This is part of a collection of short reviews from my travels around the USA in June.
To a tourist, AOC feels like the quintessential LA brunch experience. Looking around, it is hard to see how a local would dispute this statement.
The reason we are here is we have been brought. Sascha is my cousin, but cousin or not, there must be a level of trust bringing a tourist into the fold. I have no idea where we are, but I like it; and I like the option of cheap valet parking too!
Brunch in LA at AOC is quite different to what we are used to in Melbourne. For a start, you can actually book! I forgot the novelty of not waiting 10-15 minutes for a table. Next, thankfully, there is no lycra or exercise gear. Everyone looks like eating (and drinking) is the objective and not a bonus.
It might be a weekly occurrence for some here though there is still a sense of occasion. When the food comes out you can see why. It’s huge and comes with way too many perfectly roasted potatoes, but the hanger steak and eggs is delicious! The steak itself is nicely seasoned, really flavoursome, and cooked properly, escaping any chewy texture. Not something I would ordinarily order for breakfast but I would eat again. The Bloody Mary is terrific too!
We finish with an incredible dessert, too difficult to describe but the flavours work beautifully – the creme fraiche softening the hit from the cumquats and the blood orange and pistachios balancing the flavour and texture. The main thing I miss from Melbourne, with only a little over a day left of our trip, is the immaculate coffee. AOC delivers a nice cup of joe but nothing more.
There is a great deal to like about AOC, and other great brunch places in the States. To add to that, the differences are refreshing. Melbourne does the best breakfast in the world, but it could do with some refined brunch restaurants to add even more breadth to the portfolio.