Eggs Benedict – Hollandaise, Coddled Egg, Spinach, Smoked Pork
Golden Eggs – Lodge Toast, Avocado, Horseradish, Spinach, Turmeric
Steak and Eggs – Flatiron, Kale, Chipotle Vinaigrette, Crispy Egg
Herb Omelet – Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Side Salad
Baby Kale – Pickled Asian Pear, Dried Apricot, Cucumber, Almond Dressing, Crisp Quinoa
Tortilla Espanola – Egg, Potato, Onion, Pimenton, Chive Aioli
$10K Burger – Avocado, Sunnyside Egg, Watercress, Brioche Bun
Crispy Potatoes – Chive Aioli, Rosemary, Horseradish
Chia Porridge – Coconut, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Hemp Seeds
Chicken and Waffle – Buttermilk, Maple Whip, Hot Sauce
The Fat Stack – Maple, Banana Mash, Strawberry
Chai French Toast – Brioche, Whipped Cream
Blueberry Souffle – Pear-Kaffir Lime Sorbet
Chocolate Ganache Tart – Persimmon, Cashew Ice Cream, Blackberry, Pomegranate, Bee Pollen
Banana Bundt – Burnt Honey Ganache, Habanero Hibiscus Ice Cream, Toasted Coconut
Toqued by SyFy Star and Top Chef Season Two runner-up Marcel Vigneron, a fact recited by servers but wasted on those who ignore food television and base their dining instead on trusted sources speaking of the Chef’s talent and passion, it was with six friends that brunch was enjoyed at Wolf on Melrose Avenue, the entire menu save for one redundant item ordered with an added bonus of three Desserts typically only offered later in the day.
Themed on an idea of “No Waste Cooking,” the Vegetable-centric menu focused on using every part of each ingredient in some manner, it was at a long table directly in front of the kitchen window that the group was seated mere moments after opening, a youngster entertained by college football on an I-Pad via free WiFi while the adults ignored suggestions of a-plate-or-two each to a grand total of fourteen plus one side.
Rustic and lengthy in layout with wood, concrete and tile beneath music far more sedate than the Los Angeles average, it was with a small chuckle that many listened to a hirsuit server explain the idea of ‘molecular gastronomy’ before quickly adapting to his audience, the ‘script’ dropped in expert fashion as later descriptions focused on ingredients and sourcing with technical questions from a Chef at the table answered accurately on the fly.
Pouring bottomless Stumptown Coffee throughout the meal, coursing deferred to the staff, round one was described as ‘savory breakfast’ with a rich Benny presenting English Muffins topped in smoked Pork and rich Hollandaise, the other three plates each offering their own unique take on Kale and mixed Greens, the salad-only an enormous portion dialed up by dehydrated and pickled Fruits while those with Eggs took divergent paths, the “Golden” version a bit too heavily seasoned for some while the Omelet was folded, fluffy and picture-perfect on the plate.
Beginning round two with Steak and Eggs that see Chef Vigneron slice a Medium-Rare Flatiron around more Baby Kale, this time glistening in spicy Vinaigrette beneath a deep-fried poached Egg, the “$10K Burger” also relies on a bit of ‘Yolk-porn’ to sell its soft grind layered in Avocado and Watercress, the Crispy Potatoes an undeniable must-order that everyone at the table fawned over with Chive Aioli, Rosemary and lightly shaved Horseradish.
Seeing some challenged by the ‘slimey’ texture of Chia Porridge, though the small bowl topped in flaked Coconut and Blueberries found favor from others, a Spanish Tortilla was spot-on to those served as bar food across Northern Spain, the thinly layered Potatoes floating in eggy Custard brightened by Red Peppers.
Moving on to more “American” standards, the Chicken and Waffle placing a greaseless, boneless thigh atop crisp yet pliable Buttermilk with Maple Whip and Hot Sauce, those looking for something truly delicious would be well-advised to order at least one plate of souffléd French Toast, the Chai-infused Custard preventing the plate from being *too* sweet while those craving more sugar should check out the fluffy “Fat Stack” with Banana Mash, Strawberries and Maple Syrup.
Perfectly sated at this point, but always willing to spend more table-time with such a passionate group, it was at Marcel’s discretion that three desserts were prepared from the dinner menu, the Chocolate Ganache Tart expectedly rich, though well balanced by its accoutrements, while the Blueberry Souffle rose tall-and-proud with the addition of Pear-Kaffir Lime Sorbet as the Banana Bundt stood-out as the meal’s unexpected stunner beneath Burnt Honey Frosting, two-flavors of housemade ‘dippin dots’ and a quenelle of tingly-hot Hibiscus Ice Cream.