Los Angeles is, in some ways, a place to see and be seen. Many restaurants are designed with visibility in mind, perfect spots to debut your new arm candy or your fresh balayage dye job for all the world to see. Or, for us normal folks, perfect spots to sit around and gawk at wannabe celebrities (and occasional actual celebrities). This kind of overexposure can, however, be exhausting, leaving you longing for a little peace and quiet - but not without sacrificing a bit of Los Angeles luxury, of course. When the reclusive mood strikes, look no further than Mardi, a secluded indoor/outdoor restaurant tucked inside the Palihouse hotel in West Hollywood. Its garden setting is Parisian chic and California bohemian all at once, mixed with an old-world charm. It's luxurious and exotic - pretty much what you would imagine your second home in the South of France would look like.
Part of Mardi's appeal is how secluded and quiet it is; even at prime brunch hour on a weekend, it's mostly open, offering a sense of ease and comfort (and eliminating that fear that your server's silently judging you for lingering over your mimosas for too long). But be sure to appreciate its sense of calm now, because with so much delicious food and so much Instagram-worthy decor, the secret's bound to get out sooner or later.
Mardi is helmed by Kris Tominaga, famous for his work at The Hart and the Hunter, a very popular restaurant serving up seasonal Southern cuisine inside the Palihotel Melrose. Mardi is relatively new on the scene at less than a year old, but has received much positive feedback for its European-style cuisine and family-style dinners. And as it's officially a hotel restaurant, Mardi is open for three meals a day, making it a lovely spot for weekday breakfast, as well. The weekend brunch menu features a wide variety of delights sure to please even picky eaters - from healthy dishes like salads and avocado toast to more indulgent fare like eggs benedict or steak and eggs. There's a lot to choose from, and it's all delicious.
We took advantage of the varied menu and sampled a wide range of dishes. To start, we shared the Pulled Chicken Salad, a light, refreshing dish with subtle fresh flavors - it was a excellent excuse to sneak in a few extra greens. Next, the chia seed overnight oats, which were light, creamy, and sweet, and the perfect option for those who prefer a lighter start to their day. We especially enjoyed the coconut flavor in this dish, which paired so nicely with the fresh berries.
For main dishes, we were all feeling a bit savory - we went for the grilled salmon, baked eggs, and the pork chop. The grilled salmon is a great choice for those who are looking for something filling, but also healthy - paired with potatoes, fennel, and greens, this was simple yet flavorful, and very satisfying. For those looking for something a bit more indulgent, consider the pork chop: smothered in sauce and topped with two sunny side up eggs, this exactly the type of thing that makes weekend brunch so magical. Finally, the baked eggs. Served in an adorable little cast iron skillet and with a generous side of crispy toast, these were perfectly cooked and decadently creamy. The inclusion of the mushrooms is unexpected and delightful, and loads of fresh parsley add a bright, fresh flavor.
Mardi was a lovely spot to rest, catch up with friends, and linger over delicious food. It's a perfect hideaway from the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood, offering some beauty and calm in a secluded environment. Like splurging on a fancy hotel for a night, a brunch at Mardi will infuse your normal, mundane life with a little bit of luxury! Enjoy it - you deserve it!
Mardi - at Palihouse, 8465 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069