Tuesday, January 17, 2012
When I was invited to try brunch at Mohawk Bend, the craft beer bar and restaurant which opened last fall to much buzz, I was very intrigued. Brunch service just began and I was curious to see what owner Tony Yanow had in mind as his establishments are known for their extensive vegan options.
In addition to several dozen taps of local craft beer, Mohawk Bend has a full bar and cocktail program and a Pisco Sour is an excellent way to begin a morning meal. It is made with frothy egg-whites and Pisco, so you could consider it a meal in a glass. Who doesn't enjoy eggs at breakfast? The Pisco Sour was well executed, not too sweet or tart and appropriately frothy.
Sorry vegans, but Huevos Divorciados is the must order item at brunch. It is made with fried eggs, chilaquiles, red & green salsas, queso fresco and crème fraiche. The fried corn tortillas were at that perfect stage between nicely crispy and soggy and the salsas were piquant and flavorful.
The Vegan Scrapple was a pleasant surprise as the dish is usually made with pork leftover bits (scraps, hence the name scrapple) and cornmeal before being combined and fried. This version includes vegan sausage and was served on a bed of tomato sauce. It was reminiscent of polenta cakes and rather tasty. I have never had the pork version, but this is a filling dish that while not evoking meat, was satisfying as it is. The other ingredients in the scrapple include broccolini, rappini, spinach, onions, scallions, pasilla chiles, thyme, sage, soy milk, organic polenta, and house made veggie stock. Just like the traditional version, the chef uses the leftover scraps of what is available in the kitchen, although in this case that means veggies not bacon bits. The tomato sauce had a nice slight kick from garlic and chile de arbol.
Elvis French Toast is a tribute to The King: french toast sandwiches with bananas and bacon and served with peanut butter syrup. I was not a fan of this dish which was served cut-up in four pieces. I had a version without the bacon and it likely doesn't work as well as the bacon can aid the flavors in coming together. The bacon-fiends I was with enjoyed this dish significantly more than I did.
Sera's Signature Waffle is both vegan and gluten free. The waffle is served with a choice of peanut butter, maple or pecan syrup. If you are not a vegan, I do not recommend this dish as it doesn't capture the essence of a waffle as it lacks the eggs which help provide texture and consistency.
It never hurts to add a bit of greens to a meal, especially when the JJ Kale salad is on offer. It is a wilted salad of kale seared with garlic and chili, topped with julienned jicama. The jicama is sweet and refreshing and has a wonderful crunch and the seared kale also provides some crunch and pow from the garlic and chili. A healthy accompaniment to the Huevos Divorciados or the Scrapple.
Best of all should you want to have a brew with your brunch, the full selection is available. Beer, it's what's for breakfast. Plus, Mohawk Bend now takes reservations.
Mohawk Bend: 2141 W. Sunset Blvd, Echo Park. Phone: 213.483.2337 | mohawk.la