Breakfast at Anisette, Santa MonicaPart of: Brunch With Tiffany , Food , LA , Slice of Life
I decided to go to farmers’ market in Santa Monica this morning since I haven’t been in ages. Why not try Anisette’s first day open for breakfast as well? I promised myself last time that I wouldn’t try a new restaurant opening week or the first month, but how difficult is it to fuck up breakfast? Very, but it’s not like an inexperienced chef owns the restaurant. DK thought I was being stupid, but he’s just sore because he gained more than me on our trip. I weighed myself this morning and it turns out I was just bloated from plane food and traveling and am back to my regular weight—so walking 5-7 miles a day in Paris worked!
Anisette’s interior is warm and inviting with red leather banquettes and non-sterile tiled floors. Even the busy bar seems like a cool place to sit for singles. I actually found the requisite opening day awkwardness charming because the food was so good. I got the French International breakfast that consisted of a bowl of coffee or hot chocolate, fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, and a pastry basket with a pain au chocolate, pain au raisin, pain au lait (a milky bread with a wash of egg white on top), and a blueberry muffin. The only thing lacking was the blueberry muffin, which was very generic--like something you'd get at a cafeteria. I only took a couple of bites before abandoning it. I’ve been on a quest to find good muffins in LA. I don’t crave them very often, but I do have the low-fat apple bran muffin at Grateful Bread (the low-fat muffins are made with olive oil) and was quite enchanted with the apple muffin from Shutter’s Coast restaurant until the last time I ordered it and it was re-heated in the microwave and not very fresh.
I took a few minutes before I dug into the pasty basket at Anisette, because I realized that if they weren’t good, I would be very depressed that I wasn’t still in France. The fact that I could see Madagascar vanilla beans dotting the side of butter gave me confidence. I mean, that’s so simple yet brilliant. How great would that taste on pancakes? The raspberry preserves and orange marmalade made the grade as well. I tried many pain au raisins on my trip to France and thought they were OK. This one was large and made with Normandy butter, so creamy and delicious that it was my favorite pastry du jour. The pain au chocolat was also made with this high-quality butter. I’m convinced that making a good croissant has to do with the butter—not that I have any pastry experience whatsoever. The pain au chocolat was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of chocolate. (I'd love it if Anisette would add croissants aux amandes to their menu...hint, hint.) Getting a hot chocolate (chocolat chaud—pronounced: shawcolat show) was really overkill, but the waiter highly recommended it. Next time I would get a café mocha to cut the richness. The hot chocolate was made with chocolate ganache that has 80% milk fat (imported from France). Oh, and the pastry chef is French, thank God.
The menu seemed balanced with omelets, a croissant breakfast sandwich, eggs Benedict (which I'll be trying next) and other regular breakfast items that you’ll be able to check out on their website soon. I also had the pleasure of meeting Chef Alain Giraud: an enthusiastic man with lots of passion. Asking lots of questions, taking notes, and saying you’ve just come back from France helps, I guess. I’ve been straddling an apartment on the Westside and a new house in LA. It really annoys me that Anisette can’t switch places with Comme Ça. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a really great brasserie in LA, and by the looks of it, Anisette is the clear winner. Of course, now I have to try lunch there (next week) and dinner to make my final consensus.
225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, 310.395.3200
Daily 7:30am-11:30am (expanding to lunch and dinner soon)