624 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Holy Matrimoly, it's Wedding Week! no. 3
Why do guys get to have all the fun? Before the Big W Day, they get to pack an overnight bag, jet down to Cabo with 10 of their closest friends, don flip-flops and board shorts, act like stupid silly pirates chasing marlin and dorado on the high seas by day, and shoot tequila after every bite of their two-hour-fresh sashimi by night. And that’s just on the first day. If it were up to me, I’d have a debaucherous bachelorette weekend, too. *raises eyebrows*
But it wasn’t up to me. My sister Jess is a lady, so we have a prim and proper bridal shower. Tucked away in a first class perfectly private upstairs room, seatbacks and tables decorated in pink and peach and ivory floral fantasy as if invaded by an entire flight crew of Martha Stewart-esses, overflowing with absolutely lovely estrogen and soft giggles. Somebody shove me out the emergency exit door. But wait. Is there enough oxygen in here? *whoa* I think... I think I might have actually enjoyed myself. Yes, for three hours, I was...one of them.
See, as much as I poke silly fun at them, somewhere deep down in there, there is bit of girlie girl in me, too. Every once in a while, I let that inner Hello Kitty out, and for a bridal shower brunch at Campanile, she was unleashed with a vegeance. *rowr*
Ever since, oh I don’t know, forever ago, I have loved Campanile. It must have something to do with Berkeley, and the centerpices of the campus, the Campanile. On my very first visit, the very last stop on the campus tour was a ride up to the top of the bell tower, and from up there, I could see 360 degrees, first the campus, and then all the way across the bay, San Francisco! That was when I knew I was making the right decision. Almost every day after that, for four years, I saw the Campanile as I pin-balled through Sproul Plaza to Dwinelle, to LSA, to Evans Hall, and even trudged up to the Northside, the dark side, where I wondered why the hell I had economics classes up here with the eecs geeks.
And then my best friend roommate moved in with me in la la land and started working for...Campanile. Whatever you think about having a roommate who is the pastry chef at Campanile, well, yes, you are right. Technically, she was working for La Brea Bakery, but that meant she was the pastry chef for Campanile, and I just never quite understood that incestuous little business relationship between the two. Needless to say, it was dinner, pastries, bread. Lots and lots of bread.
And of course, I had Campanile’s brunch. It was perfect then, and perfect now for Jess’s BS (I love calling it a BS instead of bridal shower LOL!). The pastries on the table were from next door, and if I didn’t already know what was on the menu, I would have broken off a piece of each of the summer camp coffee cake (which my roomie used to bring home for me wrapped up in plastic wrap at the end of the day), rustic fruit tart, blueberry scone, chocolate banana muffin, and almond croissant. I restrained myself, reminding myself to be a lady.
We abbreviated the regular brunch menu to a few somethings for everyone. The chicken salad was a colorful jungle of cabbage, lettuce, and shreds of chicken. Funny that we had chosen the salad thinking “LA” and “girls” and “W diet,” but though it was delicious, only one person at each table ordered it, if anyone at all. Lesson? Girls eat sweet and dainty salads, but only if there is testosterone present. Otherwise, if it’s all girls, bring on the beef! Brisket hash, that is.
Beef brisket hash was tendrils of beef in a fairly light (for brisket) sauce, served with sourdough toast and poached eggs. The meat was tender and flavorful, but I think I was a bit distracted by the poached eggs. Normally, I don’t look at eggs in such a naughty way, but the poached eggs were just so bare and so bulbous and so exposed without a creamy sauce that I had to chuckle.
Brunch just isn’t without certain things like eggs Benedict and quiche. Campanile’s eggs Benedict are served with applewood smoked bacon on toast. These have poached eggs, but covered with Hollandaise, they were nowhere nearly as pornographic as the brisket hash. Too bad. The quiche Lorraine was even more PG than the Benedict; perfectly proper isosceles triangle of eggs and bacon with a pert little salad and matching triangle toast points.
If there was barely one chicken salad ordered per table, then there were
even fewer of the salmon gravlax with red onions, caper berries, bagel and cream cheese. Who orders a bagel and cream cheese at Campanile?!?! Someone did, but probably not by choice. Probably someone who was the last one to order, and had to get something that everyone else didn’t so that there was at least one of everything at the table. F**k. It was me. I took the bullet! I took one for the team! I ordered the bagel and cream cheese!!! But it didn’t matter because we were playing musical plates all afternoon and I marveled at the incredibly deep, gorgeous red colors of the salmon and tomatoes, took but one bite of the gravlax before *mmm*-ing, then passed it on. Someone wanted the bagel and cream cheese, though, but was too embarassed to order it because when the plate came back to me, the bagel was gone. Perpetrator!
We had cupcakes for dessert, but I already ranted about that. Either the girls were having too much fun watching Jess open her gifts and pulling out a copy of the Kama Sutra, mechanical and electronic devices, among other sheer, lacy, and fruit-flavored things, or Sprinkes cupcakes are just *eh* because most of them were less than half-eaten. Ha! Vindication!
I can’t wait to go back to Campanile for brunch again. But not for a BS. For that, next time, 10 bachelorettes wreaking havoc in Cabo.