Brunch. Blogging. Blessed.
Happy New Year Hello Kitty Foodies! Here we are again at the start of a new year! It is a time to start anew, spend time with family and friends and make happy new memories.
Today I was able to do just that when I got enjoy new year’s brunch at the new Great Maple at Del Amo Fashion Center.
Ever since Great Maple Del Amo opened late last year, I have been eagerly awaiting to go. The Del Amo location is the third Great Maple location with the first two being San Diego and Newport Beach (Fashion Island). Great Maple is the brain child of Johnny Rivera of Hash House A Go Go and The Tractor Room fame. I was very intrigued by their concept of being a “European Dinette” offering seasonal plates made from seasonal produce, responsible seafood and farm fresh american meat.
With it being the new year, trying out the newly opened Del Amo location seemed perfect.
Walking in, the fresh and clean outlook of the main dining hall is seen instantly. Bright white walls surround a pear green like colored booths. They have an open kitchen at the side and a circular bar in the middle. The whole outlook of Great Maple Del Amo is refreshing. It has a modern but classic feel. I can definitely see the “European Dinette”
The brunch menu is extensive and filled with fresh items. They have healthy dishes a la their “health in mind” menu. Here health conscious diners can feast on items such as market berry and yogurt parfait and market asparagus and fresh eggs. There are even more egg dishes for egg lovers! Egg fans can rejoice with their various brunch eggs, scramble, melts, chilaquiles flatbreads. There are also “Greens from the earth” for those who would like a simple petite salad. They also have various sandwiches, signature burgers, English popovers and flatbreads.
For new year’s brunch, I decided on the pork Belly Bahn Mi Sandwich.
The pork belly bahn mi sandwich consist of jicama red onion slaw, fresh cilantro on top of a tender pork belly that lays on Great Maple’s bakery bread smothered with chili mayo. On the side is pickled carrots and daikons and jalapeños. This sandwich was accompanied with a mixed green salad that has Great Maple’s house vinaigrette.
Just at first bite of the bahn mi, I already knew that Great Maple would be one of my new favorite restaurants for the new year. The sandwich’s flavor is instant. It is a perfect mix of spice and sweet. The pork belly has a sweet like taste that hits the palate right away and then the chili mayo adds a little bit of spice. For more spice, the jalapeños on the side can be added. The jicama red onion slaw and pickled carrots and daikons help balance out the spice by giving more sweetness. This is one of the tastiest bahn mi sandwiches I have ever had.
The accompanying salad was also very tasty. The house vinaigrette is sweet and goes great with the fresh greens.
If the bahn mi and salad were great, then I knew that the other dish hitting our table would also be fantastic. The other item I got to try is straight from Great Maple’s bakery and one that they are known for; their fresh made maple bacon doughnuts.
When these doughnuts came out to our table, it was instant (foodie) love at first sight. It was simply beautiful and garnered the oohs and ahhs of even the neighboring tables. We were given three soft fluffy doughnuts that were topped with Great Maple’s signature maple brown glaze, powdered sugar and crispy bacon. The plating was so nice that the doughnuts looked almost too good to eat. Now I say almost because one definitely has to eat one of these. Similar to the bahn mi, at first bite of the bacon maple donuts, I was impressed. The doughnuts are so fluffy and each bite is heavenly. The maple glaze is just right and not too sweet. I am not even a bacon fan but the bacon here matched perfectly with the maple glaze. Just like the bahn mi, the doughnuts were a perfect pair of sweet and savory. The maple to the bacon was like the yin to the yang.
I could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate the new year than this brunch at Great Maple. I enjoyed everything I tried here and the smiles of every one around me indicated they did as well. The taste of everything was amazing. They have a unique, distinct taste within each of their dishes and it makes me want to come back and try other entrees.
Brunch. Blogging. Blessed. (Oh and bahn mi and bacon maple donuts).
What a happy new year indeed!
For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Great Maple Del Amo.