Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brunch at Vu

I'm the kind of Angeleno that hates to drive. I work in West Hollywood, and live in Hollywood. If you need me to go further, it has to be good. This past weekend I ventured out to the beach cities not once, but twice. It was a miracle, but also necessary because of the heat. I braved insane traffic on Saturday for brunch at Vu, a new-ish restaurant in Marina Del Rey with a fun, seasonal menu and a beautiful view.

View from Vu

To calm my nerves at being a half hour late (traffic!), I started with a mimosa (not pictured) . It was exactly what I needed. Vu has an interesting cocktail menu, so even though I'm not a big hard alcohol drinker, I couldn't resist trying a sip or two. The bellini was a little too sweet for me, but the mojito was perfectly refreshing. Beer after Branca with Fernet and Ginger beer was meant to be drunk in a single shot, but I didn't mind sipping each slowly.


310 Mojito

Beer after Branca

We did have food to go with all of those cocktails. The table shared plates of fruit with Greek yogurt and an assortment of savory breads with herb compound butters. Unfortunately, the butter melted pretty quickly in the sun so no photos of it.

Fruit Plate with Greek Yogurt at Vu

Bread Platter at Vu

Considering that chef Kyle Schutte is known for his molecular gastronomy (he worked under Richard Blais), the brunch menu is surprisingly devoid of any complicated techniques. Saturday was National Eggs Benedict day and while I always prefer a savory breakfast, I opted to have my eggs prepared a different way. I ordered the lobster omelet which came filled with asparagus, shaved fennel, lobster, and pork belly and topped with a pommery hollandaise and a few more pieces of pork belly. I would have preferred larger chunks of lobster, but overall, this was a great spring dish. I am picky about potatoes, but I really enjoyed the home fries as they were very light and crispy.

Lobster Omelette at Vu

The chef did a version of the Hawaiian benedict with asparagus instead of Spam on sweet Hawaiian rolls for one of our vegetarian diners. It looked so perfect, I just had to capture it.

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict at Vu

By this point I was pretty full, but we couldn't pass up dessert. This is the area of the menu where the molecular gastronomy really comes into play. Buttermilk panna cotta with liquid nitrogen coca cola and carbonated blackberries sounded interesting, but unfortunately the texture of the panna cotta was too firm and the liquid nitrogen coca cola didn't have much flavor.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta at Vu

Pineapple carpaccio with caramelized brioche, mint pearls, and coconut air was also not as good as I wanted it to be. The brioche was slightly bitter and the mint pearls were also lacking in flavor. I probably would have liked it more if the pineapple was on it's own.

Pineapple Carpaccio

Things turned around with the house made ice creams.

House Made Ice Cream at Vu

And the french toast with maple syrup ice cream, strawberry jam, and strawberry-thyme relish.

French Toast at Vu

The apple tart with cherry ice cream and powdered tarragon (not pictured) was excellent, but I could have done without the powdered tarragon as once again, I didn't feel it added much to the dish. My absolute favorite dessert was the white chocolate polenta with frosted flakes and chambord-flambeed berries. I couldn't get enough of it and probably ate more of it than anyone else at the table. The polenta was crisp on the outside and lightly sweet and creamy on the inside. The berries were a perfect dipping vehicle.

Dessert Polenta

Vu is a beautiful restaurant in a picturesque setting. It was definitely a nice way to spend my morning having a slightly boozy brunch while cooling down at the beach.

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own

Vu Restaurant
14160 Palawan Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 439-3033

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Erica said...

Looks like a cool spot! I'm not sure I could deal with all the crazy traffic out there- ahhh! The fruit with greek yogurt looks yummy and a lobster omelet sounds fantastic. I want one. Hope you're having a great week

lynn said...

oh yum. i am in marina del rey often and wanna try!

Rachel said...

I don't like to travel far for a restaurant, either. Luckily there are several great brunch spots within walking distance of my apartment.

Your brunch looks delicious and so fancy! Lobster AND pork belly - what a combo!

La Bella Cooks said...

Looks like a great place to visit and that french toast with the strawberry thyme sauce looks divine. The traffic in LA is one of the reasons I don't visit or have any desire to live there. You are brave!

Joanne said...

Well it sounds like you braved traffic for a good cause! This meal looks delicious! Especially that french toast for dessert...hellagood.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I visited Hollywood years ago and loved it. Would move tomorrow. We had Dinner at marina del rey.

Banana Wonder said...

What an epic brunch! I would have love to tried your lobster omlette and that hawaiian benedict! Powdered tarragon....crazy!

susan said...

I need to get out more. You make me remember my life before kids - I could use a few of those days - carefree, relaxing, and QUIET! Your brunch looks scrumptious!

vanillasugarblog said...

sorry i'm late!
i remember you tweeting this, and I was very jealous because I know the weather was perfect where you are (perfect for me means hot).
what does pommery mean? it all looks SO good. the fruit plate is small or is it me? i don't even want to look at the dessert's really nice looking.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

please take me to the beach with you next time! this brunch looks stellar especially the buttermilk panna cotta with nitrogen coca cola yum! and what a great view. perfect saturday!

Amanda said...

Oh. My. Word. I want to go there!! Like, NOW!

lisa is cooking said...

Your omelet sounds amazing and so do the vegetarian eggs benedict! And, white chocolate polenta is something I seriously need to try.

Kelly said...

Yum. Sweet polenta. Clearly I have way to narrow a view of polenta because I always think of it bring so savory but that sounds yummy and unique. Sounds like a fun afternoon even if every dish wasn't a home run.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I am amazed you could drive home after all that food! That is amazing! I don't think I could turn down a lobster omelette either.