If it were up to me, I wouldn’t leave the house over a weekend (or, well, any other day of the week). I’d lounge around in the sunlight, maybe by a pool, but probably on a couch in peace and quiet. I’m a bit of a homebody and–aside from a nice bowl of chilled water–I don’t want much. Yet, sometimes I have to tag along for brunch. It’s not that I don’t enjoy brunching but, you know, it can be a lot to have to sit outside, dealing with people wanting to talk to you, as you are trying your best not to pout for food, while remaining calm, cool, and collected: it can be a bit much. When I do brunch, there are a few places I enjoy frequenting. Let me share them with you–from one dog, to another.
This is my old standby: it’s quiet, the food is spectacular, the service is great, you always can sit in the sun, and sometimes you see a celebrity or two. The outdoor areas here line the glass windows of the restaurant, for about nine-ish tables. They’re pretty accommodating for outside parties and dogfriends, getting you a table in around twenty minutes and bowls of water at even the slightest notice of a pant. If you are skittish and stirred by people passing by and standing around you occasionally, this isn’t your place. Moreover, you have a front row seat outside to see jaywalkers crossing from the Northside of Beverly to the Southside of Beverly to grab a bite (which can be stress inducing). I haven’t tried these, but Kyle and Bobby both really enjoy splitting (one) Blueberry Ricotta pancake and a Fried Egg Sandwich. It sounds good, but I’m a little partial to grabbing a snack at Urban Pet across the way afterwards.
Food+Lab (Santa Monica Blvd. Location)
This is a nice, quiet spot with great sandwiches, café drinks, and (European) atmosphere. There are two places for you and dogfriends to sit: on the Santa Monica patio or the back lot patio. The Santa Monica patio is less favorable, as it only has about five or six tables and is on the busy sidewalk on a busy street. You also are in direct sunlight, which is good on a cold day but terrible on a hot day when you are wearing a full coat. The back patio is preferred, which is encased walls made out of bushes. There are a few (close quarters) seating options and, typically, are a few other dogfriends sitting in the shade. It also should be noted that you will get a lot of attention as a dogfriend because you are so close to other people that pets are in order. For someone like myself, this place is great because tiny birds fly in and out (candy with wings, I usually call them). The service here is nice as are their chicken sandwiches (the schnitzel and buffalo are best).
This is, basically, a dog park with people food at your fingertips. Have an athletic morning hiking, lookout from Observatory, and then grab a bowl of water, a tomato and cheese tart, and lavender shortbread cookie and sit picnic style under trees. This is definitely not for dogfriends who are solo types because you will be visited by people, fellow dogfriends, and children–lots and lots and lots of children. Be on your best behavior!
LA Mill is quite a scene to begin with. But,add patio seating? Say goodbye to your service! This place is always on my mind because it’s nearby the Silver Lake Dog Park (great for birding, bad for not-being-visited-by-dogs) and because it’s also near a few dog friendly stores (OK and Lawson Fenning, specifically). This place only allows servers to visit you two times (once to take your order, the second time to give you your check), so go in knowing that the patio service is quite neglectful. The food, coffee and tea beverages, and location is great–the service will drive you away, though.
Intelligentsia Silver Lake
After every unsatisfactory LA Mill trip, we always go to Intelligentsia (and, recently, if we want to trek East, we bypass LA Mill and simply opt for here). There’s ample outdoor, in-the-sun seating and lots and lots of pigeons (steak with wings, I call them). You can grab expertly crafted coffee and tea and snacks (not full food, but you can grab sandwiches at The Cheese Store or Café Stella, which is a little too cramped for dogfriends). You can also lounge here as long as you want, since the rest are a bit too formal for dog day afternoons (I had to!).
So. This place is not high class or fancy or even have that amazing of food, okay: I’m putting that on the table right now. It’s comfortable! It’s neighborhoody! It’s super dogfriend friendly! It also has one of the most amazing views for brunches for a Saturday or Sunday morning, as you have the West Hollywood City Hall and Hamburger Marys within eyes’ reach from the outdoor seating. There are quite a few tables here and frequently dog visitors–but never unwelcome, close quarter friends. This place is also very, very healthy, attracting large muscle men types for protein breakfasts and juices. You’ll also get lots of pets from passerbys here.
This has to be my favorite place because, well, it’s dog themed! You can always grab a table! It has great food! Water bowls everywhere! Dog treats, dog photos, dog wallpaper, dog paintings–you name it: Fat Dog has it. Now, yes, I may be a little too excited to share this but do not fret: it isn’t slapping you in the face with it’s dog lovingness because it’s actually quite understated in its approach to the theme (and, after 7PM, they don’t allow dogs anymore so, yeah, they’re totally legit and understand dogs like me want to be in bed by that time, anyway). Brunches here give you a large selection of (cheap!) cocktails and great, hearty meals for the price. You can also trek over to Tailwaggers next door after or even Lindy And Grundy for a gourmet (dog) treat when you are finished. Doesn’t get any better than this, pups.