Photos By Nicholas Karlin, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
We didn’t expect 80 degree temperatures in October. It’s a frightening reality that global warming is real and there is no turning back. Embrace the end of days with brunch! Outside! It’s so nice outside!
The new Dim Sunday brunch at Hazel is an excellent opportunity to sample most of Chef Rob Rubba’s menu. This is a meal you should enjoy with as many friends as possible.
Like some dim sum restaurants, portions at Hazel are relatively small and good for sharing. Because they’re small and good for sharing, try to go with a total of five people. Our party of three ordered The Whole Shebang, all 11 items featured on the menu. We were more than satiated. Let’s run through the menu.
The crispy tots are solid. The black garlic ketchup make them better.
The marinated beets and baba ganoush is a good combo but better for lunch or dinner rather than a.m. hours.
The duck confit salad is on the dinner menu and comes with way more duck than you’d expect.
Grandma’s zucchini bread is Chef Rubba’s grandma’s recipe. Since the place is also named for her, it’s no surprise that this bread can not be improved. It’s served with foie gras mousse, an homage to Country Crock®, and it’s polarizing. I love foie gras. I understand why others don’t. The bread doesn’t need it but it definitely doesn’t hurt.
The curry squash donuts are the fun surprise of the menu. I had never tasted a curry donut until last Sunday. I’m glad I have.
Bacon rolls will please bacon fans. At least one person in your party is a bacon-with-everything evangelist.
Mapo eggs, szechuan pepper lamb sauce, fried eggs and scallions was a personal favorite. If you’re going alone, which is not something we’d recommend but there’s no shame in eating alone, this is a satisfying and meaty option.
The duck muffin is the only thing we ordered twice.
Breakfast donburi with bacon jam, fried egg, avocado, cotija, spied aioli and rice was the table’s favorite if you’re only ordering one thing. It features the most flavors and the portion is large enough for a meal.
Hamachi crudo toast whops a strong fish flavor. Our table liked strong fish flavors. If you’re with a scared diner, stay away.
Which brings us to the final and best dish on the Dim Sunday menu, the kimchi scramble with garlic aioli, crispy rice and shaved bonito flakes. This has the strongest flavors of any dish on the 11 item menu. It’s spicy and fishy and polarizing.
You’re one person. I can not imagine ordering 11 items as an individual and enjoying all of them. I can imagine going to a brunch with friends, ordering everything on the menu, sampling everything on the menu and leaving satisfied, both in terms of food and curiosity.
Chef Rob Rubba’s menu is varied enough and brave enough to attempt to please traditional breakfast fans and eaters that could care less about fried potatoes. It makes Hazel’s brunch something that’s familiar and adventurous. Go with friends. Go with family. Just try not to go alone. And if you do have to go alone, order the breakfast donburi with a duck muffin and Fire Panda Hot Sauce to go.