I love nothing more than a brunch that’s delicious and comforting with an innovative twist. As much as I love classic American brunch cuisines, it’s easy to grow a little tired of them. I was invited in to taste brunch items at Spartina, in Los Angeles recently. Spartina offers Northern Italian inspired dishes with a SoCal twist. After this brunch, I believe I found the next “it” brunch items that could spawn many copycats.
7505 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Spartina opened in 2015 and is owned by Chef Stephen Kalt, well-known for stints at Le Cirque in NYC and Caulfield’s in LA. Executive Sous Chef Gary Caldwell started cooking here last September. He comes from the Las Vegas scene (having met Chef Kalt from his stint at the Sinatra in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas).
This atmosphere feels relaxed with the amount of sunlight and use of sky blue tables. I’m already itching to come back for dinner and seeing if it feels a bit more formal in the evening. Pricing wise, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable for the LA dining scene.
Like any good Girl on Food does, I started with a glass of Farnese Fantini Cuvée Rosé, a bright pink sparkling rosé with notes of cherries and strawberries. It’s a little on the fruity side, compared to the more dry rosés I usually order, but it paired well with many of the dishes in this post.
For the brunch starters, the Fried Squash Blossoms and the Beet Salad were the best of both worlds- the squash being fried and creamy and the beet salad being healthy and fresh. But the Grilled Avocado, was my favorite starter and quite possibly my favorite item here. I believe once the word gets out about this dish in the LA foodie scene, many restaurants will try to imitate! The avocado does hold a creamy, buttery consistency with a delicious char, from the grill, on the top. To top it off, there’s shaved ricotta cheese, a drizzle of chili oil, and a spritz of freshly squeezed lemon. I could’ve easily eaten 3 of these dishes!
View this post on Instagram
Julianne here: I was going to wait on posting this video of the Bolognese Waffle from brunch at @spartina.la but I just couldn't! I had to share this beautiful yolk porn with you right now! Full post is coming soon but here's a bite to keep you craving more! #spartinasocialclub @eatandbefull
I would consider the Bolognese Waffle, as you can see from the video above, to be the most Instagram-able item on the menu! This waffle is topped with a pork and beef bolognese and a sunny side up egg for the one jaw dropping dish. The bolognese is juicy, tender and has a bright tomato flavor to it. I do recommend this be consumed quickly, so the waffle maintains a crispness.
Spartina prides themselves on their house-made pasta (as they should!), and the White and Black Garlic Pasta is one of Gary’s favorite items to cook. Fresh spaghettini is mixed with Calabrian chilies, garlic, pecorino cheese and sautéed mushrooms. It’s a very garlicky pasta dish (in a good way!) thanks to the black garlic, which adds a very caramelized taste to it. I recommend this dish for those of you who don’t love sauce heavy pastas, but something on the lighter side.
I ended brunch on the sweeter side of life with a couple of their Raspberry Filled Bombolini. These are like a beignet, fried crisp on the outside, doughy and filled with a raspberry jam on the inside. Tart and sweet, this was the perfect way to conclude brunch and these also paired beautifully with a refill on my Cuvée Rosé.
Spartina is the perfect brunch spot in LA, especially because you can walk off the brunch by window shopping on Melrose! I am already planning my next stop in for dinner. I’m thinking their Trenette with Octopus and Bone Marrow pasta dish… Until next time!
*Special thanks to Spartina and @eatandbefull for setting tasting up. Although this meal was provided by Spartina, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.