My visit to San Diego last weekend was blissful: 75 degrees and sunny, with plenty of time for morning jogs along the waterfront and afternoons spent poolside with a book. (And, of course, lots of outletting. Nordstrom Rack and Off Fifth? The Morris women were on it like white on rice). It was only appropriate that the visit culminate with brunch at The Cottage, a divine little spot in San Diego’s ritzy part of town, La Jolla.
Of course, being the most popular place for brunch in town, there was quite the wait outside. However, it was sunny and bright—and they had complimentary coffee and buttermilk coffee cake set out on the sidewalk for hungry brunchers. Right away, I knew this place was going to be great.
The half-hour wait went by quickly, and we were whisked inside to the bright seashell blue interior. In typical SoCal form, our waitress was blonde, beautiful, and bubbly. More importantly, she was quick, accommodating, and helpful.
My parents, who order Bloody Marys at every brunch, said they were delicious and made with just the right amount of spice. For me, there was a deliciously foamy and rich vanilla latte.
My penchant for Benedicts must be genetic, as both Dad and Grandma ordered from the restaurant’s six different Benedict options. Dad, of course, went with the traditional Benny, served with Canadian bacon. It seems that the Cottage has brunch down to a science—the Benny was just right, with perfect proportions of thick, fluffy English muffins layered with Canadian bacon, correctly poached eggs, and a perfect measure of hollandaise on top. It was one of those rare dishes where you get the right amount of each ingredient in every bite.
Grandma had the polenta Benedict—patties of polenta topped with bacon, tomato slices, arugula and roasted tomato hollandaise. The dish looked too lovely to eat. I sampled a bacon-free bite, and it was simply heavenly. Polenta instead of a muffin? How inventive.
I was having a heck of a time deciding between the cottage oatmeal pancakes—whole wheat and oat pancakes stuffed with blueberries and bananas—and the stuffed French Toast, which is filled with strawberries and mascarpone cheese. The waitress informed me that the first dish was featured as San Diego Magazine’s best breakfast, and the latter is included in the Cottage’s famous cookbook—making my decision even harder. So, she offers to bring me one of each. Hell, it’s vacation, why not?
The enormous whole-wheat pancakes were thick, dense and oaty with flavors of cinnamon. Distributed throughout the cakes were equal amounts of sliced bananas and enormous blueberries.
The stuffed French toast was to die for—thick, fluffy bread filled with enormous fresh strawberries and oozing with mascarpone. In an ideal world, this dish would be served to me in bed every morning.
I was so charmed by the experience I picked up some house-baked cottage granola as a gift for beau. (Granola is a very appropriate gift to bring back from a California vacation, no?) Perhaps I should have also brought home the cookbook, so he could get on that whole stuffed-French-toast-in-bed dream of mine …
The Bitch and fam say: A for five-star brunch cuisine, perfect service and a delightful ambiance.
7702 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, C.A.