As a brunch guru, I get asked pretty frequently a few questions: Where can I get the best bottomless mimosas? What brunch spot is the most affordable? Which place is fun for groups of people?
Well... what if I told you that you could get all three of those answers at one spot? A few weeks ago, I wanted to try a brunch with my friends that would have all of those requirements! I headed down to the sunny South Bay to a brunch spot all the locals love for bottomless mimosas, a beachy escape from Hollywood, and an always bustling crowd: The Rockefeller in Manhattan Beach!
The Rockefeller has been named “The Best Brunch in the South Bay,” one of the reasons being that brunch actually here starts on Friday! Yes... cue the hallelujah bells! Maybe that’s why there’s so much unexplained traffic during the day on the 405... just a thought! My friends Brooke, Lexie and I went on a Saturday this time, but we were so excited to pop the bubbly and ring in the weekend at The Rockefeller!
The Rockefeller blends low-key seaside atmosphere and casual sophistication to create an ambiance for breezy dining by the beach with lots of friends. When you're walking to the restaurant, you literally can't miss it! It's the most happening place on the street with open windows and a very welcoming ambiance. From the moment you first walk in, it's plain to see that The Rockefeller is the place to be.
There's lots of wooden tables filled with groups of people and an awesome little marble bar towards the back of the restaurant where guests can try its extensive craft beer list (yes, you can add craft beers to the list of things that The Rockefeller is known for too!).
We couldn't wait to get started and order.
One thing I love about The Rockefeller's eclectic menu is that all the food is not only filling, but is packed with flavor and is super affordable! From Butternut Beignets to Chicken & Avocado Burritos to Ahi Wonton Salads, The Rockefeller offers such a great variety to choose from whether you're in the mood for more sweet or more savory!
If you follow The Gilded Bellini, you know I love my salads! I saw the Healthy Steak Salad on the menu and knew I had to have it. I was pleasantly surprised with how big the salad was! I was in absolute heaven. Grilled prime flatiron steak, baby kale, overnight tomatoes, cremini mushroom, carmelized onion, grilled corn, carrots, almond slivers and sherry honey vinaigrette made this dish simply delightful!
Brooke got the Pork Belly Benedict. This was super tasty and I loved how unique this dish is because it certainly is not your average eggs Benedict! Egg whites, chicken chorizo, cheesy grits, asparagus, and The Rockefeller's special sauce makes this dish the perfect level of savory and comforting.
Lexie had the Veggie Scramble. Eggs, goat cheese, mushrooms, onions, heirloom tomato, asparagus and country potatoes combined together for a hearty and super delectable dish. The warm flavors blended so cohesively together and paired well with hot coffee!
Of course, brunch isn't complete without a totally indulging treat! We went with the French Toast.. Mmmmmm it was SO fluffy and delish! Made with French brioche bread, macerated berries, maple syrup and powdered sugar, this was definitely the highlight of our brunch. French toast is my weakness, and I think The Rockefeller nailed this one.
Needless to say, we had some fun excessively taking photos of our food! But, hey when you're brunching with a food blogger, it's just what you do!
After indulging, I got to speak with The Rockefeller's cool and down to earth manager, Alejandro who spoke to me a little bit more about what The Rockefeller is all about. I really admire that the restaurant prides itself on being a go-to in the South Bay for brunch and is incredibly welcoming. The Rockefeller provides an experience that keeps guests coming back for more! He said, "It's a South Bay spot with burgers, beer and brunch by the beach!" Does it get any better than that? It was nice being able to chat for a bit about what makes The Rockefeller such a unique brunch spot - you can see more of our convo in my video above!
Another thing I love about The Rockefeller? The gastropub's awesome deals and food doesn't just stop at brunch. There's weekly specials that keep both locals and out-of-towners coming in all week! On Mondays, you can get oysters for $1. On Tuesdays, you can get burgers for 99 cents. What?!?! What other restaurant do you know that offers quality burgers for under a dollar?
After my brunch experience at The Rockefeller, I can honestly say I am a huge fan. I would highly recommend it as a great spot to brunch with a big group of friends, and it's totally a place where you can meet new ones too! Both the clientele and the staff are super happy and friendly. Everyone at The Rockefeller is incredibly accommodating and it is so nice to see a place that treats its customers like family. It's even better that the gastropub’s budget-friendly menu is filled with contemporary comfort food options that will definitely keep you coming back for more. Not only because you’ll love it so much, but because it won't make a dent in your wallet like lots of other brunches do.
Oh, and did I mention that it's literally steps from the beach? You can brunch AND beach it right after the other. Can't do that in Hollywood, can ya?!
I am so excited for my next brunch visit to The Rockefeller and I hope you are too! You will love knowing you can come in, have a great meal with friends and leave as family... because brunch at The Rockefeller simply brings everyone together in the most fun way possible. Now I know why it's named the Best Brunch in the South Bay!
Photography by Patrick Muñiz