Breakfast/Brunch - Marina Del Rey

The husband and some colleagues are taking one of their former patients to brunch before he skips town. They’re looking for breakfast/brunch in the Marina del Rey neighborhood. Since their guest has had recent medical issues, it can’t be a dumpy dive kind of place. Needs to have a variety of options (in case picky eaters) and budget should be about $20 per person…it’s pretty early so I don’t think anyone will need liquor. This is totally outside of my purview…I hardly hang out here.
TIA!

Charcoal and Rose Cafe come to mind, though they are actually adjacent to the Marina in Venice. Also J. Nichols Kitchen in the Marina proper.

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J Nichols is probably where it will best suit all.

Rose Cafe is an excellent idea, but more north. Joni’s is on the water in MdR, and great. There’s also Killer Cafe.

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26 Beach on Washington Blvd. Don’t know what day they’re going - it does get very busy for weekend brunch.

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Gjusta or Superba

Or am I missing something from your request that forecloses those two options?

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Superba is a good choice. They’re looking to be rather close to LAX so their guest can hit the airport afterwards. Gjusta has been my initial thought but they had asked for it to be closer just in case.

Thanks to all for your help!

Gjusta won’t be comfortable for people with physical issues. It’s more like borderline SaMo too - an extra 10+ minutes to LAX compared to the closest option. Parking can be tough. It might be hard to work a $20 per as well. I usually feed four for $110+ here. Can be co fusing to first-timers too. Food and drinks in general are great.

26 Beach is fine but depends on party size. The main/original dining area is smallish. The additional “patio” area on the west side of the building is open seating - this area might work for parties larger than four. Parking is on the street and limited. The menu is interesting and portions tend to be big.

Superba can usually accommodate groups larger than four but it does get crowded for breakfast. Parking is limited to a small lot (almost always full) and street. Food is very good, pastries are first rate, coffee is great. Heavy on locals; most are the new youngish, hip “locals” who are idle and can’t afford not to spend money.

J. Nichols has the easiest of parking since it’s part of a large shopping center. Easy ingress/egress. Booths are very comfortable. But this limits the seating as a group if it’s larger than four or five. If neighboring booths are okay… It’s closest to the 90 freeway and to LAX.

Of the choices, J. Nichols’ menu is the most limited, more conventional and safest of all. But the food is far better than most coffee shop-type places. As an example, they serve Verve coffee.

The owner (son of the original owners) does a balancing act between providing food that appeals to the younger generations of eaters while not scaring away those who have been eating here as far back as the 70s. The general crowd is oldest of the choices. Service tends to be very good.

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Gjusta, Gjelina (photos Below),

Also Superba and Rose Cafe. A- frame on weekends for all you can eat pancakes…

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That is so perfectly put for that part of town…

Back to the thread…

My vote would be for something like Metro Cafe in Culver City, but that might be too far east. It also
might be too casual, although I wouldn’t call it dumpy or a dive.

I love Gjusta but wouldn’t do it on a weekend (don’t know what day this is happening) and can’t imagine how you would get out for $20pp. It’s hard for me to get out for < $35pp (although, to be fair, I eat a lot).

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If they’re looking to be close to LAX, you might consider Panns. Not in Marina del Rey, but quite close to the airport.

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Metro Cafe is 405-friendly. The owner is the best host. It’s one of our family’s favorites but it’s pretty tight in there. The other day, I drove by on the way to Conservatory for Coffee - it looked like Metro was remodeling. Only took a glance so I’m not sure.

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I’ll have to check when I’m next in the area. I was there maybe 2 wks ago and didn’t notice anything.

Agree the inside can be tight; sitting out front is pretty pleasant (IMHO).

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Superba El Segundo is LAX convenient, has good parking but further from the Marina. Might be worth a look

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Thanks so much, @NewTrial, @yogachik, @cookiemonster, @ipsedixit, @bulavinaka, @wienermobile, @paranoidgarliclover, and @aaqjr!
Super helpful notes and great options. I will provide this list and see where they go. I also do not know what day they plan on doing this adventure.

I didn’t recommend Gjusta or Gjelina for two reasons: the difficulty of seating (super uncomfortable at Gjusta), and the budget constraints.

Also didn’t recommend Superba because I’ve had two lousy meals in a row there.

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Another vote for J Nichols. It will be the least-stressful option for travelers – easy parking, and you can park the car somewhere in line of sight so you don’t have to worry so much about theft of suitcases (which, sadly, is a legit concern in the Venice area).

Hard no on Gjusta and Gjelina. The hassle of parking / queuing / sometimes-annoying fellow diners lacking in situational awareness doesn’t make for a relaxing start-to-finish experience, in my opinion. For people getting ready to deal with the LAX aggravation, I’d opt for something with an easier get in - eat - get out experience.

Rose Cafe has a good parking lot, with an attendant, but…just about every time I’ve gone there (or walked by; it’s in my 'hood) there has been some sort of uncomfortable incident going on with agitated sidewalk dwellers. The few blocks surrounding are a bit grubby (I have to tiptoe around human waste on the regular), so it might be off-putting to someone who needs to be extra-careful about hygiene. (This is not to be taken as a put-down of the homeless folks…or of Rose Cafe, which I enjoy… it’s just a reality of the area.)

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here are some other choices:

beachside cafe at the jamaica bay hotel- nice breakfast
salt- at the marina hotel- okay and a bit pricey
maxwell’s- homey but not a dive. a neighborhood joint for years
sunny spot- open for brunch