I haven't been going to any of the Yelp Elite events lately, so I was really hoping to get in on the brunch tasting elite event at Lazy Ox Canteen. Since my work schedule and other commitments have pretty much take over my nights and weekends, this event, which was on a Sunday morning, would be perfect fit for me. Luckily, I got in for the second seating and all I had to do was stay somewhat sober or just not hammered the night before and wake up in time.
After finding street parking, I walked my not-that-hungover ass over and saw that the first group was still not done. Most of the diners for the second seating seemed to have arrived as the bar area was farly crowded. I quickly grabbed a cold glass of water from the bartendar since it was your typical warm LA day and was ready to down the whole thing. But before I got to gulp the water down, we were instructed to go back outside to the patio for the tasting. Awesome.
cowgirl creamery cheese plate & Spanish cured meat plate
The tasting was started off with a meat and cheese plate that was expectedly average. I did, however, find myself eating all the cheese as I always do.
buttermilk biscuit with strawberry jam
The biscuits came out next and they were definitely not average. These biscuits were so flaky and delicious that I took one home with me. Butter and strawberry jam on top of a warm biscuit can never go wrong in my book.
I washed down the two biscuits I had with the soju sangria. As a soju drinker, not by choice, I could immediately taste the soju but was pleasantly surprised to find it not offensive due to the sangria mixture.
french toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup
The next brunch item was the french toast that came almost half burnt, but still tasty. The sweet and sticky maple syrup did a wonderful job of masking any hint of the burnt flavor.
heritage farm pork belly skewers
Next item up was the pork belly skeweres served with, I think, a chorizo-based sauce. Honestly, I really can't remember. These savory snacks were a little tough for me, but I thought they had nice flavor.
macaroni salad with pine nuts and yogurt dressing
I was hoping to really love the macraoni salad, but sadly, this one fell a bit short. The dish was bland, especially after the flavorful, but dry, pork belly. It's an average side dish, something I wouldn't order on my own.
Wow. The amazing flavors of the roasted cauliflower totally overshadowed my lack of enthusiasm and well, their lack of flavor, in the macaroni salad dish. The perfectly seasoned cauliflower had great texture and literally made me forget about all the other dishes. Lazy Ox definitely knows how to cook their veggies.
watermelon and mango salad, cilantro, lime & chile dressing
Next up was another favorite of mine: the watermelon and mango salad. Lazy Ox's brunch menu states that it is a watermelon and orange salad, but on this day I believe it was mango. Yelp said it was pineapple, but I don't remember tasting pineapple, so I'm going to stick with mango. This fruit salad was really bright and delicious. I really loved the interplay between the sweetness of the fruits and the acidity of the dressing. Very nice.
charred romaine hearts salad with pickled onion, aged pecorino and tarragon-garlic dressing
I really enjoyed the charred flavor of the romaine hearts and loved the pickled onions, but I love anything pickled. The salad was as a whole was nothing spectacular, but solid.
"egg” breakfast in a shell
Our last dish of the day was the "egg" breakfast in a shell, this creamy and slightly crunchy egg dish was a nice way to end the meal. It was a tasty bite, yes a bite, so it's not for sharing.
Overall, there was some hits and misses but I really had a great time at this event, despite the horrendous service. The food was good, but the service was seriously lacking. I believe our party had to get out of there by 1 PM and we were running behind, but that is no reason to take people's plates away while they are eating and ignore requests for water refills. I think the bartender was acting as a server so that could be the reason for the disconnect, but his attitude was pretty hostile. Other than that, it was great to see some old faces and meet new ones. I can't wait to come back and actually experience their brunch without the protection of the Yelp name - haha.
Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012