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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 in Highland Park has one of the best burgers in LA, hands down. It’s lavished in spicy mayo, pickled onions and cheddar, all of which equal gastro-masterpiece. Especially if you have the guts to get it medium-rare.
The bun does its part too–it’s brioche, so it collapses when you pick it up. This allows it to accent the burger with the a flaky texture and a subtle sweetness, minus any overwhelming breadiness. The rocket adds a nice spicy touch.
But, sometimes, I don’t want a burger, and that’s when I’m glad they have lots of good alternatives on their chalkboard.