It seems like there’s an avid love for brunch that isn’t going anywhere.
Not that I want it to, it just seems that over the last couple of years the clamor for the midday style of eating has grown in popularity. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of anything that took me out of bed before noon, I’ve experienced my share of restaurants with incredible brunch menus that I find myself waking up early to enjoy. Leaving the house and heading to Santa Monica just as the sun started to shine over the city wouldn’t have been ideal to me before, however, to try the new brunch menu from O+O Sicilian Kitchen I left with little hesitation.
The traditional Italian restaurant serves Sicilian designed plates on the bustling side of Ocean Avenue. Within its doors is a beautifully decorated restaurant with dark tabletops against a colorful oversized canvas that acts as an eye-catching piece the moment you walk in. It didn’t take long for my sister Gayl and I to be seated, given a menu, and for us to find a few cocktails to start the brunch.
The tough decision of the morning was trying to figure out which drink from the cocktail menu to order. With some guidance from the waitress we were able to make a choice on what to get. I started with the Berry Nice Melons ($14) that combined Vodka with milk, melon, blueberries, and lime. While the drink was smooth with a gentle degree of creaminess, the noticeable flavor of the honeydew melon was diverting to the overall taste. While I wasn’t invested in this cocktail, seeing my sister smile with each sip of her bottomless Aperol Spritz ($20) made me order one for myself. The Prosecco, Aperol, and blood orange created a perfect blend within my glass that easily put a smile across my face as well. It was light, bubbly, and the blood orange gave such vibrant taste to lead the brunch in such a great direction.
To make the spritz even better, it came with a well curated tasting platter. A beautiful board displayed a variety of fresh olives, meats, and Italian cheeses. At first glance I loved how nicely arranged it was and quickly realized it was impossible to leave any food on the board–so we didn’t.
With drinks in hand, plates from the kitchen began to make their way to our table. Instead of ordering whatever read as delicious from the menu, the executive chef Georgi Yaneff sent out items that best reflected the restaurant and his culinary style. The first of many items was the Breakfast Arancini ($10). Large fried stuffed rice balls were cooked with wild mushrooms, spinach, and ricotta all served in a small black skillet. The hot arancini were a perfect golden brown and once they were sliced in half they revealed a nicely cooked assembly of well-seasoned rice. I loved how delicious they were and that they were subtle in taste from start to finish.
To outshine the arancini was the Smoked Salmon Brushetta ($16). The single toast was smeared with whipped ricotta and topped with arugula, capers, red onions, a grilled lemon, and perfect slices of salmon. With each bite I loved how delicate and soft the bread was and the way it soaked up the lemon juice that I squeezed on top of it. The salmon was incredibly thin and fresh with the whipped ricotta adding a perfectly creamy and smooth texture. It disappeared from the table immediately.
With the appetizers gone from sight, the entrees replaced the empty plates. To start Gayl and I shared the Poached Egg, Quinoa, and Kale Salad ($14). The salad was covered with asparagus, brocolini, peas, and pomegranates with a poached egg on the side. Once I sliced the egg open and let the yolk pour out, the color and brilliance changed drastically. The mustard yellow yolk, bright white egg, brown quinoa, and deep forest green kale was a gorgeous arrangement on the plate. When it came to its taste, I liked the way the rich vegetables paired with the juice that would seep out of the pomegranates seeds. The abundance of seeds slightly overwhelmed the salad, but moving a few to the side made the plate more enjoyable.
Alongside the kale salad was the Burrata Salad Pizza ($17). The pizza took basil pesto, burrata cheese, heirloom tomatoes, seasonal greens, and balsamic reduction all on one plate. Slice after slice, the pizza was incredible. There were so many varying flavors that combined together to create a surge of taste that would be hard to ignore. From the creamy cheese, lightweight and soft bread, the vigorous pesto, to the fresh tomatoes I enjoyed every aspect of the pizza.
To bring the brunch to a close we shared the Gelato and Brioche ($15). While it read and looked like a dessert item, it’s listed as a “signature brunch dish” on the menu. Ultimately, the wording can stand as a great excuse to tell your parents that you’re having ice cream at the beginning of the day. The dish placed scoops of chocolate and pistachio gelato in between two slices of a toasted and buttery brioche bread. Slicing into the bread and picking up scoops of ice cream gave a sweet and creamy dish that was easy to devour.
Although I haven’t always been eager to get out of my comfortable bed for brunch, I am more than pleased to have done so to check out O+O Sicilian Kitchen. From the spritz to burrata pizza I was able to try delicious plates inspired by Sicily and served in the heart of Santa Monica. Thanks to O+O I have a great reason to get up on Saturday mornings and I won’t need my alarm clock to do it.
Address: 1705 Ocean Ave Suite #111, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (424) 272-8700
Hours: Sunday to Thursday – 11:00am to 10:00pm and Friday and Saturday – 11:00am to 11:00pm
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Beautiful restaurant
- Friendly staff