Brunch is hard.
It forces you to get up early on a precious weekend, swap your pjs for normal human adult clothes, and it usually ends up destroying any illusions you have about eating healthily before it’s even noon. Despite all of these excruciating hardships, we do it anyway, because there’s something special about seeing people dressed nicely on a weekend morning, brunch justifies eating pastries before your meal, and most importantly, brunch means brunch cocktails.
Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt more than fulfills these brunch goals. Not only does it offer prime Instagram fodder in the #foodporn department (N.B. their swoon-worthy ricotta pancakes), its brunch cocktail program goes well beyond the ubiquitous bottomless mimo.
Here are a few highlights from their list, for every kind of bruncher.
1) The #INeedCoffee For The Barely Awake
You are not a morning person, so when your pitiless friends make you show up to brunch before noon, you’re in no place to make the impossible decision between coffee and cocktails. Luckily, this sweet, indulgent, rich, creamy, and (most importantly) caffeinated beverage is here to save you. With bourbon, Amaro Nonino, cold coffee, and cream you’ll get your fix and rejoin the living in no time.
2) A Bloody Mary For The Too Hungover To Function
Fresh, savory, not-too-spicy, and best of all, bottomless (the bottomless is interchangeable with red sangria and spiced pear apple spritz as well– score). This version of the classic morning cocktail is a particularly easy-drinking specimen, and a great companion for your fatty recovery food and nightmare headache.
3) The Grape White Hope For Those Trying To Avoid A Lost Weekend
Ok, this is a mocktail (which we usually consider an abomination) so technically it’s cheating. However, we’re including it because you can’t always afford to spend an entire weekend recovering from day drinking. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still want something sweet, fresh, and light to go with your pancakes. So if you have a paper to write, Ikea furniture to build, or a spin class you can’t miss, this sage, grape, elderflower syrup, pear juice, and soda water mocktail has got you covered.
4) The Jimmy Conway For The Bruncher Who DGAF
Stirred, velvety, dark, and spirit forward– you’re not messing around when you order this boozy drink before noon. Rye whiskey, Rabarbaro Zucca, Amaro Nonino, and walnut bitters come together for this smooth and sweet cocktail that (while we haven’t tried it) we imagine would pair pretty well with Love & Salt’s warm Italian donuts and pumpkin bread…. Maybe should go back and try it just to be sure.
Speaking of food.
They offer that too, and their selection was way too tempting to let us stick to our “no-food-only-cocktails” diet (some NYE resolutions are better than others).
The smoked salmon toast was rich, salty and offset with just enough freshness from the pickled cucumber slices.
The english muffins were simple, warm, firm, and a great excuse for eating the house-cultured butter. If you’re feeling a bit delicate from some over-indulgence the night before this might be a good way to go.
Finally, if you’re in more of a lunch-food mood, the caramelized onion and black grape wood-oven pizza was very memorable– the sweetness of the grapes combined beautifully with the sharp tang of the blue cheese and the bitterness of arugula, so this was tough to beat.
And thankfully, Love & Salt is right up the hill from the best beach in LA– which means that when you eventually stumble out, you can head down to the strand and walk some part of it off.