Dining: Relatively Rosy Outlook…

The Rose
The Rose

Things are coming up Roses or so I had heard.

With the driving desire to buy into all the hype, David and I headed out to Venice at 8:15am on a recent Sunday morning.

Destination, the newly renovated and reworked Rose Cafe in Venice, California, now known as, The Rose.

Driving was quick and easy and we found a parking spot across the street, although The Rose does have free parking for the first hour.

The Rose looks twice the size and has a plethora of sitting areas both inside and out.

The restaurant has been cleaned up and stripped down to its barest essentials by Studio UNLTD, the same group behind Bestia Restaurant in downtown LA.

The Rose
The Rose

Brushed cement floors, big glass warehouse windows, skylights and an open ceiling that’s exposed to the rafters dominates the interior.

The 36 year-old Venice restaurant went through a complete revamp from Bill Chait’s Sprout Group and now the kitchen is helmed by Jason Neroni of Superba Snack Bar fame and the recently shuttered, Catch & Release in Marina Del Rey.

The Rose had been shut down since last February.

The Rose Pastries
The Rose Pastries

The croissants, scones, breads and donuts were on display in all their delectable glory.

The Rose Patio
The Rose Patio

We had a reservation and were seated outside on the covered patio.

Our server, Lucy, was a delight.

The brunch menu is extensive and initially compelling…David was trending towards spaghetti cacao y pepe ($11)  and a truffle pizza ($21) for breakfast, but I nixed that due to the hour.

Charred Avocado Toast
Charred Avocado Toast

Instead, we ordered the Charred Avocado Toast consisting of two fried eggs and grilled jalapeño marmalade ($14).

I hated it. The eggs were too runny for me, the marmalade unappealing, the avocado mash tasteless and the country bread soggy.

Other than that I thought it was grand. Conversely, being a guy, David made it all gone.

The Rose Bacon
The Rose Bacon

I ordered a side of bacon. It was a very thick cut. The first bite was delicious. One strip was plenty as the bacon was a bit too rich for my taste ($5).

Lower East Side Breakfast
Lower East Side Breakfast

We also selected the Lower East Side Breakfast with beet-cured salmon, cereal bagel, herbed farmers’ cheese, heirloom tomato and arugula ($12). It was reasonably good, but nothing compared to Sadelle’s or Barney Greengrass in New York City.

Buttermilk Pancake
Buttermilk Pancake

We had been chatting with the young couple seated next to us. They ordered the Buttermilk Pancakes with cranberry star anise marmalade ($11).

They didn’t rave and thought the marmalade was a bit overwhelming.

Thankfully, the coffee was very good ($4/bottomless cup).

The atmosphere and conversation were the highlights. We vacated the patio as the line to dine was already very long.

I was wanting so on the way out we bought a ginger scone for our walk on the beach.

Success! The scone was amazing…crispy, very flavorful and not too sweet ($2.50).

The Rose Bar
The Rose Bar

I used to workout at the Gold’s Gym across the street in the 80’s. I would finish the session and head over to the old Rose Cafe with my trainer, Mike.

We would share a currant scone and coffee…in hindsight, not a wise choice after a workout, but I digress.

You can’t always fight off temptation as scones have been a tantalizing  mainstay at the Rose for decades and we did share.

The Rose
The Rose

Listen, I did not enjoy my brunch selections, but the cafe is charming, the baked goods excellent and I am willing to give The Rose another try even if it is just for coffee and a pastry.

My daughter, Courtny, recently had dinner at The Rose and she said there were more misses than hits, but in all fairness, it was the first night of dinner service.

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose…the first go round was thorny, but perhaps the second time will be bloomin’ delicious.

The Rose 220 Rose Avenue, Venice, California. Open Tuesday-Thursday 7am-10pm, Friday 7am-11pm, Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 8am-5pm, closed Monday. Reservations on OpenTable.com. Street and restaurant parking (1st hour is free).

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