Who hasn’t heard of Campanile? I’ve wanted to eat there for years and finally got the chance on my last day in Los Angeles last December 2011.
Campanile is housed in an historic and dramatic structure built in 1929 by architect Roy Sheldon Price for Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin. Mr Chaplin originally intended to use the building as a mixed use site, retail downstairs, offices upstairs. Chaplin was never able to take occupancy as he lost the building in his divorce to his “child bride” second wife, Lita Grey. We pay tribute to the Chaplins as our two private dining rooms bear their names. In the late 1980s, following decades of neglect, the building was purchased by Executive Chef Mark Peel, former Pastry Chef Nancy Silverton and former Wine Director Manfred Krankl. Architect Josh Schweitzer supervised a complete remodel, converting the structure into a magical space intended for a bakery and restaurant. La Brea Bakery opened in January of 1989, with Campanile following six months later.
This dining area was so beautiful.
I don’t know why they sat us inside.
The basket of pastries from La Brea Bakery was excellent. It’s a good thing there were 6 of us sharing it or I would have eaten most of them all by myself.
basket of 4 pastries $15 – Walnut Coffee Cake & BlueberryMuffin
Apricot Ginger Scone & Chocolate Croissant
Sid had a simple open faced sandwich made with country wheat toast, arugula, parsley pesto, prosciutto and two poached eggs. He liked it very much.
Ryan had a slice of olive bread with an egg in the middle and some potatoes. I don’t understand how this cost $15 only a dollar less than the dish above and below. Anyway the important thing was Ryan loved it and finished it.
Egg in a Hole $15
What looked like a simple pasta dish with beef bolognese, kale and shaved parmesan was actually the best dish on our table in my opinion. What made this so good was the trenne pasta which was seared to a crisp. That was really unusual and was really good with the meat and vegetables.
Sautéed Trenne $16
The beef bolognese was no ordinary ground beef in tomato sauce. The beef was braised for a long time and was so tender.
The beef brisket hash was the healthiest thing I could find on the menu other than the egg white omelette which I’d rather not eat.
Scandia Beef Brisket Hash $17
The beef was just ok for me. It was tender and flavorful but nothing really special. I enjoyed the poached egg on sourdough toast a lot though. I wish I ordered the crab cakes benedict instead.
We were done with brunch when I remembered to check-in to Foursquare and was surprised to get a complimentary chef offering. I showed my iPhone to the waiter and he returned with a small dish with the softest, creamiest mozzarella topped with fresh pesto and cherry tomatoes. The best part was he gave all of us in the table a plate each. It was delicious and free thanks to Foursquare. That’s why I always check-in to Foursquare. You’ll never know if there’s a surprise that awaits you.
warm poached mozzarella with pesto and tomatoes
After brunch we went next door to La Brea bakery to buy some goodies.
This was the only picture I was able to take before someone told me picture taking in the bakery wasn’t allowed. That was the first time I was forbidden to take pictures in ANY food establishment in the USA.
I bought a rosemary corn scone and another scone which I forgot. I can’t believe I didn’t take any picture of my take-out goodies which I planned to snack on the plane back to Manila. Yes this was my last day in L.A. I do remember well how good the rosemary scone was. It had cornmeal and corn pieces in the scone. The texture was a cross between a scone and cornbread. The combination of my two most favorite breads in one delightful sweet and grainy scone with strong rosemary flavors was just heaven for me. It was very crumbly and I was glad it was in a ziplock.
Sid and Mary please bring me some rosemary scones next time you come to Manila!!
624 South La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036
One thought on “Brunch at Campanile”
Everything looks so delish! Great photos too! 🙂