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Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Highland Park brunch that won’t break the bank

Photo by Valentina Silva

By Valentina Silva

When Ba Restaurant opened on York Boulevard almost a year ago, it gave a decided yank to Highland Park’s gentrification tightrope. Part of the new wave of restaurants and shops on the neighborhood’s trendiest street, the French restaurant came on the scene with a teeny menu of 20-something dollar entrees and without the populist bent of fellow newcomer Maximiliano.

Despite some detractors who view the relatively fancy restaurant as a foreshadowing to a Silver Lake-like future, Ba seems to have found an audience. And now, they’re even serving weekend brunch, which is a good option if you, like me, have been weary of the nighttime price points.

The vibe mid-morning Sunday is quiet, casual and friendly.  Most entree prices range from between $10 to $12. The menu features a small selection of egg options, plus two sweet: apple pancakes and brioche french toast with wonderfully crispy edges—it’s the kind of dish that you think you’ll only eat half of, but you end up scraping the plate. A healthier portion of fruit would make it perfect, but at this point, they’re only giving out a couple of grapes. Real maple syrup is a decent concession, though.

French toast/ValentinaSilva

Eggwise, there’s a lot to be contemplated. Going the way of the omelette gets you marguez lamb sausage and mimolette cheese (a French cheddar) or salmon, goat cheese and herbs folded into fluffy eggs. The benedict trades ham for lox, which still provides that salty finish but is ever so slightly lighter. Even better is the crab on brioche—you still get the benefit of a well-balanced hollandaise and yolky poached egg, but you get to eat lump crab.

Now that I tasted both the sweet and savory side of brunch at Ba, my next visit will bring some inevitable hand wringing. But, who knows? Maybe my next meal at Ba will be dinner because I think I’ve gotten the nudge I need to cough up the dough for a little Beef Bourguignon.

–Valentina

Ba Restaurant
5100 York Boulevard
Highland Park, 90042
Open ’til Midnight Thurs-Saturday.

Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.



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  1. People owe themselves a visit because of the very elegant space as well as the food. It is a nice change of pace for the neighborhood.

  2. James Graham, the owner is a true blue, spirited chef that believes in savory combinations. He is also a local resident that wanted to walk to a special place he created with his own two hands rather than make a trek by car to the Westside.

    Some may be tempted to jump on a gentrified bandwagon of conflict, James is the complete otherside of the coon, building a relationship with the long time neighborhood bakery next door, Elsa’s Bakery, forged on a shared love of French pastries.

    Be sure to check out the wine and cheeseplate combination in the evenings and yes, Valentina — return for the Beef Bourguignon — you will be a believer!

  3. Valentina,
    Thank you for the very nice review. We do love cooking brunch. We admit that our place does “look” expensive it really is not. Our dinner prices are commensurate with the York and Maximillianos, there are lots of small plates for around $10, (the Potato croquettes or Mushroom Brulée are a meal unto themselves. So please visit for dinner soon!

  4. but do they have good Bloody Marys?

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