Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brunching at Anisette

After a Saturday morning surf, Stefan, Allan and I were starving as usual. Typically, I would post-surf-brunch on Main Street in SM or Overland Cafe ($4.99 all you can drink mimosas, need I say anything more??), however when Stefan mouthed the word "Anisette", I was sold. I have been to Anisette for dinner (which was excellent; I ordered the foie gras appetizer and beef daube for my entree), however I have also heard great things about their breakfast pastries and I was excited to check it out. Anisette is a brasserie by French chef Alain Giraud of Bastide and Citrius. It is located by the Third Street Promenade in a former bank building known as the old clock tower building. I love the decor; High ceilings, plantation fans, mirrors, red leather banquettes and tiled floors. Similar to a Parisian brasserie, Anisette was noisy and bustling when I was there last. Today however, it was rather quiet for a Saturday brunch. No reservations necessary.

I got a carafe of vin blanc- 2007 Picpul De Pinet mas de feline ($19). A carafe gets you about two glasses. There are also red and rose carafes available. The men ordered coffee. The brunch menu includes an omelet, benedict, french toast, duck hash, croque monsieur and madame, burger, all priced in the high teens.

We started out with the La corbeille, which is a basket of pastries. We selected the pain au chocolate and almond chocolate croissant to share. Due to my eagerness to scarf down the pastries, I forgot to take a proper photo before hand. The pastry on the left in the above photo is 1/3 of an almond chocolate croissant and the pain au chocolate is photographed at 2/3 of its actual size. They were both good. Fresh, buttery and flaky.

When our entrees arrived, our waiter also brought over a basket of brioche bread. Whipped butter would have been nice addition, instead of the hard butter that was provided.

Stefan and I both ordered the Duck confit hash which is served with pomme salardaises, melting duck egg and pommery mustard jus (17). The ingredients were stacked with the duck and cubed potatoes at the bottom. The duck was soft, shredded and savory. I broke the yolk and doused it all over the rest of the dish. The gravy was so flavorful that I had to sop it up with the brioche toast. I really enjoyed this dish. It was absolutely delicious. When the dish first arrived, I had thought it was a small portion but in hindsight, it was portioned correctly since the duck hash was rich and filling.

Allan ordered the crevettes a l'orange, which is chilled wild prawns, market green salad, avocado and citrus saffron vinaigrette ($16). The presentation was beautiful. There were lots of shrimp and the salad included avocado, cucumber, red chili and mandarin orange slices. The dish was light, citrus, refreshing and very healthy. However, the orange slices tastes like they came from a Dole fruit can and I am not sure what the lettuce was doing on the plate. It looked like it was for decoratory purposes since it was not drizzled with dressing.

After we cleaned out our plate, our waiter brought by a dessert menu which includes profiteroles, pot de creme, tarte and flourless chocolate cake, all priced at $5. We declined. The bill was $89, excluding tip. Not the cheapest brunch in town but I will definitely be back. I'd liked to try the brioche french toast next.

Anisette Brasserie
225 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-3200

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