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QUESTION: My grandmother’s birthday is coming up, and
I’m thinking of taking her someplace nice for brunch — you know, eggs Benedict,
mimosas, stuff like that — with maybe a view of sailboats. Any suggestions?

—Matt, Eagle Rock

ANSWER: There’s always One Pico at the Shutters Hotel
in -Santa Monica, with a menu lousy with crab eggs Benedict and brioche French
toast, and a view that is practically hot and cold running sailboats, at least
on weekends that aren’t quite as dreary as last week’s. Bring money. Bring lots
of money.

The brunches at Amusé Cafe, a bit south in Venice, are
pretty delicious too — we are partial to the caramelized onion-and-Gruyère
tart — and quite a bit more reasonably priced, although the only sailboats you’re
likely to see from the windows of the pleasant second-floor dining room are
those secured to trailers rumbling down to the marina.

Or you could point your car in the other direction and drive
Grams toward the scenic shores of the Rio Hondo, more -specifically to the piquantly
named Dumpling 10053, where you can dine gloriously on steamed dumplings stuffed
with rockfish, with vegetables, or with a bouncy, juicy, fairly amazing concoction
of sea cucumber, pork and shrimp. After all, wouldn’t you rather taste the sea
than look at it? 10053 Valley Blvd., El Monte, (626) 350-0188.

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