To begin our brunchventures, we bring you to one of our very favorite spots, Akasha Café.
It feels like a fitting place to start, as it’s our classic choice, and the place where we first started brunching together. Ok, ok, technically we weren’t brunching, we were breakfasting. But that’s a minor detail I feel we can overlook. It all started with our coworker, actually, who invited three of us to meet for breakfast before work. The whole idea sounded pretty novel – most people “do lunch” these days, but you don’t often get an invitation to “do breakfast.” It feels special. There’s good coffee. There’s awesome food. And, once you get to work, you feel like you’ve got a leg up on everyone else because you’ve already done so much before actually sitting down at your desk.
We liked this little ritual so much, we started having breakfast together monthly, almost always at Akasha. Akasha was the perfect spot for our little Breakfast Club for many reasons, including of course the sweet discount they offer to employees of our company. But most of all, the food and drink.
Let’s start with the coffee. It’s Intelligentsia, one of my favorites. Yes it’s a wallet-buster to brew it at home, and maybe that fact makes it taste that much richer (yeah). Here at Akasha, they offer pour-over coffee in several varietals (usually 3-4 options, including a decaf option) as well as a wide variety of espresso drinks. I waffle between the pour-over and the cappuccino made with almond milk. Did I tell you about how much I love this almond milk? They make it in house. Have you had homemade almond milk? It’s not at all the same as the boxed stuff. It’s 100% better. It’s smooth and luscious with the most lovely and delicate flavor, and it’s delicious hot or cold. It foams beautifully (don’t get me started on the myth that almond milk doesn’t foam) and it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the coffee. Why can’t all almond milk taste like this? I’m not sure, but I assume it has to do with shelf life. Anyway, it’s a rare and blissful little treat and if you’re a fan of nut milks, I recommend you treat yourself to a latte at Akasha toot sweet.
On to the food. We come here a lot and we’ve tried almost everything. In fact, I can tell you about the menu without looking it up right now. Is that sad? I don’t care.
My stand by is the three-egg scramble. Endlessly customizable (ok, not endlessly, but you have several options), this hearty breakfast will suit almost everyone. I usually go for kale and mushrooms, and if I’m feeling rebellious, some cheese. On the side you can have multigrain toast or greens – if you’re not as obsessed with leafy greens as I am, you’ll love the toast. They’re both great. In fact sometimes I order both. I have an appetite, ok?
Johnna and the boys like the breakfast wrap or the breakfast sandwich. They’re a smidge similar in terms of flavor, but we’re not complaining. They have a kick from this delicious spicy basil mayo and a nice freshness from the arugula and tomato. If you’re lucky the egg will be really runny and get everywhere. You’ll need a few extra napkins but it’ll be worth the embarrassment of having egg yolk all over your face. Trust us.
If you’re into a sweeter breakfast, the acai bowl is a really nice choice. With homemade granola you really can’t go wrong. Or, if pastries are your thing, you’ll be happy here too. On display are gorgeous croissants, muffins, and breads, all made in house daily with organic ingredients. Oh, and the cookies! There’s one with hemp seeds, which sounds weird, but is SO good.
A new and delicious item on the menu this summer is the avocado toast. I know what you’re thinking… really? More avocado toast? I hear you. We laughed a bit at first too. But this is not your run-of-the-mill avocado toast. Nor is it your over-done-can’t-taste-the-avocado-because-there’s-too-much-other-sh*t-on-it avocado toast. It’s a perfect meeting in the middle with flavorful bread, crisp radish slices, and a very welcome squeeze of lemon. Not fussy. Really pretty; just right.
Some other things in Akasha’s favor include:
Use of sustainable and local ingredients. Folks, full disclosure, we’re pretty predictable for LA girls in our age group - we care about where our food comes from and are somewhat health conscious (read: we don’t have donuts EVERY day, just SOME days). So we get excited when a restaurant cares where they source their produce, and especially their proteins.
Dining options. Akasha’s space is mostly used for the restaurant and bar, which is an upscale spot for lunch and dinner, and even brunch on weekdays. They have a great wine list, top-notch service, and fantastic gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options (the house-made vegan ice cream is unreal). We love visiting the restaurant for date night or for entertaining out-of-town guests (between chef Akasha Richmond’s days as a personal chef to the stars and the occasional celeb sighting, they love it). Meanwhile, the café side offers a more casual and budget-friendly option for breakfast and lunch. If you come for lunch, try the Wild Planet Tuna Sandwich. Soooo good.
Gorgeous space. Akasha resides in a beautiful historic brick building in the middle of the very walkable downtown Culver City. Also, fun fact: the building was actually used as Flynn's arcade in Tron. They have outdoor patio seating, but we prefer the vibe indoors – it’s really comfortable and has an industrial feel.
Finally, one of the most important LA details – parking. We suggest parking in the garage just north of the restaurant. It’s very convenient and affordable.
So did we sell you on Akasha? Are you going to check it out? You really should! You’ll like it. We sure do!