Salt’s Cure has fallen from a grace a bit, it’s kind of become a dependable spot instead of something new and exciting, despite the move to “grown up” digs in a hip space on Santa Monica and Highland. However, brunch at Salt’s cure remains one of the more enjoyable activities in LA to my mind as there isn’t a lot of flash, just exceptional flavors in simple dishes. There is no play on benedict, or a spin on shakshuka, nor a fountain of pastries (there are pretty great-looking morning buns, though), yet it captures something elemental and wondrous nonetheless, sort of what I wish eating at a simple old school diner was. To me, there is still a hint of magic here, even if the waiters are super hip, and wearing standard uniforms in a place covered in brushed wood.
We began with all of the toasts on the menu, but they forgot to bring several of them. Still, the portions on the toasts are great for splitting between two people.
The proverbial Avocado Toast was really nice. I personally appreciated that the avocado was left slightly chunky, and the bracingly fresh tomatoes and the house 7-spice gave it a lifting, piquant kick. I also really like that it was only $4, instead of the $10-$12 most places seem to charge these days. This felt like an appropriate avocado toast; elemental in its simplicity, putting the fresh avocado firmly in center stage and accenting it just enough to be exactly the kind of thing you would like to begin brunch with, just really nice. The bread was also nothing fancy, just a hearty multigrain toasted just right, with some nice chew. Similar to Bestia’s bread, lovely.
Chicken Liver Toast exceeded expectations for me, as the chicken liver itself was remarkably smooth, and tasted closer to foie gras terrines I’ve had than most pungent chicken liver toasts. A touch of coarse salt, some pickled onions, and cilantro brought just the right touch of astringency to make it really “pop”. Incredibly cravable.
Lox Toast was also pleasant. Perhaps not as salty as other lox I’ve had, but a good texture. The bit of labneh underneath, fresh onions, and super fresh radishes were a great touch that made it eminently light and airy filled with vegetal notes highlighting the produce as much as the fish. Splendid.
Oatmeal Griddlecakes are the star of every brunch at Salt’s Cure, and the best pancakes I’ve ever had personally, bar none. An old recipe from the chef’s grandmother done beyond perfectly. Not dry at all, with crispy edges and an earthy depth that is stupendous. The cinnamon molasses butter and dusting of powdered sugar go so exquistely with them that I always feel like I am in heaven when eating these. I always lean towards enjoying butter on pancakes more than most syrups and the removal of the syrup element entirely is simply genius here. This is one of those 11/10 dishes for me.
I usually get an All Star (aka 2 x 2 x 2), but wanted to branch out and try their breakfast Pork Shoulder Chop, Polenta, and Eggs instead, given how legendary their dinner pork chops are. This plate did not disappoint at all. The soft polenta was remarkable, sort of a corn-infused porridge here that toned down some of the salt in the pork chop, and also went stunningly well with the gorgeous orange egg yolks. Eggs perfectly absolutely perfectly. The pork chop itself was just absolutely tremendous in its savoriness. It seemed to be a thinner chop with a light onion/butter sauce, and the meat was incredibly tender, but with a spectacular crust; the fat was cooked amazingly. Impossible to stop eating this. One of the most addictive plates of food I’ve had in a long time. One of those dishes you feel llike they must have sprinkled crack on because it looks so simple that you don’t see how they packed so much flavor into it.
Naturally, we finished up with their immaculate Grapefruit Pie. This remains perhaps my favorite pie ever, even though it is more like a custard given how incredibly thin its crust is. Still, the tart of the grapefruit, with the luscious whipped cream, with a touch of savory crust, and the melding of the textures makes it one of my favorite things to eat in the world. The candied, sugar-coated orange peel is a nice touch, but unnecessary; fun to eat, though.
I had a Raspberry Sour to drink that went great with everything. Nice to see a place put a sour beer on a menu, although their cocktails are probably worth taking advantage of as well.
Nothing too fancy, but in terms of flavors, and pure gustatory delight, this was one of my favorite meals in a long time.
I think they do a number of these dishes on weekdays from 11-3 as well now!
Address: 1155 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 465-7258