This post is being published on a Sunday morning. Instead of reading rudimentary food blogs and voting on Saveur, you should be squeezing your own Cara^2 blood oranges straight into that bottle of prosecco and having yourself a wee brunch party on the patio. No patio? Take it indoors. No prosecco? Take it to Farmshop.
Brentwood Country Mart is single handedly the most hateful gathering spot in all of “West of 405”. You have to valet to get an ice cream cone, and said cone, supposedly produced by (Latinos hired by) tres chic couple of rather tall culinary stature, costs a whopping $5. It’s so family nerd that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills don’t dare set foot within the confines. In addition to playing bumper cars with a queue full of Priuses, one must play frogger with Stokkes and Bugagoos.
There was not a more painful Saturday morning to be had anywhere else in LA. Then Farmshop arrived last December.
Chef Jeffrey Cerciello is married to the sister of Chef TK’s fiance (Laura Cunningham). No clue how this has any bearing on the awesomeness of Farmshop, but secretly every visitor is hoping Chef Keller will show up one Saturday breakfast in his chef’s whites. Seriously, Santa Monica, a city full of people who have everything, deserves a celebrity chef by marriage.
Taking cues from the French Laundry restaurant group, there are tidbits of thoughtfulness everywhere in the dining space. Start with the cool rope lights. See a bare electrical wire or a conduit anywhere?
And a little note telling you to ease up on the twittering and cell phone whoring when in their sunlit dining room. This sunlit dining room:
As for the brunch menu, it’d just easier to show some pictures. The Brentwood sun was fabulous, the bourgeois chic families are even more so, as were the brownies. To start, there was the granola with Strauss creamery yogurt. It’s easy to obsess with Strauss, especially if you’re an Bay Area ice cream fiend. Strauss creamery’s reach in LA is still tenuous. Strauss yogurt is downright hard to find, and even more welcomed because the kitchen automatically split the large portions for two. Think: What Would Thomas Keller Do.
Then came the french toast with marmalade and Hobb’s Bacon. (Showing the Chef’s connection to the Bay Area, the 2 cured pork purveyors are both from the North.) Coming from someone who hardly orders simple carbs at brunch: “this plate of brilliant colors was worth nearly every dime”. No syrup necessary.
Next up, below left, smoked fish (salmon & sturgeon), finished off with Fra’mani ham (below right). Previously, the smoked whitefish + latkes at Street was LA’s darling fish dish at brunch. Now… Farmshop is king if not only for the fact that there exists a “smoked trout” (salad) recipe in Ad Hoc at Home.
Apparently the larder and a full pastry case is to come, but there’s no need to wait. Even if Farmshop’s wine & dinner service never commence, the existence of this Bay Area inflected establishment is enough to transform Brentwood Country Mart into a thing of pleasure. And yes, they valet in full. Arrive with your RX450 hybrid (inclusive of power lift gate and rear view camera, natch) with impunity!
N.B. Chef Jeffrey Cerciello was prominently featured in Ad Hoc at Home
225 26th St #25
Santa Monica, CA 90402
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