Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar
La Colombe Coffee / Spiked Cereal Milk – Cocoa Puffs, Vanilla Vodka
Pig’s Nest – Bacon Sausage Scotch Egg, Frisee Salad, Cilantro Pesto, Peppadew Vinaigrette
Benedict Fries – Pit Smoked Ham, Fries, Peppadew Peppers, Raclette Cheese, Smoked Paprika Hollandaise Sauce, Sunny Side Up Egg
Honey Espresso Sticky Bun – Spiced Rum Caramel, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Toasted Pecans
Full Monte Cristo – Pit Smoked Ham, Tapatio Candied Bacon, Raclette Cheese, Pretzel Bread, Pineapple Rum Batter, Strawberry Champagne Coulis
Big Bird & Shortstack – Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Gojuchang Butter, Vermont Maple Syrup
Duck, Duck Goose – Foie Gras, Scrambled Duck Eggs, Seasonal Mushrooms, Duck-Porcini Jus, Housemade Whistle Pig Blackberry Jelly Biscuit (listed as Toast on the Menu)
Vintage Cheddar & Chive Biscuit
Drunken French Toast – Crispy Challah, Pear Bandy, Pear Compote, Mascarpone Mousse, Powdered Sugar, Maple Syrup
An idea ‘just crazy enough to work’ from Jeremy Fall, the original concept of serving upscale Breakfast Food from 6pm until Midnight in Hollywood now migrated to trendy Venice where Friday, Saturday and Sunday have further expanded to daytime hours, Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar had been a source of curiosity ever since it opened, the new location and brunch beginning at ten o’clock drawing two couples to Washington Boulevard on Saturday morning.
Having undergone only subtle changes from its prior inception, the hot Coffee from La Colombe now offered with free refills along with the bold Cold-brew plus several Classic and “Cereal Milk” Cocktails there to tempt those looking to chase a hang-over, or start one, it was with reservations offered beginning at eleven that several diners arrived before the restaurant opened its doors for early-morning walk-ins, a table near the front of a space lined with chalkboard walls soon to be filled with plates created by Chef Greg Schroeppel, a Wolfgang Puck alumnus.
Said to be inspired by Sunset Strip’s late-80s heritage, though the soundtrack speaks more to early 90s Gangster Rap that strangely leans more heavily on Biggie than 2-Pac or Dr. Dre, it was with good service that the well-culled but interesting menu was navigated with a request to be doled out in two rounds, the scratch-made Breakfast beginning with a makeshift Scotch Egg entitled “Pig’s Nest” featuring a still-runny Egg Yolk pouring forth from its golden Bacon and Sausage Shell into a bowl of light Frisee Salad and a smear of Pesto plus bright Vinaigrette.
Trying best to get a good mix of Sweet, Savory and Pork-less plates with both rounds, the Smoked Ham atop hand-cut Fries topped in melted Raclette, Hollandaise and a runny Egg easily navigated around and still proclaimed as delicious by those who don’t dig on Swine, even better bites were found in the pricey Monte Cristo featuring three deep-fried skewers of Pretzel Bread wrapped around Bacon, Ham and Cheese with a bitter-sweet Strawberry Sauce liberally poured on top, the Honey Espresso Sticky Bun offering a golden mountain of swirled dough for which sharing is advised, particularly given the sizable scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and pool of boozy Caramel in which it rests.
Not particularly sold on the Spiked Cereal Milk, at least the “Coco Puffs” version tasting like little more than Chocolate Milk without a lot of creativity or kick, round two began with more Coffee and a dish called “Big Bird & Shortstack,” the Fried Chicken nothing more than fair-to-middling Tenders paired to fluffy Sweet Potato Pancakes topped in Spicy Butter with Pure Maple Syrup, the ‘vintage’ Cheddar and Chive Biscuits a bit overpriced at the a la carte price of $4 each when they could have been ordered along with both Chicken and Sausage Gravy for $16, and all the more annoying as one was served in place of the Toast suggested on the menu to be part of a follow-up dish.
Noting that the Biscuits were suggested by the server who felt that both the Chicken and Biscuits plus the Big Bird and Shortstack would be redundant, it was nonetheless the same item that arrived as part of the “Duck, Duck Goose” placing seared Foie Gras in the context of scrambled Duck Eggs plus Mushrooms, the flavor here admittedly quite rich and worth the $22 while the same can be said of $14 ‘Drunken French Toast’ featuring Rice Krispy coated Challah soaked in a Custard spiked with Pear Brandy in a sizzling skillet with Pear Jam and whipped Mascarpone plus more Maple Syrup for those who truly enjoy their sweets for Breakfast.