Rise and Dine

Erin Jackson |
Food And Dining

With the arrival of cooler winter weather, cocooning in bed just a little while longer is only reasonable. And while those extra minutes (or hours) may mean a traditional breakfast is off the table, brunch is always fair game. With local restaurants serving up everything from sweet corn tamales to bone marrow for your first taste of the day, booming brunch options are very good news indeed.

Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge {1015 Orange Avenue, Coronado; 619.437.6087}

Tacos, tortas, and truffled grilled cheese are just a few of the options on the lunch-leaning brunch menu at Leroy’s (served on the weekends, 10am-4pm). If you like to start the day with a sugar rush, the Berry Brioche French Toast will get you there. Tender slices of custard-dipped bread grilled to golden brown are topped with a mixed berry compote and drizzled with a Chambord reduction, but it’s the sidecar of raspberry mascarpone compote that you’ll want to defend from curious tablemates. Keep your knife handy. leroyskitchenandlounge.com

Sea & Smoke {2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar; 858.925.8212}

Sea & Smoke’s day menu, served from 7:30am-3pm, is so diverse, you can dig into a plate of Roasted Bone Marrow for breakfast. If you’re not quite ready for meat butter as your first taste of the day, however, the Baked Egg Casserole, Champignon Omelette, or vegetable-loaded Frittata are all great picks, and will leave you with enough room for one of Pastry Chef Jeff Bonilla’s imaginative seasonal desserts. seaandsmoke.com

Isabel’s Cantina {966 Felspar Street, Pacific Beach; 858.272.8400}

This cozy, family-friendly setting a few blocks from the beach is where you want to be for everything from indulgent dishes like Banana-Blackberry Pancakes, to invigorating egg white scrambles spiked with jalapeños. For a meal that’s somewhere in the middle, try one of the Latin-inspired plates with a little bit of everything, like the Sweet Corn Breakfast Tamales smothered with roasted tomatillo sauce and served with scrambled eggs and black beans. It's all for the taking 8am-3pm daily. isabelscantina.com

Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar {5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad; 760.827.2500}

A menu inspired by flavors from the San Sebastian region of Northern Spain, along with breathtaking panoramic ocean views, draws many a bruncher to this signature restaurant within the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. Standout dishes on the day menu include the Smoked Salmon Bocadillo (crostini topped with a mound of whipped cream cheese, silky strips of smoked salmon, red onions, and capers), the Crab Omelette, and Basque Eggs (poached eggs perched atop peppers and tomatoes with chorizo and Manchego cheese). twenty20grill.com

AVANT {17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, Rancho Bernardo; 858.675.8550}

Brunch at AVANT—weekends 10am-2pm—begins with a complimentary sampler plate of loaf cakes, including a refreshing Lemon-Poppyseed variety that will prep your palate for inventive dishes a few degrees above the expected, like King Crab Eggs Benedict, Duck Confit Hash, and outstanding Huckleberry Pancakes. To drink, design your own Bloody Mary. With ingredients like grilled lemon, pepper bacon, habañero chiles, and pickled green beans, you can really get creative. ranchobernardoinn.com/avant