When I moved from New York, I thought the days of mornings extended into late afternoon brunches and bottomless mimosas were long gone. In Los Angeles, brunch wasn’t really taken as seriously. You see, in NY, brunch is treated as an Olympic sport. This past weekend, however, we met up with some new friends in San Francisco (they call it “the city” here, but I feel adulterous doing so) for a ver lovely, very official brunch reminiscent of those in the Big Apple.
We ended up at a place called Luna Park and if you squinted your eyes (to block out the planted palm trees) you’d swear you were somewhere in the West Village. After passing through a heavy velvet curtain, we were seated in a warm, crimson painted room. Immediately our very pleasant waitress got us started on $12 bottomless mimosas (they also have 2 for 1 Bloody Mary’s) and each couple ordered a fried egg sandwich and the “Big French Toast.” When I saw the “Big French Toast” I just thought they were being silly, but when my plate arrived, I realized they meant “big” quite literally. While there was absolutely no way I could finish what was in front of me, I certainly tried. It was like eating dessert for breakfast. Top that off with a never depleting mimosa (the nectar of the gods) and I’m not sure what could make a Saturday morning much better.
Wanna throw a brilliant brunch of your own? Check out this unbelievably delicious (and easy) French Toast recipe:
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 to 1 ounce 62 percent semisweet chocolate (to taste), melted and cooled
- Twelve 1/4- to 3/8-inch slices day-old brioche
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce) unsalted butter
- 62 percent semisweet chocolate for grating
- Maple syrup, warmed
- Combine the mascarpone, cream, and sugar in a small bowl. Add the melted chocolate, and mix until incorporated. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on one slice of brioche, and top with another slice. Repeat with the remaining slices, making 6 sandwiches.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half.
- Preheat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Dip each sandwich in the egg and half-and-half, turning to soak both sides. Let any excess drip back in the bowl. Place the sandwich on the griddle. Repeat with only as many sandwiches as fit comfortably in the griddle, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm. Add more butter to the pan as necessary and cook the remaining sandwiches.
- Slice each sandwich in half on the diagonal, and serve 3 halves per person. Using a microplane, grate chocolate over the top. Serve with maple syrup.