REVIEW: Bardonna adds to LA brunch scene

Larchmont Boulevard is full of notable spots for breakfast and brunch, bakeries and everything in between. The center of this quaint strip of shops and restaurants includes the newest addition to the Larchmont culinary scene: Bardonna.

Formerly known as Groundwork Coffee, Bardonna took its place a couple weeks ago. However, owner Josh Pourgol assured Groundwork fans that the coffee hangout will reopen across the street.

The L.A. brunch scene isdefined by copious amounts of avocado toast and gravlax with bagel platters. Bardonna not only serves L.A. native Klatch Coffee, but the menu also features sea salt caramel lattes, Ahi poke bowls, savory polenta and a plethora of vegetarian soups.

Why go here over the neighboring Larchmont Bungalow lunch spot? Bardonna’s fast-casual setup and quaint secret garden in the back is a well-deserved Sunday brunch refuge.

Bardonna definitely appeals to the younger, MacBook-sporting students stepping in for a cup of coffee with a quiet atmosphere in the back patio. It doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate large parties, but it is an ideal location for coffee dates and meetings alike. No matter the occasion, Bardonna’s genuinely kind staff go out of its way to turn a simple cafe experience into a personable one.

Bardonna’s downsized interior and paper menus contribute to the rustic vibe of the cafe. Its drink section contains unique creations, such as a tall mason jar filled with an Arnold Palmer or a matcha shakerato — a signature staple only found at their Larchmont location.

The first and second pages of the paper menu have a variety of sandwich, soup, grain bowl and toast selections, satisfying whichever cuisine guests are in the mood for.

A prominent menu item is the shakshuka — a Mediterranean stew of tomatoes, eggs and different seasonings that goes for a mere $11, with three pieces of toast included. Bardonna also serves their avocado toast ($10) on five mini pieces of sourdough bread with a side of mixed greens salad. A more savory, comfort food option for the recent rainy L.A. days would be the white bean vegetarian chili ($7). Most dishes range from $7 to $20, making it an affordable option for any time of day. The menu caters to meat eaters, vegetarians and practitioners of any latest fad diet.

For dessert, Bardonna offers a selection of local, vegan and gluten-free baked goods ranging from almond croissants to multigrain scones — the ideal complement to any of their coffee beverages. These baked goods typically range from $2 to $5.

With its wide array of eclectic provisions, Bardonna is elevating the L.A. cafe game. Besides its extensive food menu, it also offers a kombucha menu with options such as a matcha, turmeric and plain shot of kombucha. In addition to its list of coffee variations, the exotic tea selection is rare for a cafe of its continental-casual stature.

After ordering food, visitors will have the option of sitting in one of three places: the busy outdoor sidewalk, the crowded indoor seating consisting of few tables and chairs or the back patio decorated with hanging succulents and exposed brick wall murals.

Nearby dessert establishements include Salt & Straw and Erin McKenna’s Bakery.

Bardonna is located in the heart of Larchmont Village at 139 1/2 North Larchmont Blvd. It is open everyday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.