The Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch Scene

The Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch SceneThe Port of Los Angeles Area Brunch Scene

Gone are those kitschy restaurants and funky shops that once lined the docks of the busiest port in the country. The entire Ports O’ Call Village was recently demolished…with bulldozers, and it was painfully traumatic for the locals. But it will be a good thing in the end (we hope) because by 2020 the old fish joints will be replaced by a mega development of glossy restaurants and high-end shops called the San Pedro Public Market.

In the meantime, here are five places to enjoy brunch now, perhaps while waiting for your cruise ship to sail from the iconic Port of Los Angeles.

Enjoy Brunch Now

The Admiral Risty is old school and old cool. Locals and tourists alike have flocked to this nautical restaurant for over 50 years. A long row of comfortable tables lines the windows with a spectacular relaxing view of the blue Pacific. The brunch menu has all the traditional items, perfected over the years. Try the generous portion of house-cured silky salmon gravlax with all the fixings and grilled Texas toast.

UPDATE: After half a century, this restaurant is now closed permanently.

Sunday Brunch 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The Admiral Risty
31250 Palos Verdes Dr West
Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275

Tip: Get a window seat and keep an eye out for whales. At the very least you are likely to spot a pod of dolphins frolicking off the coast.

Chef Dustin Trani was well deservedly named one of the Top 5 Rising Chefs in the U.S. His cooking is cutting-edge, innovative, personal. The restaurant menu has broad Italian dining appeal with its meats, pasta, and pizza offerings but Trani’s talent will simultaneously impress connoisseurs as well. If available, try the revelatory Cold-Smoked Swordfish Carpaccio (with red onion, micro greens, lemon, olive oil) that hints at his genius in the kitchen.

Sunday Brunch 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

J. Trani’s Ristorante
584 W 9th St
San Pedro CA 90731

Tip: Trani is a truffle aficionado; he studied pasta making in Italy’s truffle region. Try any of his dishes that are expertly paired with truffles and you will be in heaven.

Can you wait ‘til 1 PM to eat brunch? Diners feel transported across the pond upon entering this authentic British Pub helmed by Londoner Andrew Silber. He is proud of his extensive beer selection including Boddington’s Pub Ale from Manchester; Old Speckled Hen from Suffolk; and Belhaven Scottish Ale from Dunbar. Imbibe a pint with Filet of Atlantic Cod in Beer Batter & English Chips and don’t be shy with the malt vinegar.

The Whale & Ale
327 W 7th St
San Pedro CA 90731

Saturday and Sunday – open at 1:00 PM

Tip: Enjoy traditional English lunch specials of Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, or Bangers & Mash for only $10.

A trek to this hidden gem will confound your Uber driver. The route winds around the backside of the port, past humongous container ships and working cranes. Eventually you will find this quaint eatery among fishing boats in a little marina at the end of the road. The service is friendly and welcoming; the food is fresh and homey. Owner Sheri’s deep-fried stuffed mushrooms are a local favorite. She offers a bountiful buffet on the second Sunday of every month for $25.

Marina Cafe
720 Peninsula Rd
Wilmington CA 90744

Saturday and Sunday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Tip: The dog-friendly patio has a special Doggie Menu featuring eggs, chicken, or beef for around $4. There is also a secret Dog Park (ask your server).

Go for the resort’s breathtaking beauty, or to dine alfresco with a view of Catalina Island, or to be pampered by their impeccable service…but the variety and excellence of fare on the Sunday Buffet is the real reason to splurge $70pp. Buffet stations: carved prime rib, omelet, pasta, salad, charcuterie, flatbread. Seafood: crab legs, sushi, mussels, oysters, shrimp, ceviche. Plus each week the Chef creates six specialty dishes from what is seasonal, fresh, and local.

Catalina Kitchen at Terranea Resort
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275

Sunday Brunch 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Tip: After brunch take a stroll around the stunning grounds of this world-class resort. Walk down to the water’s edge and high up on the cliffs where interpretive signs explain the flora, fauna, and geology of the area. Wear walking shoes and take pictures!

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