Ah, the eternal last-minute question: Where to go for a great al fresco breakfast / brunch / lunch? The answer just got a bit easier with the opening of Winsome.
Winsome is a bit hard to find, but when you do, you’ll realize that it’s in a great location. On the border of Elysian Park, Chinatown, and Echo Park, Winsome is within striking distance of many of the newly (?) gentrified neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including Downtown itself. Though its address clearly says Sunset Boulevard, the restaurant is actually a bit tucked away from main street (you’ll need to turn into White Knoll Drive to actually see the frontage). The parking lot is a bit funky, too, as the lot is a bit of a walk to the restaurant entrance (no worries, for there is plenty of street parking in the area).
Once inside, the wonderful smell of the bakery & cafe immediately entices you.
The décor is very much in keeping with “brand new retro coffee shop”, offering comfy booths and bar seating as well.
Also adjacent to the dining room is a spacious outdoor seating area - gorgeous on sunny days.
Service is friendly. Currently, Winsome serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and brunch on weekends.
My first visit was for a solo weekday lunch, (and thus I couldn’t order from more of the menu, as I am prone to do at other eateries). Now, onto the FOOD!
Agua fresca #1: Cucumber, mint, green apple, salted kaffir rim… Startlingly good, extremely refreshing.
Charred escarole chicken soup: Aromatic chicken broth, black garlic, grains, grilled rustic bread… Delicious, with hearty bites of chicken. This bowl almost made me wish for colder weather.
Snap pea and spigarello: Purple kohlrabi, toasted lemongrass, urfa pepper… Definitely a dish to order if you like getting all your (tasty!) veggies in one bite. The snap peas were cooked perfectly, and the urfa peppers add just the hint of spice to kick the dish into flavor overdrive.
Agua fresca #2: Strawberry, seasonal berries, saffron, chia seeds… This one was a tad too sweet (but, credit to Winsome, the bartender said he’d be making adjustments to the drinks based on customer feedback).
The Winsome Burger: Gjusta seeded pan de mie, grassfed beef, hooks aged white cheddar (I asked for no cheese on my burger that day), pickled shallots, mustard frills… Hot damn! This was an absolutely great burger. Perfectly prepared to medium rare, the patty screamed with excellent grilled flavor. The pickled accompaniments and brioche-like buns added to the whole experience.
The bartender was busy keeping up with orders of great-looking aguas frescas, so I had to order yet another!
Agua fresca #3: Quinoa, wild rice and toasted almond horchata, with star anise… A winner. This was one of the best horchata beverages I’ve had a long time.
Dessert items arrive from the bakery side of the restaurant. The cold brew was outstanding.
Banana bread (made without nuts) provided generous bits of ripe banana on each bite - superb.
Color me impressed. I very much enjoyed my lunch at Winsome, and can’t wait to come back with a larger group to do brunch one of these days on that nice patio.
1115 Sunset Bl. (corner of White Knoll Dr.)
Los Angeles, CA 90012