Monday, April 6, 2009

Little Next Door: I.N.D.U.L.G.E (Part 1)

I’ve been having massive eggs benedict and peanut butter cravings lately (yes, INDEPENDENTLY of one another). It’s weird, I never really had a big thing for either…I guess personal tastes change when one ages…

Well, to satisfy le eggs benedict craving, we hit up Little Next Door for Sunday brunch. This place is so cute – just sitting there makes me feel as if I’m on vacation. Something about their outdoor patio makes me feel so relaxed; quite literally, I was pretty much lounging in my chair by the end of the meal.

In terms of the food, everything on the menu sounded really appetizing but I was determined to get my benedict fix so it took less than a heartbeat for me to decide on the smoked salmon eggs benedict ($14.00). Debs got the omelet du jour while the Sun ordered the Omelet Lardons ($11.00). The bread basket at Little Next Door is also pretty great. Their French bread is crusty on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. Mmmm…I always appreciate a good bread basket.

(Omelet du Jour)

(Omelet Ladorns)

Though seemingly unassuming at first, the food portions at Little Next Door are pretty damn big. And thank God they are because the food is pretty dayam kick-ass. My eggs benedict was soooo effin’ awesome. It came with a side salad which was a perfect balancer to the cholestral + carbs side of the dish. Instead of an English muffin, the poached eggs came on top of two slices of thick toast and the toast and eggs sandwiched a VERY generous heap of smoked salmon. The salmon was cured to perfection (not too salty, a la Katz deli but also, not bland at all) and it was absolutely amazing paired with the eggs. The first poached egg was a little too runny for my personal taste (it literally flowed like a river) but it was good to soak with the toast. The second egg I had was cooked to perfection – not so runny that it spills all over the plate. It was, in simple terms, quite gorgeous.

(Mmmmmm-ness: Salmon eggs benedict)

(When runniness = good times)

And to cap off a perfect brunch, I ordered my usual suspect combination of macarons ($1.75) – pistachio, vanilla and dulce de leche (ok, I usually get caramel but this was the closet thing they had on offer). I started with the pistachio which was…SO GROSS. Yes, I was bitterly disappointed. The shell was dry and crunchy. WTF? I’ve NEVER had a crunchy macaroon before. And the filling to shell ratio was way off – half of the macaron was glopping with pistachio ganache while the other half was completely void of any filling. Ech. Disappointed, I moved on to the dulce de leche which, thank God, was a redeemer. The shell was the perfect balance of soft and chewy and the sweetness of the caramel filling balanced the mildness of the shell. Good stuff – I guess the pistachio was just from a bad batch. The last one was the vanilla which was definitely not as good as the dulce but also, definitely not as bad as the pistachio. The shell was a little too delicate – it shattered even before I finished biting into it. So I guess consistency is a little bit of an issue in terms of desserts at the Little Next Door.

(Flourless chocolate cake)

(Panna Cotta)

(The good, the bad and the ugly: Dulce de leche, vanilla, pistachio)

Service is fantastic. The waitstaff are all all-smiles and friendly. Our serving waitress kept thanking us for enjoying our food. Awwww…I love friendly service. The food is pretty pricey though and although I enjoyed every part of Little Next Door (save the pistachio macaron), I think I’ll keep it as a indulgence, lazy afternoon brunch place rather than an “everyday eatery.”

FOOD: 4/5

Little Next Door ($$)
8142 W Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-1010

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