Business of Brunch

Local Delights Over National Relish


By Taryn Sauer

Avocado toast, eggs your way, endless mimosas—how could brunch have gone array? “I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before [brunch],” said The Queen of Hearts of Alice in Wonderland, and such discordance is the only way to interpret brunch’s state in the U.S.

Orange County’s brunch scene is still hot; offering delectable dishes to suit a casual sit down or a special occasion.

Statistics show that restaurant traffic is down overall, so it’s expected that numbers for brunch follow inline. According to a report by the National Purchase Diary (NPD), which tracks consumer behavior, brunch visits are down eight percent — although fine and resort brunch dining remain steady.

The average check for brunch ranges from $38.48 for fine dining; $35.92 for lodging and
$14.27 for casual — which is only down eight percent.

Brunch is most often consumed by tourists, affluent diners and at special occasions — with Mother’s Day as the top day for consumer traffic.

According to the National Restaurant Association, 45 percent of consumers partook in lunch for the holiday and 47 percent dined out for dinner over breakfast and brunch, but 15 percent more chose brunch over breakfast. A total of 80 million Americans dined out on Mother’s Day this year and the NRA projected that 50 million will do so on Father’s Day.

Among the nations favorites, chefs project that brunch will surround ethnic-inspired brunches (primarily Pan-Asian and Latino-based dishes) will be of the utmost popularity. Traditional, American cuisine will continue to be a staple among diners. And with OC’s solid restaurant scene, brunch will remain exceptional in the many choices offered to visitors and residents, alike.

#Brunch #Every Day OC Brunch #Central OC Brunch #North OC Brunch #South OC Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #Saturday OC Brunch #Outside OC Brunch #Ocean View OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch #Buffet OC Brunch

See our hashtags, they correspond to the brunch categories on our website. Find Orange County Restaurants serving Breakfast and Brunch All Day Every Day. Check out more Orange County Restaurants serving Breakfast or Brunch Bites Every Day.


AVEO Mediterranean Brunch
Mediterranean Brunch | Photo courtesy of Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman #Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #Ocean View OC Brunch #Buffet OC Brunch

MEDITERRANEAN BRUNCH by Collin Thornton, Executive Chef
Little Italy Station, Raw Bar and Sushi Station, Bloody Mary Bar, Antipasti Station, Savory Station, Dessert Station $78
AVAILABILITY AVEO Table + Bar at Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, Sunday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm
ORDERING NOTES Our sushi chefs are open to special requests.
PREP NOTES All preparation is done at the station itself.
WHAT WILL WE TYPICALLY SEE AND WHAT IS BEING SERVED AT THAT STATION? You will usually see two Itamae (sushi chefs) working live on the station making a variety of fresh sushi rolls, nigiri, and sashimi to order. California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, tempura shrimp rolls, vegetable rolls, rainbow rolls and a variety of hand rolls; as well as a variety of nigiri and sashimi featuring fresh tuna, salmon, yellow tail, shrimp, eel, albacore, octopus and uni are regularly offered weekly.
DID YOU NEED TO BUY ANY ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR CREATING SUSHI? Yes, we purchased a special sushi fridge and a rice cooker.
DID YOU NEED TO BUY ANY ADDITIONAL PLATE-WARE FOR CREATING SUSHI? We purchased a large bamboo boat to present an elaborate sushi display that guests can pull from as they pass through the station.
WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE GUEST FAVORITE? Our most popular sushi items are the spicy tuna roll and salmon nigiri.


Juliette Chilaquiles
Juliette Chilaquiles #Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch

CHILAQUILES by Daniel Hyatt, Executive Chef
House-made Chorizo, Fried Corn Tortillas, Cotija Cheese, Salsa Verde, Red Onion, Avocado $16
AVAILABILITY Juliette Kitchen + Bar – Newport Beach, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
ORDERING NOTES The dish is clean with great acidity, medium spice, and great texture.
PREP NOTES The house-made chorizo is cured for two days, then dried for two weeks; the salsa verde is slowly roasted tomatillos with jalapenos, then we add a lot of cilantro, sweet onions and lemon juice.
PAIRING NOTES This is a great dish with the Bloody Mary because of the spice and acidity of the drink.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE CHILAQUILES ON YOUR MENU? Chilaquiles is typically a dish that I have always enjoyed when I brunch so I had to have it on the menu. My interpretation of Chilaquiles and has become a guest favorite!


