As I strolled along the cracked sidewalk on a muggy, Sunday afternoon, I felt dubious that I would get a table at the trendy brunch spot… New York brunch isn’t something to be taken lightly. At the front entrance, I was greeted by a hipster-looking, monotone-sounding host. He wasn’t warm and welcoming, but he sat my party of five within twenty minutes of our arrival. Five Leaves doesn’t accept reservations, but they have service down to a science and quickly turn tables.
The interior of the restaurant was packed tightly, with a handful of tables lining the perimeter. My party of five was seated at a corner table and was quickly handed menus by our waitress. When skimming over the menu, numerous entrees stood out to me; between the Avocado Toast, the Fresh Quiche that is crafted daily and the Toasted Farro Bowl, it was pretty hard to decide. I followed the lead of a patron at a neighboring table and ordered the infamous Ricotta Pancakes.
Our food came out within ten minutes and looked as delicious as it smelled. I was a bit apprehensive about how heavy the pancakes were going to be, but after the first bite, I knew I made the right decision. Not only was the airy texture of the pancakes surprising, but the compliments that came with the pancakes, such as sliced banana, sprinkled blueberries, chopped strawberries, and the scoop of honeycomb butter, also added unique flares. The honeycomb butter melted and waterfalled crunchy bits of honey onto the three pancakes.
As I enjoyed the last bits of my breakfast, I soaked up the environment at Five Leaves. The ambiance resembled that of something found along Abbot Kinney or tucked away in Costa Mesa…it had some definite California character. When researching the location a bit more, I learned that Five Leaves has a sister branch, known as L.A. Chapter, located in Ace Hotel in DTLA. It is no wonder the ambiance felt like home.