For the average Angeleno, a beachfront meal is a rare delight that occurs only once in a blue moon (unless, perhaps, you’re a paddle board yogi and you consider a sandy post-savasana protein bar a meal) - a fact that we’ve repeatedly lamented. It seems criminal that we bask so often in breezes chilled by our old friend the Pacific, yet meeting the majestic body of water face-to-face for a check-in over brunch is not a regular part of our routine. Fortunately, this transgression can be easily rectified, as we have stumbled upon another wonderful ocean-view brunch spot to add to our list: Beachside Restaurant and Bar in Marina del Rey.
As with many of the Marina’s most loved dining establishments, Beachside is nestled inside a hotel - in this case, the charming Jamaica Bay Inn, overlooking the picturesque Mother’s Beach. Stumbling across the honey-colored hotel and the little stretch of sand it borders is the most pleasant surprise; who knew there was a calm little wave-free bit of beach tucked in amongst the towering masts and sprawling pavement of Marina del Rey? And that just steps away, an inviting spot to enjoy a cocktail and soak in the afternoon awaits? And certainly no one knew that such vacation-like revelry could be achieved with free parking - if they did, it would be impossible to get a table at Beachside.
Fortunately, for the moment, it’s not impossible, and an authentically beachside brunch is completely within your grasp. In fact, Chef Victor Gonzalez’s popular brunch menu is served each and every day, so even a Wednesday beachside brunch is completely within your grasp. As any good hotel restaurant should, Beachside offers staples to suit any taste: there are options for the health conscious, for those with dietary restrictions, and for those who prefer something simple. But amongst the staples there are creative twists to be found, as well: Frangelico custard makes an appearance in the French Toast, crab cakes provide a hearty base in the Benedict, herbed tomato confit mingles with mushrooms in the omelet.
A trip to Beachside feels like a mini-vacation, so indulging in a brunch cocktail is pretty much mandatory. The classics are well-represented at Beachside’s bar, from the obligatory bubbly mimosa to the savory-meets-spicy-meets-alcohol enigma that is the Bloody Mary. For something unexpected, turn to the craft cocktail menu, where the libations are both creatively constructed and named (next time, we’re totally ordering the “Beach, Please”). For a taste of summer in a glass, we love the Strawberry Basil Martini, a simple and refreshing vodka cocktail loaded with fresh fruit and garnished with a fragrant basil leaf.
Brunching near the ocean surely calls for some fruits de mer, and the Crab Cake Benedict will fit the bill - two light and tender jumbo lump crab cakes are topped with perfectly poached eggs and are drizzled with a delicate pink blood orange hollandaise, while baby asparagus and peppery arugula offer a bit of crunch and earthiness. Or, for something to fill the hungriest of bellies, there is the Three Little Piggies - an impressive twist on a breakfast sandwich. Served alongside a cast iron skillet-full of crunchy potatoes, this almost-burger is loaded with ham, prosciutto, and bacon, then layered with a fried egg, cheese, and avocado. A slathering of bright lemon aioli, some crisp arugula, and confit tomato balance out the rich flavors in this immensely satisfying dish.
Keeping brunch light and sweet doesn’t always amount to boring, as Beachside’s take on Greek Yogurt & Fresh Berries proves. Thick, creamy greek yogurt is dressed up with plump blackberries and strawberries, plenty of lightly toasted sliced almonds, and a drizzle of fragrant lavender honey. With two crunchy biscotti on the side, this surprisingly substantial meal is exactly the kind of breakfast you’d want on vacation (especially on day three or four, after you had indulged in French Toast a few too many times).
If greens and protein are more up your vacation-meal alley, the French Brie Omelet provides plenty of healthy veggies and protein, along with a bit of rich, creamy brie to make it feel special. We loved the heaps of shiitake mushrooms, confit tomato, and spinach tucked inside the envelope of fluffy egg, and were predictably pleased to see a generous helping of green salad on the side (as always, balance is key, brunchers).
Our favorite dish of all came to the table looking like a mountain of delicious confettisurrounded by a moat of thick red sauce. The base of that mountain was, in fact, Breakfast Enchiladas: three crisp tortillas chock-full of scrambled eggs, potatoes, and chicken chorizo. The confetti, of course, was mounds of salsa, fresh guacamole, shredded cabbage, and sour cream. Dressed with a savory, slightly spicy red sauce, there is simply nothing to argue with in this dish - it is beautifully presented, incredibly satisfying, and packed with flavor.
For the bruncher who is ever plagued by the choice between sweet or savory, Beachside offers their twist on chicken and waffles: Fried Chicken & Frangelico Custard French Toast. Triangles of soft, creamy, hazelnut-scented French Toast are dusted with a hint of powdered sugar and a sprinkling of fresh berries. On top is a pat of luscious cinnamon honey butter, and on the side, crisp fried chicken tenders offer hearty, savory contrast. Once drizzled with a bit of maple syrup to marry the flavors together, you’ve got heaven in a bite.
When the long brunch lines and jumbled parking signs of inland Los Angeles have got you down, remember that a mini-vacation is well within reach at Beachside - and that the Pacific Ocean has been waiting patiently for you to join her for brunch. Don't leave her hanging.
Beachside Restaurant & Bar
4175 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Note: this post was created in collaboration with Beachside Restaurant & Bar.
As always, all opinions are our own!