Juliete Bloody Mary
Juliette Bloody Mary #Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch

BLOODY MARY by Jon McConnell, Bar Chef
Pancetta Vodka, Tomato Spice Blend, Bacon and Olive Garnish $14
AVAILABILITY Juliette Kitchen + Bar – Newport Beach, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
ORDERING NOTES Savory, bacon, clean tomato
PREP NOTES Oven dried garlic tomatoes, tomato water, mirin-infused jalapenos, bacon infused vodka, sambal, and lemon juice
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE A BLOODY MARY ON YOUR MENU? Initially, we didn’t want to feature a Bloody Mary — everyone has one and they are usually boring and all too familiar. We see many available now with more emphasis on the garnish, rather than the actual drink! But we knew that if we launched brunch, guests would ask for a Bloody Mary, so we decided to include a special, “not just another” Bloody Mary on the menu.
ANY OTHER INFO YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? This is a pool-side Bloody Mary, and not a meal replacement.
BESIDES THE FACT THAT PRODUCING THAT TOMATO WATER IS SO LABOR INTENSE, IS THERE ANY OTHER REASON THAT THE BLOODY MARY IS IN SUCH A SMALL GLASS? We do not want to water down our flavors, so we only add what we need to achieve the best concentration of flavors.

Pacific Hideaway

Pacific Hideaway Banana Muffin French Toast
Pacific Hideaway Banana Muffin
French Toast #Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch

House-made Banana Muffins, Sweet Custard, Sweetened Condensed Milk Syrup, Candied Pecans, Raspberries, Bananas
AVAILABILITY Pacific Hideaway at Shorebreak Hotel – Huntington Beach, Daily 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
PREP NOTES House-made Banana Muffins are soaked in a custard made from eggs, cream, and sugar and griddled until crisp. Garnished with Sweetened Condensed Milk, candied pecans, raspberries and fresh bananas.
FAVORITE BRUNCH ITEM TO EAT AT PACIFIC HIDEAWAY? I’m big on breakfast burritos, so for me it’s our California Breakfast burrito. Scrambled eggs and bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese, waffle fries and sweet Thai chili sauce.
FAVORITE BRUNCH ITEM TO EAT ANYWHERE AND WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE? Breakfast Burritos without a doubt. I’m always searching around. One of my go-to spots is Nick’s Deli. I will pick up two for my wife and I on the way home from surf fishing in Sunset or Seal Beach on a morning off.
WHY ADD BRUNCH TO YOUR MENU? Brunch is a staple in SoCal. We have late risers and groups of people that want to relax and catch up with friends and family. Brunch has the feeling of more than a meal, it’s like getting together for a holiday.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DECIDING WHAT TO HAVE ON THE MENU? Our location within The Shorebreak Hotel set the stage for our menu. Being in a resort style hotel, we have guests here on vacation, so we thought about what we want when we are on vacation. We also asked ourselves, what our locals want when they come down to hang out. We want to speak to our HB culture and our concept of Latin and Asian flavor profiles.
HOW DO YOU DEVELOP EACH DISH? We start by looking at what our guests order and what we notice sells well on other brunch menus. Why does that dish work? What do we have up our sleeve that will wow and surprise our diners.
WILL YOU CHANGE THE MENU SEASONALLY? Definitely. We have a light style brunch menu now. Once it gets colder — well, SoCal colder — we will add some heartier items.
equipment though it was not laid out well. We had to swap a range/griddle combo with a 6 burner from our banquet kitchen and added a 36” griddle. We didn’t have the burner space with just 8 burners to keep up with egg orders, but with 12 burners there is a major difference. We also have a 36” griddle we put on our char broiler to add more griddle space when we notice heavy French toast, pancake orders.
HAS YOUR BAR LEAD CASEY LYONS DESIGNED AN ACCOMPANYING BAR MENU? Casey has been working diligently on some brunch cocktails to go with our food offerings. We plan to have a cocktail called RBF and a Bro-Mosa.

Old Vine Café

Old Vine Cafe Braised Rabbit Mole
Old Vine Café Rabbit Mole #Brunch #Central OC Brunch #Saturday OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch #Every Day OC Brunch

RABBIT MOLE by Mark McDonald, Executive Chef/Proprietor
Braised Rabbit, 2 Eggs, Pasilla & Cashew Mole, Fresh-Baked Corn Bread, Queso Fresco, Green Onion
AVAILABILITY Old Vine Café – Costa Mesa, Daily 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Tuesdays – Saturday 5:00 pm – Close
ORDERING NOTES Dinner it is served without the eggs
PREP NOTES Rabbit is slowly braised in white wine, garlic, shallots and carrots until extremely tender.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IT ON YOUR MENU? There are so many different regional Mexican mole dishes, I wanted to create my own twist on some that I experienced over the years.
WHAT MAKES YOUR VERSION STAND OUT? I think that people tend to be drawn to the braised rabbit, and anyone who appreciates mole wants to try it.


