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Sunday Brunch Options at The Point

By Merrill Shindler DailyBreeze.com

It was noon on a recent sunny Sunday — a fine time, thought I, to go out for brunch. And so, I headed for Jute Coastal Bar and Kitchen (Westdrift Hotel, 1400 Parkview Ave., Manhattan Beach; 310-939-1447; www.marriott.com/hotels), which seemed like an affable choice.

I gave my car to the valet, walked into the cavernous lobby, and across to the windows overlooking the golf course down below, sat down — and realized I was nearly alone in the restaurant. At noon on a Sunday. This did not make me comfortable. Nor did the seemingly disinterested server. Nor did the menu of lunch dishes (breakfast had ended at 11 a.m.) — a $16 order of shrimp tacos, $13 guacamole, $22 kale & mushroom ravioli.

But mostly, it was the oversized room, largely unoccupied by humans, the non-service…the fact that after a few minutes at my table, I felt like a traveling widget salesman, who wasn’t sure where he was, or where he was going next. But who did know that the airport was nearby.

And so, I recovered my car from the valet and drove across the street to The Point for Sunday brunch.

Which turned out to be a brilliant idea. For The Point was alive with shoppers and diners and South Bay peeps having a very good Sunday. And on top of that, parking was free.

The choices for brunch (or for any meal for that matter) are many, and very cheerful at The Point. Certainly, you can have some very fine burgers, world-class burgers in fact, at either Lil’ Simmzy’s (The Point, 850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 424-277-0283; www.simmzys.com) or Hopdoddy Burger Bar (The Point, 830 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 310-414-2337; www.hopdoddy.com) — should burgers be your idea of a Sunday brunch treat. (And honestly, it sounds just fine.)

There are salads and bowls galore at Mendocino Farms (The Point, 840 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 424-218-4400; www.mendocinofarms.com) and Tocaya Organica (The Point, 850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 424-352-0876; www.tocayaorganica.com) — trendy mixes, made with all the ingredients o’ the moment, with lots of mix-ins. They’re a world apart from the iceberg lettuce with a tomato salads we all grew up with. These are modernist salads, served in a modernist setting. Fodder for those with a serious sense of dietary imperatives.

Or, you could roll with what I think of as the major players in The Point: sit-down restaurants, with serious wine lists and cocktail bars, and proper seating with a well-trained serving staff.

There’s a brunch menu at North Italia (The Point, 840 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 310-469-7695; www.northitaliarestaurant.com) that offers a wildly eclectic mix of American brunch, Italian brunch, and a lot of both scrambled together. There’s a short rib hash that made my mouth very happy, flavored with lots of long cooked sweet onions and roasted peppers, served with very Italian grilled bread. And the Nonna Casserole should keep you well stuffed with much of the day, with its Italian sausage, ciabatta bread and two fried eggs. Oh…yum!

Or, you can move into the lunchier parts of brunch, with the heirloom tomato & burrata, the white truffle garlic bread, the black mussels with salumi. A pizza topped with bacon & egg? Why not? Or just old school spaghetti & meatballs. It’s brunch. Go wild!

Just a few steps away, True Food Kitchen (The Point, 860 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., El Segundo; 310-469-7725; www.truefoodkitchen.com) does a brunch notable for being marked with the calorie counts of the dishes, along with letters indicating Vegan, Vegetarian or Gluten “Friendly.” (Even the brunch cocktails have calorie counts!)

The Sunrise Bowl (640 calories!), comes with organic sunnyside up eggs, ancient grains, sweet potato, grilled portobello mushrooms, avocado, hemp seed and a cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto. It’s a defining true food dish. But then, so are the edamame dumplings, cauliflower polenta, ancient grains bowl, and the teriyaki quinoa. True food…and tasty too.

And then, there’s my longtime favorite — Superba Food + Bread (The Point, 830 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; 310-906-4598; www.superbafoodandbread.com), which I loved when it was on Rose Avenue in Venice, love on Lincoln Boulevard, and have much affection for at The Point. The brunch menu is very simple, marked half as “breakfast,” and half as “lunch,” with not much overlap.

This is where trendies go for their “Baked Eggs in Purgatory” (made with tomatoes, kale and burrata). For their “Keto Plate” of beef brisket, Beeler’s bacon, turkey sausage, grilled halloumi cheese and a sunnyside over egg. For their black kale salad, and fried chicken sandwich. And for a ham + cheese quiche. So retro, and so good. It’s available in one of the best settings in The Point, with doors that open wide when the weather is good. Which it is, of course, almost all the time.

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