The Best: The zucchini fritters and the homey feel of the place. Might Not Like: For a beach brunch, this is a fairly dimly lit space and while the food is absolutely delicious, it’s a little more diner than hip CA.
I found myself serendipitously on the Santa Monica side of the basin one morning. I was desperately in need of brunch and wiling away a few hours while waiting for the hubs who had a meeting. Since I’m not often on that side of town, I resorted to Yelp and found Blue Daisy.
After street parking and crossing crosswalks, I wandered in and looked around thinking that perhaps I had crossed through the Stargate and been teleported to a Turkish café. Tiny espresso cups lined the back wall of a central coffee bar counter and the laid-back, Euro-feel belied its CA urban setting. The room was a little on the dimmer side, and waiters and waitresses scuttled around with small metal pots of caffeine. In search of beachy CA brunch fair, I thought about reconsidering, but the friendliness of the servers and their willingness to move chairs around to get me a table for one in an already crowded space, enticed me to stay.
I ordered a benedict, which is in my opinion right up there with the croque madam as a perfect brunch indulgence. It came with the raved about spiced zucchini fritters, so I figured there was nothing to lose. I waited for my food and watched the beach people bouncing in and out with friends, laughing and indulging in plates of bread and eggs that looked almost American but not quite. When my eggs were served, there next to the benedict and fritters was a tiny salad of lettuce, tomato, and cornichons. I smiled and relaxed into the moment. It brought back the feeling of my European travels. Cornichons and salad garnishes served in unusual places like a breakfast plate oddly made me feel right at home.
I dug in to the fritter first because it was fried and golden and delicious looking. I was not disappointed. The blend of spices burst out of the crunchy exterior dare I say flooding my mouth with everything but a zither. The zucchini was delicate, not weighed down with the scantest of batter that held the spices in place, and for once, the benedict on my plate, was in danger of being upstaged.
But to be honest, the eggs and ham and slightly gummy hollandaise performed well. The ensemble was more on the diner side of benedicts, but still delicious and crave-worthy. It’s been months since I was at Blue Daisy, and even now when I see the picture, I can taste the fritter and rich hollandaise.
If you are looking for light breezes and a brunch that might be served on the side of a pier with silky smooth sauce and nary a fried thing in sight, than you might be better choosing elsewhere. But if you are looking for flavor and taste and a richness rarely captured in breakfast food without the addition of superfluous butter, then get to Blue Daisy. The coffee, well, it’s good. And the blending of spices and flavors and cornichons is hearty without being heavy. It’s a great place to wile away some time and stuff your face with some pretty awesome brunch too.
Not exactly hip, but filled to the brim and trendy. The prices are standard for Santa Monica, so if you live there, it’s probably a pretty good deal. If you are from out of town, this is Santa Monica…it’s spendy. Shhhh.