vibrant Sweet Pepper Coulis and gently smoked Salmon.
Presenting a few new spins on the breakfast sandwiches made famous by a clown and Golden Arches the kitchen next sent forth the Egg Mac Kitchen and with the crispy English Muffin already an upgrade on the original Chef Nunez raises the bar further through the addition of spicy Guacamole plus charred Corn to a nicely fried egg with a bit of levity added by tangy Crema.
Claiming that he was generally unaware of the Avocado Toast trend run amok in LA, a clear sign of a man spending too much time working and not enough traveling or dining out, Nunez’s take on the modern classic slightly misses the Veg-Friendly point by adding Poached Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette, but proving all the better for it and thus actually quite stunning it was perhaps more expected that the follow-up citrusy Strawberry Short Cake French Toast quickly nudged its way into the spotlight with soft layers of Angel Food Cake happily sopping up cloudy Whipped Cream and lightly sweetened Strawberry Gastrique.
At this point just showing off, some at the table already starting to claim satiety while others more appropriately peered at the ope kitchen in anticipation of what was to come next, Antonio strayed slightly from the menu to present the Pork Belly Benne and with house-smoked pork mixing with beans, masa, and salsa the heat was raised just a touch through the addition of tangy Guajillo chili but still kept in check with creamy Bearnaise, the overall composition appropriately-deemed a table favorite.
Rounding out the meal with two more plates, the White Chocolate French Toast undoubtedly the sort of thing that spoke to holiday often celebrated with sweetness, it was as a grand finale that Kitchen Table sent forth a second ‘breakfast sandwich,’ the Foie Mac Muffin not just featuring a roasted slice of liver but also seeing the bun itself soaked in the pan jus with a topping of tender Short Rib and Bearnaise offering up plenty of richness even before rupturing the soft-poached egg.
FIVE STARS: At this point seeing the endorsement of nearly every media outlet in town, a great thing for the restaurant but a growing concern for those looking to walk-in on a weekend, the only question remaining for Chefs Chavez and Nunez is how long the Buzz will last, a question each seem happy to confront with the sort of menu that never seems to lack for innovation and a commitment to quality that provides plenty of reasons to come back.
RECOMMENDED: Pear Fritter, Monkey Bread, PB&J Pancakes, Smoked Salmon and Broccoli Tort, Strawberry Shortcake French Toast, Foie Mac Muffin.
AVOID: Berry Based Muffins were dry and those arriving after 10am are likely to find Monkey Bread Sold Out.
TIP: Now opening at 7:30am with warmer temperatures in the air and the outdoor patio soon to debut wait times for seats are likely to decrease, though the small kitchen will likely prove a challenge in expediting orders for those arriving during peak times.