In a city as big as L.A. and with such a huge drag scene, we're lucky to have many drag brunches to choose from. They seem to be popping off in every “gayborhood” from WeHo to Silver Lake. The newest one, “Wigs and Waffles,” brings a charming and fun drag brunch to the burgeoning downtown gayborhood on the ground level of The Standard.
First opened March 30, Wigs and Waffles is held every Saturday at the very bright yellow 24/7 Restaurant in the hotel. It's hosted by a duo of dynamic drag queens, Maebe A. Girl and Indica Sativa. “We [Maebe and Indica] were fortunate enough to be scouted by the Standard Hotel to host a drag brunch after some of their representatives attended a drag brunch we host elsewhere in the city,” says Maebe A. Girl. “After seeing the 24/7 Restaurant space and knowing how much fun they have at The Standard, we were thrilled to take on this new weekly endeavor to bring the best drag brunch possible to DTLA.”
Maebe and Indica definitely bring their own unique brands to the show as they pull double duty as not only hostesses but also performers. At a recent brunch seating, Indica showed off some sensual and skilled dance moves as she lip-synced to some rap and hip-hop songs, while Maebe's performance was a bit more camp, splicing together audio of an angry redneck complaining about the McDonald's McRib with Alanis Morissette's “You Oughta Know.” And Maebe isn't your ordinary drag queen — she's became the first drag queen to be elected to public office in California when she was elected to the Silver Lake neighborhood council last month.
The space at 24/7 isn't huge — the outside patio is not really part of the drag brunch, even though the performers sometimes step outside briefly during their numbers. Nevertheless, the performers definitely make the most of the space and treat the small area like it's a stadium stage. Aside from Maebe and Indica, Wigs and Waffles has a rotating cast of seasoned queens who come to perform as well. There are usually four performers a week in addition to Maebe and Indica, and every performer gets two numbers, one before a brief intermission and one after. At the May 11 show, these performers included RuPaul's Drag Race season three contestant Mariah Balenciaga who served up some classy diva to Thelma Houston's “Don't leave Me This Way” and some cart wheels and splits to Dua Lipa's “New Rules.” The show also included one non-drag performer, burlesque dancer Tito Bonito, who wowed the crowd with two stripteases, one dressed as a police officer and one as a boy scout, complete with nipple and booty tassels.
As for the food and drinks, the menu is your pretty standard brunch menu with a few twists. For $45 a person, you can get unlimited food off the menu as well as bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, coffee and juice for 90 minutes. The most exciting menu items were the chicken 'n waffles (thankfully the event lived up the hype of its name and the waffles were delicious) and the brunch-only biscuits and gravy (specifically, they're buttermilk biscuits and country gravy). While there were no complaints around the food and drinks, the main reason to go to Wigs and Waffles is not for the food, but to see Maebe, Indica and the line-up of drag performers. Drag brunch could be a bit lackluster sometimes since the queens have to fight to pull your attention away from your food and then fight to keep your attention in a non-ideal performance space.
Wigs and Waffles, however, really kept the entire crowd at the restaurant engaged with the queens, with the guests cheering and laughing the entire time. There were even families in attendance who were having just as much as everyone else, including their young children. “People should come to Wigs & Waffles drag brunch at The Standard, Downtown LA because it's a fun and entertaining experience open to all,” says Maebe A. Girl. “There's few places one can find this level of entertainment and engagement in DTLA during the day on a Saturday. It's adult friendly and family friendly — the perfect occasion for friends to get together, a family celebration or a great hangover cure!”
Indeed, I've been to many drag brunches and Wigs and Waffles is definitely one of the best. “The queens are unpretentious and will have even the shyest of people screaming for more,” says Maebe. “All in all, a great way to start your weekend.” We couldn't agree more.