Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BLD: I could get used to this

My Sundays haven’t been particularly lazy lately. None of the loafing about, sweat pants-wearing and reality TV-watching that I enjoy way more than a person with any modicum of motivation should. Instead, I’ve been running “errands,” trooping my car out to five different grocery stores to find whatever must-have/hard-to-find ingredient I need for the recipe I just have to make, and writing. Always writing.


This past Sunday would be different. I was meeting my three snarky gal pals for a celebratory brunch at BLD, Neal Fraser’s contemporary American restaurant that, as the name suggests, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. I knew there would be alcohol – a Bloody Mary or two, mimosas and prosecco. And I knew that we would most likely stay far beyond the appropriate amount of time it takes to consume pancakes and eggs. I didn’t know, however, that the food would hold its own against the superior company. And I didn’t know that I would fall so desperately in love with the brunch at the popular Beverly Blvd. eatery.

I’d been to the restaurant before. Twice to be exact. Both occasions were “fine.” The hemp-encrusted tofu salad with shisito peppers was nice for a weekday lunch – as was the vegetable chopped salad for a Saturday brunch – but neither dish stood out to me. Neither made me slap my knee on a weekend morning and say, “By golly, I’ve got to go to BLD today!”

So, as I sat in church Sunday morning, trying (unsuccessfully) to pay attention to the sermon about Saul’s transformation from Christian persecutor to the apostle Paul, I was slapping my knee about getting to see my friends – not about getting to fill my stomach.

Aside, of course, from the act of consuming the aforementioned mimosa. (I’ve become quite partial to the beverage as of late.)

Soon after receiving our lofty spread of eats, however, my low expectations for BLD’s brunch were promptly dismissed. Gone were the “nice” and “fine” adjectives that I’d used to describe my previous meals at the restaurant. And gone was my ability to fully focus all my attention on my charming dining companions. Because, as I sat there, punching my fork through the half-inch blueberry ricotta pancake we’d ordered to share, and needling my knife through the crest of the golden egg yolk on my warm lentil salad ($14), I couldn’t contain my delight.

The much-praised blueberry ricotta pancake that seems to make its way to almost every tabletop in the restaurant was revelatory – the best pancake I’ve eaten in recent memory. My warm lentil salad with crispy pancetta, cherry tomatoes, red onion, arugula, fried eggs, pecorino romano, and sherry vinaigrette floored me with its well-balanced flavors. While I am not one who eagerly pushes my food on other people (see: LudoBites 4.0: Learning to share – the entire menu), I insisted that my companions try my dish – even thrusting the precious bits of caramelized pancetta onto their forks so they could get the full effect of all the components together.


The superior brunch, the divine company and, of course, the alcohol, were exactly what I needed to get my lazy Sunday mojo back. Flushed from the success of our meal, we spent the rest of the afternoon pining over shoes at Nordstrom at the Grove, sifting through the racks at Forever 21 and then retiring for another hour of unfiltered conversation and prosecco at Monsieur Marcel.

It wasn’t sweatpants and "Millionaire Matchmaker," but it was the perfect way to waste a day. Especially since, in my mind, it wasn’t a waste at all.

BLD
7450 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 930-9744

14 comments:

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

I love BLD for breakfast! Why is that syrup container so damn cute and the food so damn good. Just a little pricey in my opinion, but I like to make the splurge every now and then.

Alessandra said...

I want to have a mimosa with you!

weezermonkey said...

I really like BLD. I'm surprised your first two visits were only "fine."

Jenn said...

See I would have a hard time paying attention in church too if i knew I'd be eating a pancake like that with a mimosa. It's way too tempting not for it to be on my mind.

Ashley said...

this sounds like an inga-friendly eatery.

Esi said...

The pancakes sound good and all, but I am dying over those lentils. I think I am lentil obsessed right now.

lynn @ the actors diet said...

they do have a good brunch - i hear the french toast is the best in the city.

Anna A. said...

Good thing there are not quizzes after church. Sign me up for your lentil egg salad! Yum! (and a mimosa).

Diana said...

Nastassia - I kind of wanted to steal the syrup container! I might have too if it hadn't been so sticky!

Ali - 2 weeks!!!

Weez - Well, I did order salads on those first two visits...

Jenn - I don't think I'll be able to concentrate on anything until I can eat this brunch again!

Ashley - I was thinking the same thing! Meet me there one Sunday?

Esi - I knew you'd go gaga for the lentils! With the pancetta and runny eggs, it's got Esi written all over it.

Lynn - I'll have to try the French toast some time! Though I don't know that anything can be the FT at Canele...

Diana said...

Anna - Come with me next time!!

Nicole said...

the lentil salad (minus pancetta!)sounds amazing as does the blueberry ricotta pancake. YUM! i went to BLD for brunch once and liked it quite a bit...

SinoSoul said...

Chickie got super sick after dessert here, so did a fellow blogger after an egg dish. Only 2 data points, but too close for comfort. You want some oranges for mimosas? I got them sprawling over from the neighbor's yard.

Misty Oka said...

I am SO glad to hear that the pancakes are as good as everyone says they are. I have to check them out sometime!

Diana said...

Nicole - Oh but the smoky porky bits are the best part of the lentil salad! I could eat a plate of just those! oink oink! ;)

Tony - I was waiting for that comment to come down the pipeline. Even so, I stand by my brunch. Best midday meal I've had in a while!

Misty - Please do! They are unbelievable!