On the Sunday before my younger sister was to return to Los Angeles after spending the Thanksgiving holiday in NYC with yours truly, we were invited to join her former college roommate for brunch. "Kelsey wants us to meet her at 1pm at some place called 'Barbounia,'" Leila said, "have you heard of it?" Simultaneously, I rolled my eyes, raised my left eyebrow, and crinkled my nose. "Crap, are you serious?" I grumbled, "Barbounia sucks." After my sister told me to "man up," and to "stop being such a food snob," she reminded me that Sunday was, in fact, her last day in town. "Fine," I said, "but I'm only going there because I love you."
When we arrived at Barbounia, I couldn't help but fall in lust with the restaurant's rustic, heart-warming space. Nearly every table was occupied by folks who were taking a much-needed break from their holiday shopping. Whether it was the seasonal cheer in the air, or the bustle of the restaurant, something about Barbounia seemed different.
After perusing the menu, Leila and I decided to split two entrées, while poor Kelsey was subjected to ordering grilled chicken and a side salad (she was in the midst of a cleanse).
I began my meal with warm, frothy cafe latte.
Handmade bread topped with sea salt crystals and herbs arrived to whet our pre-entree appetite.
Croque madame: Gooey gruyere cheese, bechamel sauce, and salty strips of ham were sandwiched between two thick slices of buttery-toasted brioche - all before being topped with two sunny-side-up eggs. A simple side salad accompanied the 'croque.
The second entree that my sister and I split were the "Morrocan Eggs." Served in a cast iron skillet, were sunny-side-up eggs simmering in a smoky, paprika-tomato sauce with garlic and house made merguez (lamb) sausage. You can imagine that this dish became electrified when eaten with Barbounia's freshly-baked bread.
Conclusion Not only was the price right and the service fantastic - the food at Barbounia was incredibly delicious. I am so thrilled to have returned - after four years - with the notion that I cannot wait for my next Barbounia brunch.