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Patina Gives Breakfast with Santa a Serious Upgrade

For those who observe the once-yearly ritual of watery eggs and heavily cased sausage that is breakfast with Santa: this weekend, the Patina Restaurant Group is offering a number of options to make (at least the eating part of) breakfast with the Big Guy practically painless.

On Saturday, December 12th, Leatherby's Cafe Rouge at the Orange County Performing Arts Center offers a special buffet menu from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., served in Santa's jolly company: thick French toast with marmalade and dark chocolate; sun-dried tomato, basil, and goat cheese frittata; and fluffy scrambled eggs with chives and crème fraîche. And if you're looking to kill two turtle doves with one stone: a condensed-for-kid-friendliness version of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," will play at 10 and 11:30 a.m., just across the way.

Further south on the 405, the Xmas breakfast at Tangata at the Bowers Museum will be only slightly more adult. On the menu: Spanish waldorf salad with toasted walnuts, grilled chicken, red flame grapes, and pimento aioli; buttermilk pancakes with warm maple syrup and mango chutney; and gingerbread men for dessert. Starting at 9:30, adults $38, children under 12 $15, children under 3 eat free.

Descanso Gardens will have holiday brunch and storytelling on both Saturday and Sunday, with two seatings at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. For $45 ($37 for members), the 3-course menu includes holiday brunch staples like breakfast pastries, winter salads, honey-ham, potatoes, bacon, and sausage, plus a few surprises like the miniature pancake bar with toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, chocolate chips, vanilla cream, and warm maple and blueberry syrups. Call (818) 790-3663 for reservations.

Leatherby's Cafe Rouge: 615 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; (714) 429-7640.

Tangata at the Bowers Museum: 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana; (714) 567-3630.

Descanso Gardens: 1418 Descanso Dr., La Canada Flintridge; (818) 790-3663.

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