Monique A. LeBleu contributed to this post
It’s almost the weekend, and time to start thinking about brunch. Last weekend Commerson invited us to check out their current brunch menu. The restaurant is located on a sunny corner in the Mid-Wilshire district. Blonde woods, high ceilings and large picture windows give the room a light, spacious feel. The room is much more comfortable, the staff more informal, and the dress code more flexible than a glance at the menu would suggest. There is also a spacious patio for dining al fresco, with or without your canine companion.
Brunch, which is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm., can be as elegant or as rustic as you like. If you’re all about day drinking, Commerson offers a “Bottomless Bundle,” which includes one menu item and bottomless bellinis for two hours. Bellinis are seasonal; the current options are a guava, pear & sage bellini or a peach & thyme bellini made with J.P. Chenet Sparkling Brut. The price is a reasonable $35. There is also a full bar with beer and wines as well as specialty cocktails. I tried the S.S. Tiki, and true to its Pacific roots, it was one strong drink, mixing light and dark rums with citrus, orange liqueur and Gran Classico, an aperitif amaro with shades of Campari.
If you are going for glam, why not pair your bellini with a starter of West Coast Kumiai Oysters, served with a crisp-tangy cucumber mignonette and cocktail sauce at $2 a pop and a nice Smoked Salmon Benedict? If you prefer something more exotic, the Coconut Pandan French Toast is intense but comforting, with macadamia nuts, Crusoe rum butter, coconut crème chantilly, and that rich vanilla taste of the pandan, a Thai leaf that is used to flavor desserts. The toast is made with coconut milk, so you may even be able to order a vegan version.
Another original brunch item is the Pork Belly Toast, with a tomato marmalade, piquillo peppers, intense, ripe cherry tomatoes and fennel topped with sunny side up eggs. The flavors are somewhat reminiscent of shakshouka, but brightened notably by the cherry tomatoes. Along with the usual omelettes and waffles, you can order salads, sandwiches and burgers as well as one of their house specialties, Chicken Tinga Sopes..
The current menu is a reflection of several of Commerson’s talented chefs, most recently Chef Cristina Stuart. Their newest chef, Francisco Agustin, will soon be unveiling a new seasonal menu, taking the restaurant in a modern Californian direction. Let’s just hope they keep the Pandan French Toast on the menu!