The Gilded Bellini's Brunch at Norah
What do you look for when searching for your next weekend brunch spot? Maybe it’s an artsy aesthetic, an inventive and dynamic menu, a stylish ambiance, or exceptional hospitality. What if I told you that Norah, right here in West Hollywood had all of that and more?
Nestled behind two towering wooden doors on Santa Monica Blvd. is this neighborhood gem that has notoriously made a name for itself over the last few years for its unparalleled dining experience. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in West Hollywood with a stellar reputation for top notch food, drinks and overall experience.
My friend Bianca and I recently spent a Sunday at Norah to check out their notorious brunch, and before I go any further I just need to say how much I absolutely LOVE every last detail about this place!!!
From the moment you walk through the doors at Norah, guests are charmed with the restaurant’s captivating industrial-chic space. From lightbulb bouquet chandeliers hanging from above to a grand marble bar accented with gold, to its contemporary-designed tables and its floor-to-ceiling windows… Norah’s atmosphere is nothing short of impressive.
The décor is straight goals – the design of the space has so much character. I loved how the vibe was bright and airy. It really embodies the ideal Los Angeles brunch spot. As morning transitioned into afternoon, the entire restaurant was filled with guests indulging with smiles on their faces.
Since its opening a few years ago, Norah has become a destination for locals, visitors and even celebs. They simply can’t get enough of Norah’s entirely made-from-scratch menu that elevates approachable Los Angeles flavors! I spoke with Andrew, Norah’s General Manager who told me that the Norah team actually goes to the farmer’s market every single weekend to source fresh new ingredients. If that’s not dedication to quality, then I don’t know what is!
We couldn’t wait to dig in, and let me tell you that every single menu item we ordered was mouth-watering and perfect. Serotonin overload!!!
Cast Iron Cornbread
We started with the Cast Iron Cornbread made with rosemary honey butter, Norah’s most famous and sought-after dish. If you ever want to know what a slice of heaven tastes like, THIS is it! The cornbread was so light, smooth, buttery and incredibly fresh. The savory corn flavor with the rosemary honey is the perfect marriage of flavors. I actually was in awe when I ate this because I was just so impressed.
Next, we had the perfectly designed Coffee Cake, baked to sweet and fragrant precision. Brown butter streusel and berry compote add the special kick to this delightful square of total bliss. Before this, I honestly haven’t had a coffee cake in years. Why? Because I always was disappointed with how dry and lackluster in flavor. Norah’s Coffee Cake was the complete and total opposite. Even the presentation was pretty and really artistic. I wish I could have this every morning! With every bite you could just taste the blend of flavors melt in your mouth.
We had to get something savory to shake up all the sweetness! We went with the Breakfast Sandwich which is made with house sausage, fried egg and American cheese. What I loved about this is that the ingredients are so simple, yet so appetizing. This is certainly not your average breakfast sandwich, and I truly believe the taste stands out so much because those fresh, local elements are incorporated. Everything from the savory notes of the sausage to the fluffiness of the bun was really delicious. If you’re a breakfast sandwich person, this is definitely the one you need to try.
Ancient Grain Pancakes
Annnnd saved the best for last – pancakes! I am a total pancake girl through and through so I’m always excited when trying a restaurant’s specialty version. Norah’s Ancient Grain Pancakes, made with farro, quinoa and drizzled with maple syrup and powdered sugar is definitely a dish you cannot pass on when you’re here! For those who don’t know, farro has a naturally slightly chewy texture while quinoa is a bit on the softer side. The combination of the two was a delightful mix and makes for the perfect components for pancakes, and specifically brunch. Both are high in protein which is great because you leave satisfied, without feeling like you ate too much. I love that Norah incorporated these superfoods – if there’s one way to steal an Angeleno’s heart, it’s too incorporate healthy ingredients into indulgences!
Passion Fruit Margarita
Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying a few cocktails.
There was one specifically that called out my name as soon as I laid eyes on the menu – the Passion Fruit Margarita! It is made with serrano infused tequila, Strega, passion fruit, lemon and agave. These island-y flavors together created the most perfect spicy-tart concoction. If there’s two things that I love, it’s tequila and passion fruit! I have always been partial to passion fruit since I visited Punta Cana a few years ago and it’s so rare to see it used on menus at restaurants. The potent and delightful sourness of the fruit combined with the spice is just the ultimate – it’s a must!
Bianca tried the Amari Fizz, which is made with averna, lemon, eggwhite, soda and bitters. I absolutely loved the sophisticated presentation, served in a tall glass and garnished with fresh rosemary. It reminded me a bit of a float with its slightly bubbly consistency, but much more serious with a beautiful blend of complex flavors. This cocktail is totally for the cocktail connoisseurs and I really appreciated how unexpected this cocktail is.
Finally, you know I had to try the mimosa!!! There’s nothing better than fresh squeezed orange juice (especially when there’s champagne splashed in there) and Norah definitely nailed this one. Fresh as can be!
Our experience at Norah was truly one to remember. Everything I ever look for in choosing, and even recommending a great brunch spot to other people is Norah’s entire concept down to every detail. The ambiance is really fitting for just about any situation – whether you want to brunch with friends, family or even if you’re on a date. It is so apparent that the Norah team genuinely cares about giving its customers the ultimate experience. The ambiance, the food, the cocktails, and the exceptional hospitality that Norah brings to LA is perfect, and it’s a combination that not all restaurants can do successfully. I can whole heartedly say I was blown away by Norah’s brunch and I high recommend everyone who’s in the area make their way to Norah, because you won’t be disappointed!