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Photos: Vegan 'Chicken' & Waffles And Bloody Marys Are Now Available On Crossroads' New Brunch Menu
While Crossroads is known for its vegan, Mediterranean-inspired small plates, the Beverly Grove establishment recently expanded to more American-style brunch on Sundays—complete with a mobile Bloody Mary bar cart.
Up until recently, the chic restaurant was only open for dinner, serving items like Moroccan Tagine Meatballs and Hearts of Palm Calamari. But now on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the menu has kick-up versions of plant-based dishes that you might find on other brunch menus in Los Angeles. We're talking about things like their Crossroads Benedict, which is made with a shitake bacon tomato hollandaise instead of egg. There's also a cheese plate with varieties from chef and owner Tal Ronnen's nut-based vegan cheese company, Kite Hill.
LAist stopped by for a tasting, where we sampled their Chicken & Waffles. The fried chicken was light and crunchy on the outside; and from a carnivore's perspective, the "chicken" tasted pretty close to the real thing. The waffles were crispy and the accompanying warm maple hot sauce was a refreshing change of pace: it had a spicy kick to it without being overly sweet. It had a lingering taste of something like sweet Thai chili sauce.
Their Tuscan Eggless Frittata came out in a piping hot skillet. This dish had robust flavors and we were impressed by Ronnen's impressive ability to make us forget that we were eating a vegan dish. It felt more like just a gourmet brunch item that you wouldn't find at another other restaurant. The organic scramble was generously topped with an almond ricotta and truffle cream sauce; inside, there was a mushroom bacon mixed with soy mozzarella.
However, keep in mind that the dishes run a little on the smaller side, which follows in the restaurant's' small plates mentality. You'll most likely benefit from a side item to fill you up, like their oven-roasted fingerling potatoes that are packed with herbs.
Ronnen, who's a cookbook author and known for making meals for Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah, wanted to add another fun element to his Sunday brunches—and that was a roving Bloody Mary cart. In the same vein as other upscale restaurants like The Church Key and The Bazaar that have been pushing along their bar carts for their customers, Crossroads' Bloody Mary cart gives you the same excitement as ordering dim sum or having a flight attendant come by to serve you a drink. The Bloody Mary doesn't disappoint either, and it's entertaining watching it being made in front of you. It was an incredibly balanced drink, and there were so many delicious garnishes (like stuffed green olives and tiny pickled carrots) stuffed in there that it honestly looked like the glass would topple over. And that's not a bad thing at all.
A la carte dishes range from about $7 to $14. The Bloody Mary starts off at $14, and you can add more garnishes (like truffle dill cheese!) for a buck.
Crossroads is located at 8284 Melrose Ave. in Beverly Grove, (323) 782-9245