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No actual brunch service is designated at Milo & Olive, but the essentials are all there at Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb's pizzeria. It is sensible decision for a space that is as cozy as your living room, but operates like one big communal dining room. Deep in the heart of Santa Monica, this is a Westside alternative to BLD and Bar Ama for a mid-week brunch get-together. Whereas mimosas are the norm among brunch cocktails elsewhere, the grapefruit sparkler composed of Prosecco and red wine hits notes often missing in its popular counterpart. It pulls enough weight to pair with the wild mushroom grits or the baked eggs farm eggs over a stew of kale, potatoes and white beans. You won't miss waffles or pancakes at the sight of the glass-partitioned display of freshly baked pastries that might include a berry jam-topped scone one day and a caramel coated bran muffin the next. 2723 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 453-6776.3. MB Post:
Brunch at M.B. Post is impossibly convivial. On an early Sunday afternoon, you might hear the Nas-Amy Winehouse collabo "Cherry Wine" playing a few decibels higher than the steady din of chatter. The varying sounds are less noise than soundtrack to one of the better weekend parties you'll attend. All dishes come compact and easily shareable -- conducive to the kind of social experiment that brings together two parties who happen to sit next to one another. You'll get asked about the Old George, a cocktail -- pink from raspberry pepper jam -- poured into a glass with a salt rim. Later, the corned beef cheek hash with gremolata will arrive, as does a new round of questions. By the time, your pineapple lemon skillet cake with vanilla maple syrup comes around, you've probably conversed with your neighbor enough to offer her a slice. 1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 545-5405.2. Cook's County:
Like a few other restaurants on this list, Cook's County places a particular emphasis on ingredients sourced from local purveyors. The menu highlights a mix of farmers market favorites. But you mightn't be able to recall this when you're busy reconfiguring your fried eggs entree, making sure equal hits of yogurt and harissa top the tartine you just made with eggs and fried chickpeas over the grilled olive bread. If breakfast pastries are etched in your rubric for best brunch practices, Roxana Jullapat's handiwork will become one of the standards by which others are measured. A pastry basket might consist of a Meyer lemon cornmeal muffin, ginger scone, cheddar buttermilk biscuit and jelly donut. 8009 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove; (323) 653-8009.