Although I may be up early every day to exercise before work, I’m not a morning person.
This is especially true when it comes to the weekends—Sunday in particular. If you see me awake before 10am on a Sunday, it’s because I’m going to church. There’s very little aside from the Lord that will get me up early, and only under certain circumstances is food a legitimate reason. Knowing this, I shocked myself when I considered checking out the Sunday Brunch at The Den in West Hollywood. Prior to agreeing, I couldn’t help but weigh my options. On one hand I could stay under my warm sheets and skip church (sorry, Jesus). On the other hand I could drive 30 miles for food. The latter didn’t sound as appealing as the former, but I could hear my stomach groaning under the sheets. With that, I made my way out of the bed.
I dragged my feet as I got dressed and made my way to the car, but as the sun started to shine a bit brighter in my direction I managed to wake up and get excited about the idea of brunch. A few miles later, my friend and I sat at the restaurant ready to order.
After a few laughs and conversation, the first order arrived. It was The Benny Burger ($14). Coming out of a bar kitchen, this dish was so beautiful. In its design it appeared well crafted and executed with such gorgeous perfection that it should sit on a magazine cover. In its taste I couldn’t understand how the seemingly simple description could visually exceed my expectations. The open face burger came with a poached egg, Gruyere cheese, mixed greens, a hollandaise sauce, and a lemon garlic aioli. Seeing how well plated the burger was, we decided to start eating it with a knife and fork. We’re fancy. A single slice into it and the yolk began to cascade out of the egg white and down the burger. It was a beautiful golden colored river that quickly covered the dish. At this point, no utensils were necessary. Picking it up by the hand and biting into the burger it tasted incredible! There was a combination of flavors from the yolk to the cheese to the bacon that all made it perfect as a whole. Separated, the components would be simple and possibly forgotten, but together with the creamy hollandaise sauce it a take on a burger that I desperately needed.
Not to be outdone by the burger was the Breakfast Flatbread ($14). A second appearance of an egg made its way on this dish alongside, prosciutto, mozzarella, a Bianca sauce, and red chili flakes. Seeing as I was nearing full from the burger, I had one simple slice of the flatbread and let my friend take the rest. Then again, it was her order so I had to anyway. Even in the few bites from the slice I had, the flatbread was delicious. The body of the dough found itself at an ideal balance between thin and thick. Not too thin that it would fall apart after a few bites and not too thick that it would be the only noticeable part to the entrée. I didn’t notice much of the Bianca sauce but that was only because I was distracted by the thin layers of prosciutto that was no dripping in yolk. Another flawless pairing where the egg compliments anything it touches.
The final plate for the brunch was the Prosciutto & Cheddar Doughnuts ($11). Out from the kitchen came four round oven baked donuts sprinkled with powdered sugar and a side of maple syrup. Tearing them open, they were warm and smelled like they were made down in the south, not West Hollywood. Within the donuts were speckles of prosciutto with bits of cheddar close by. They were savory, they were sweet, and they were the best way to end a brunch that I may have skipped.
I really enjoyed brunch at The Den and I am really pleased with the way they were able to create an array of dishes that exceeded the notion of bar food. No ordinary waffles or pancakes here, The Den makes plates that are delicious and picturesque. It’s the type of food that can get me out of bed regardless of how comfortable my mattress and pillows are on a Sunday morning.
Address: 8226 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Phone: (323) 656-0336
Hours: Sunday 12:00pm to 2:00am, Monday through Friday – 5:00pm to 2:00am, and Satuday 3:00pm to 2:00am.
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Nice staff
- Limited parking in lot