LA Weekly‘s inaugural Brunch at the Races took place on Sunday, October 18, 2015, though LA Weekly had done four previous Pancake Breakfast events, which were smaller in scale. The “Races” part of the name for this year’s event is due to the venue, Santa Anita Park. Tickets to the event included admission into the racetrack, and many attendees stayed to watch (and bet on) said races.
Even though the weather had cooled recently, from ludicrous heat to just scorching, it was still rather balmy at the track. Personally, I don’t like to eat a lot of carbs when I’m feeling hot, and since this was a brunch event, carbs abounded. I did enjoy Myke’s Cafe‘s red velvet pancake, and especially Superba Food+Bread‘s “coffee & donuts” (a peach bombolone with espresso milk shake).
Since I wasn’t as in the mood for pure starches, the dishes that had a protein component ended up being the favorites. The Blue Owl, all the way from Santa Barbara, served a playful take on biscuits & gravy by substituting clam chowder for the latter component of the classic dish, and topping it off with an egg. Status Kuo chef David Kuo made smoked salmon on squid ink bread, as he demonstrated in a Munchies video this summer. More on the lunch end than the breakfast end, Tortas Ahogadas Chago served their eponymous sandwich, which was messy but delicious!
My top bite of the event was chef Johnny Lee‘s Hainan chicken, which was delicious and comforting! Johnny even provided dessert in the form of dou hua, silken tofu with a sweet, gingery syrup.
I hadn’t been to any of the Pancake Breakfasts in past years, so I can’t say how this event compares. I will say that, with the exception of the unseasonably hot weather, which obviously LA Weekly can’t control, I thought the event went very well. I did have to leave early, but my family stayed to the end and really enjoyed themselves. I liked that the stands were more spread out, and that lines didn’t butt into each other. I hope LA Weekly continues with Brunch at the Races at the Santa Anita Park next year because it’s a really nice venue for this event.
To see what else I tried at Brunch at the Races, check out hashtag #offaloraces on Instagram.
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LA Weekly’s Brunch at the Races
Santa Anita Park
285 W Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007