The Best Hotel Brunches in L.A.

Toast with almond butter and preserves at Viviane
Toast with almond butter and preserves at Viviane
Avalon Hotel

It seems that the intent of brunch hasn't changed much since the word first appeared in print in 1895, when British author Guy Beringer wrote: “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.''

All the better if you can order ricotta pancakes and drink fancy cocktails before noon.

This weekend, skip your go-to brunch spot and make a reservation off your radar: at a hotel. Picture expansive views of the ocean or Hollywood Hills. It’s like an instant vacation, but cheaper. From Santa Monica to DTLA, hotel restaurants offer stellar service and at least one dish that’s worth the trip by itself, from bacon waffles to pancake lasagna to a fried, buttermilk-brined half chicken.

Bacon waffle with bananas at Fig
Bacon waffle with bananas at Fig
Jessica A. Koslow

Fig at Fairmont Miramar

You might be impressed by Fig's huevos rancheros, anchored by pureed beans and graced with bits of cured pork and queso fresco, or the lemon ricotta pancakes, served with homemade blueberry butter. But it’s the bacon waffle — with strips of crispy (but not crumbly) bacon layered in the batter — that’ll make you swoon. Instead of ordering a fluffy waffle and a side of bacon to dip in syrup, your work is done for you. One of Fig’s seasonal specials, the corn-ucopia, is like an ear of Mexican corn poured into a glass; resident mixologists infuse tequila with sweet corn for three days and boil down the cobs into simple syrup, adding lime and a frothy egg white. Ask to sit on the European-style patio for a view through the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows at the palm trees and blue skies. 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 576-7777, fairmont.com/santa-monica/dining/figrestaurant.

Lemon ricotta pancakes at Viviane
Lemon ricotta pancakes at Viviane
Jessica A. Koslow

Viviane at Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

Lucille Ball used to call this place home. Once a residence for the rich and famous, the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills now hosts chic travelers and local brunch crowds at Viviane, where chef Michael Hung (Faith & Flower) calls the shots in the smallish kitchen. Step inside the shiny glass doors of the hotel for a trip back in time. The midcentury California décor and vintage furniture from the 1950s and ‘60s harks back to classic Hollywood (or Palm Springs). Like the murals splashing bright colors on the wall, the food at Viviane is artsy and appealing. The slab of brioche French toast with dark chocolate ganache and cranberry compote, for instance, is an elegant take on a brunch staple. While impressive for their sheer size and spectacle, the lemon ricotta pancakes reign supreme for their fresh flavor. On the other side of the sweet/savory spectrum, there's a fried, buttermilk-brined fried chicken, buttermilk and scallion biscuits with white cheddar cheese sauce and pastrami-cured salmon tartine with ricotta cheese and spice-pickled squash. Request patio seating by the curvaceous pool, preferably in one of the cabanas to shield the sun, and try the trio of Manhattans — traditional, Rob Roy and Cuban — for a lesson on how these classic cocktails were served in the grand ol’ days. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 407-7791, vivianerestaurant.com.

Make-your-own-doughnut at Four Seasons
Make-your-own-doughnut at Four Seasons
Jessica A. Koslow

Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

One of everything, please. That’s not an unusual request at the famous Four Seasons brunch, served only on Sundays, which has three rooms filled with 10 different food stations and two bars, one with freshly squeezed fruit juice and the other with make-your-own Bloody Marys. Multiple trips are the norm, and it’s not uncommon for people to break their meal into categories: sushi, dim sum and seafood, bagels and lox, eggs benedict and waffles, and meats from the carving table along with other hot entrees, including a chef who makes corn tortillas for tacos on the spot. There's dessert, one for every type of sweet tooth, and a kids’ station with tater tots and mac and cheese. The appeal of this brunch is obviously the insane array of options, but the crowning achievement of the experience is the make-your-own-doughnut bar, where freshly made doughnuts, plain and sugar, fall off an old-fashioned machine for you to decorate with chocolate and/or caramel sauce, chocolate pearls, almonds and sprinkles. Where to sit at the Four Seasons isn’t really an issue since each room is stately. You’ll be treated like royalty (some people actually are), and the people-watching is awesome from every angle. Go early when the setup is freshest. 300 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 273-2222, fourseasons.com/losangeles.

Butterscotch pudding with candied bacon at Ford's Filling Station
Butterscotch pudding with candied bacon at Ford's Filling Station
Jessica A. Koslow


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >