Despite a turbulent political climate, it's been an exciting month for women - through events like A Day Without a Woman and Women's History Month, voices around the world have expressed support and admiration for the pivotal roles women play in business and society. Female empowerment is resonating loudly throughout the food world, as well - these days, some of L.A.'s hottest and most popular restaurants are helmed by women, from up-and-comers like Leona and Kismet to institutions like the Mozzaplex and Lucques. And earlier this month, foodies around the world witnessed two badass female chefs battle it out in the most recent finale of Top Chef.
Chef Brooke Williamson, who ultimately took home the Top Chef title, is indeed a badass. Her passion for cooking propelled her to begin working in professional kitchens at age 18, and by age 24, she was executive chef at Boxer in Los Angeles. Today, she and her chef husband Nick Roberts own not one, but four restaurants in the Los Angeles area, as well as a beautifully curated culinary boutique. She's a woman on a mission, and she loves what she does. Oh, and she's currently sporting purple hair. It doesn't get much more badass than that.
One of Williamson's four culinary ventures also happens to be a Brunchographers' mainstay - Playa Provisions. Located in Playa del Rey, a charming part of L.A. that feels like a small town on the East Coast, Playa Provisions is an ambitious concept. It combines four eateries in one - an ice cream parlor, a casual food counter, a whisky bar, and an upscale restaurant, all in a beautifully designed building just steps from the beach. And for the time being, while a new space is being constructed for it elsewhere, the foodie boutique Tripli-Kit is also housed inside. When all these concepts function at once, the massive space buzzes with life and activity.
For weekend brunch, the full service restaurant portion (officially called "Dockside") is the place to be. Its outdoor patio is beautiful and relaxed, offering cozy blankets at each table and fire pits to huddle around when it's California-cold. The menu is varied, and reflects its seaside location with plenty of seafood and odes to New England fare. We love the cocktail list, which offers delicious and creative takes on the classics - which are perfect for sipping while enjoying some live music during a Saturday afternoon Jazz Brunch.
On a recent visit, we sampled several cocktails - the Bloody Mary, served with a shrimp if you so choose, the Moscow Mule, and the Rose the Riveter, made with lemon, rosemary syrup, and sparkling rose. We had coffee as well, of course, which is strong and delicious, and comes in the daintiest little cups.
We started the meal with some treats off the "from the baker" section of the menu. First, the dipping donuts: donut holes dusted with cinnamon sugar, and served with a delicious caramel sauce. These were light, sweet, and oh-so-satisfying when dipped into the sauce, and were a fun way to kick off the meal. Next were the biscuit bites; two-bite buttermilk biscuits served with rich dulce de leche. When paired with the rich and salty-sweet sauce, these buttery little biscuits are absolute heaven - and are hands down a must-try.
For our entrees, we stuck to the breakfast side of the menu. The Skillet Baked Eggs are a colorful and healthy option, pairing seasonal vegetables with flavorful kale pesto, prosciutto, eggs, and arugula. It's impressive how many veggies are packed into this adorable cast iron skillet, and when paired with hearty egg and prosciutto, they become a hearty and satisfying meal.
For the breakfast purists of the world, there is the Porchetta and Eggs. This reminded us of an elevated diner classic, with the standard bacon replaced by flavorful porchetta and dry toast replaced with delicate brioche toast. The crispy hashbrowns were exactly what you'd want for a Saturday morning indulgence - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and a little bit greasy (in a good way).
Another riff on a classic was the breakfast sandwich, stuffed with sausage, eggs, gruyere, collards, avocado, and housemade hot sauce. The ciabatta bread was delicious, too - soft inside, toasty on the edges, and flavorful throughout.
And finally, the pretzel croissant sandwich - one of our favorites. The lightly salted and buttery croissant is stuffed with soft scrambled eggs and bright arugula, offering a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. We subbed avocado in place of bacon, which added some satisfying creaminess into the mix. This manages to be satisfying and delicious, but not so heavy that you feel like you need to repent after - just the right amount of indulgence.
With Playa Provisions, Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts have created a neighborhood staple that goes above and beyond, offering its customers not just a comfortable place to unwind, but a place to experience some seriously delicious food made with care and respect - not to mention yet another reason to be grateful for all the badass women in this world.
119 Culver Boulevard West
Playa del Rey, CA 90293