Brunch at Redbird
Redbird started Sunday brunch service on April 24th, just in time for Mother’s Day, if you haven’t made a reservation yet. Chef Neal Fraser‘s menu consists of such brunch staples as waffles, quiches, and fritattas, with nods to the South like biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, hoppin’ johns, and some international inspired dishes like Basque bake eggs and posole. A variety of excellent baked goods by pastry chef Jashmine Corpuz are also available.
It was my family’s first time at Redbird, so we ordered a little bit of everything. I had eyed a ca phe sua da-inspired cocktail called Good Morning Vietnam on the restaurant’s Instagram feed and knew I had to order it. It was a great start, refreshing, bitter, not too sweet.
We started with some pastries including their Bostock that was somehow dense and light at the same time, and really, really good, as well as a Berliner doughnut with a simple but decadent milk chocolate pastry cream.
As an offal lover, two items on the menu caught my eye, the Foie Gras Torchon and the Scrapple side. The former, which is listed as $26 on their brunch menu online, same as their dinner foie gras dish, was actually $19 for a decent portion of the liver, served sandwich-like with an English muffin. It was as rich as you’d expect. The later was an unexpected hit at the table, but mostly for the crispy pig ears sprinkled on top. The actual scrapple itself was more headcheese based than liver, and reminded me more of a croquette. Still delicious!
For our main dishes, my wife had the Hopping John, while my younger daughter had the Posole. I got a taste of each, and loved the posole, which I had tried at LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade last year. The hoppin’ john seemed a little bland after the posole, but that may also be due to the fact that I didn’t try it until later, after my wife ate most of the ham. D’oh! The “fried egg” seemed more sous-vide poached, but my wife didn’t mind as the yolk had that perfect gel-like consistency that my wife loves.
My older daughter’s main was the Grilled Lamb Belly, served with some interesting Korean-Jewish fusion of kimchi and (sweet potato) latkes. The lamb was very flavorful, and the bold flavors of the other ingredients paired well with it. My main was the Basque Baked Eggs. Like in my wife’s dish, the eggs were perfect for me, a little runnier than she’d prefer. How did the restaurant know without asking? ;-) Anyway, I’d never had Basque baked eggs before but it reminded me of huevos rancheros or shakshuka and was packed with flavor. Only complaint I had was that it needed more morcilla!
We ordered a panna cotta for dessert that was good, but unfortunately I didn’t get a great shot of it. We thought we were done, but we got one unexpected dish!
My friend and fellow food blogger Julian of Food’s Eye View is actually working as a line cook at Redbird–his story is fascinating. I told him I was coming for brunch, and he had wanted to send out a tripe dish for me, since I love offal (as if you didn’t know that about me).
Chef Neal Fraser actually came out and told me this earlier in the meal–he was making his way around the dining room chatting with customers during this first brunch service–but said that they weren’t able to prepare it. But somehow they pulled it off and served the dish after dessert! To me, this was a better way to end the meal!
Overall, my whole family thought the meal was excellent. None of us picked the more staid brunch dishes, though based on the dishes we had, I’m sure those would have been delicious too. The dining room was near-full the entire time we were there, and service ran fairly smoothly. Redbird was already open for weekday lunches, so Sunday brunch isn’t that much of a departure, but still glad to see the high quality of execution from the get-go.
One thing I didn’t mention was the space, which I didn’t take any pictures of, but it’s a beautiful, and more importantly for photography, bright space during the day at least. Would definitely like to come back for dinner sometime. If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day brunch spot, and they still have space, grab it! Otherwise, definitely try them on another Sunday!