Social Eggs Benedict
Social Social Benedict #Brunch
#Central OC Brunch #Saturday OC
Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch #Every Day OC Brunch

SOCIAL BENEDICT See the recipe at
Slow Cooked Pork, Creole Hollandaise, Slow Egg, House Buttermilk Biscuit
AVAILABILITY Social – Costa Mesa, Sunday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Social Coffee Bar – Costa Mesa, Tuesday – Sunday starting July 11 – hours TBD
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IT ON YOUR MENU? We wanted to take a classic dish and elevate it. Benedicts are a crowd favorite among breakfast lovers, so we wanted to make sure we had one that not only tastes incredible, but is reflective of our culinary point of view.
WHAT MAKES YOUR VERSION STAND OUT? We make amazing buttermilk biscuits and serve them straight out of the oven. Our house-made hollandaise, which is taken it up a notch with the creole mustard, is made to order as well. Then we top it with slow-cooked smoked pork and a gooey slow egg. The yolk runs through the dish, giving it velvety texture and elevated flavor.


Bluegold Shakshouka
Bluegold Shakshouka #Brunch #Coastal OC Brunch #A la Carte OC Brunch

SHAKSHOUKA by Tin Vuong, Executive Chef
Soft Eggs, Stewed Tomatoes & Peppers, Mustard Frill, Lebne, Flat Bread & Dukkah
AVAILABILITY Bluegold – Huntington Beach, Daily 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
ORIGIN Israel, and most of the middle east.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IT ON YOUR MENU? It’s different from the usual all-american style breakfast.
WHAT MAKES YOUR VERSION STAND OUT? We have a wonderful wood-fired oven where the flatbread is made. The baked eggs in a rich flavorful sauce with side dishes including hummus and lebne, and marinated olives completes a wonderful breakfast dish.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SERVE BREAKFAST AT BLUEGOLD? Who doesn’t love breakfast with a view?

House of Blues

House Of Blues Anaheim Chicken And Waffles
House of Blues Chicken and Waffles drizzled with syrup and blue cheese crumble #brunch #North OC Brunch #Buffet OC Brunch

CHICKEN & WAFFLES served at HOB Anaheim Gospel Brunch
AVAILABILITY House of Blues – Anaheim, Sundays at 10:30. Check their calendar for show times and reserve your tickets early
IS THERE ANY MENU OVERLAP WITH THE RESTAURANT & BAR MENU? Bourbon Bread Pudding, Jambalaya, Smoked Brisket, Jalapeno Cornbread
DOES THE BRUNCH MENU CHANGE SEASONALLY? No, the menu is the same year round
ANY SPECIFIC CHALLENGES OF SERVING THE SHOW? WHAT ARE THE TIME CONSTRAINS AND HOW DOES THE KITCHEN AND SERVICE TEAM WORK AROUND THEM? Every HOB has been doing the Gospel Brunch for a while and has found a way to work together as a team; the venues that don’t have lunch service on Sundays have little to no contraints
ANY INSIGHT OR ADVICE FOR OTHER CHEFS WHO ARE CONSIDERING SERVING A LIVE BRUNCH? My only advice is to understand your audience. We know that at Gospel Brunch we serve a Southern-inspired, made from scratch brunch every show. The food offered should be in line with the entertainment of the show.

FAST FIX Many local fast food brands are choosing to serve “B” foods all day long.

Farmer Boys

Farmer Boys Portabella Swiss Omelet
Farmer Boys Portabella Swiss Omelet

PORTABELLA SWISS OMELET by Kristy Foster, Vice President of R&D
Fresh Portabella & Swiss Omelet — Cage Free, Hand-cracked Eggs, Hand-sliced, Sautéed Large Portabellas, Garlic and Romano Cheese Spread, More Cheese, Cheese Topping.
AVAILABILITY Farmer Boys – 90 locations throughout California & Nevada, Breakfast is available all day – hours vary by location
ORDER NOTES Farmer Boys fresh portabellas are directly shipped fresh from a rural Pennsylvania farm.
PREP NOTES Hand-cut and sautéed daily.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IT ON YOUR MENU? We were inspired by the hearty and flavorful portabellas and because of a growing demand from consumers for plant proteins. The rich and hearty flavor of the portabella mushrooms makes them the perfect topping or accompaniment for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
WHAT MAKES YOUR VERSION STAND OUT? We use fresh, large portabella caps, hand-cut them daily, and sauté them in a savory, garlic Romano cheese spread. Ask for fresh when you want the best! A lot of restaurants serve burgers with canned mushrooms. Any mushroom lover knows canned mushrooms don’t compare to fresh.

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