We live in Venice Beach, and our friends Rob and Ash are near the Grove so finding a casual brunch spot in between can be tough. After searching online, we settled on a place none of us had tried, Cafe Laurent in Culver City. We walked in through the back patio, shaded with large umbrellas, where a musician was playing the clarinet. Charming, yes, but it was far too hot to sit out there on Sunday. We took a table inside, which was decorated with yellow walls and flowery French tablecloths and, most importantly, felt like a perfect 68 degrees.
The menu was very French. Lots of quiche and croissants. But I ordered my usual breakfast favorite, a combination of Eggs Benedict and Florentine, with spinach and Canadian bacon, hollandaise on the side. Rob chose Le Croque Monsieur, while Victor and Ash picked omelettes.
Rob and Ash got the meals they ordered on time, but Victor had to sit and wait for his omelette of smoked salmon, onions and mushroom, while my plate came sans Canadian bacon. I sent it back, and when the dish returned, it was drowning in hollandaise, minus the silverware. Oh, well. I was really hungry and wasn’t going to send it back again. I could no longer stand to just sit there sipping orange juice that wasn’t freshly squeezed. I requested a fork and dug in.
At least the food was decent, and I’m pretty sure heavy cream was the secret. It was hard to find the bread underneath the tent of bechamel on Rob’s delicious Croque (pictured above), and the potatoes that came with his sandwich and my eggs were dripping with dairy. Rob and Ash gave their omelettes thumbs up, too. Although Vic was happier with his original concoction than Ash was with his veggie omelette, both were pleased to see the ingredients well-mixed with the eggs rather than plopped in the middle like a taco. The side salads were nice and fresh.
Overall, if you’re not watching your cholesterol, and you don’t mind spotty service, Cafe Laurent is worth a stop. Just be patient, and don’t order hollandaise on the side. Jenny
Cafe Laurent, 4243 Overland Ave., Culver City; 310-558-8622.