A good mimosa is redundant. You can use the cheapest champagne and any old orange juice, and they’re still alright. But a good bloody mary is a rare and glorious thing. It requires balance—enough vodka to give it punch, enough tomato juice to give it body, enough Tabasco to give it kick, and enough worchestershire (or reasonable alternative) to give it character. A lot of things can go wrong.
Here’s my list of eastside restaurants that get it right:
Edendale Grill (pictured): This is one of my go-to brunch spots for two reasons: the ivy-clad patio all tucked away in the quiet part of Silverlake and the magnificent bloody mary. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had with lots of spice and enough ice that it stays chilled to perfection but doesn’t get watery. Plus, they garnish with lemon, lime and three olives! They used to include celery, but for some reason, they’ve stopped, which is slightly disappointing but not a deal breaker. About their food, it’s not spectacular, but they assemble a satisfying bagels and lox plate, and their BLAT is one of my faves.
The York —Yes, I’m always talking about The York…because they get it! Their bloody mary is right on. It’s on the thinner side with lots of pepper. They also salt the rim of the glass, which is a nice touch. Plus, if you go on the weekend, they serve their always fantastic gastro-pub brunch fare until 3, and it’s usually empty enough to rule the jukebox. Just don’t try it if I’m there.
Cliff’s Edge —This is another place where the ambiance has been accused of outshining the food (which is good but not amazing), but I don’t mind the patio or the bloody mary being the star of the meal. The one here at Cliff’s Edge is classic, well balanced and well seasoned. It goes particularly well with the Poached Eggs and Crab Hash, which they brilliantly top with sour cream and salsa.