Why is it that in a city so full of things to do, places to go, people to meet, and food to eat, everything seems to shut its doors between the hours of 10pm-12am? Sorry LA, but you're definitely not "the city that never sleeps." In fact, you're a city that loves to sleep, and so, entire neighborhoods seem to roll up the sidewalks once the sun dips below the horizon. Don't get me wrong. I love my sleep. Live for it, even. Gone are the days when I can stay up partying until 4am (which, let's be honest, were few and far between to begin with). These days, I would much rather curl up with Netflix and bae and call it an early night. Every once in awhile, though, I stumble upon a place that actually makes me want to stay up late to experience all it has to offer. And right now, that place is Nighthawk. The Breakfast Bar whose stay in Hollywood was brief (but not insignificant) just reopened in Venice, not far from the bustling Abbot Kinney or Main St., and has already capitalized on the city's lack of late-night eateries. Offering the exact kind of slutty breakfast food of your drunken college dreams, Nighthawk is the ideal place for a pre-bar-hopping meal or a great spot for ending your night when those drunchies inevitably hit.
Exemplifying their breakfast-food-on-steroids vibe, the drink selection upgrades your go-to morning beverage with boozy additions. Their Tang Mimosa is the perfect brunch drink, with an added sweetness and brightness than your typical bubbles-and-OJ confection. The star, though, is clearly the Spiked Cereal Milk: milk steeped in your favorite childhood sugary cereals and spiked with your liquor of choice. Not too thick or overly milky, the gin and fruit loops combo was actually quite light, sweet, and a bit fruity. Really tasty and so fun.
Like the drinks, Nighthawk's food menu combine the best of breakfast and dinner for combinations that are so cheesy, meaty, and drunken, it's a miracle they're even legal. One of those is the "Benedict" Fries-- crunchy, salty french fries topped with ham, cheese, peppers, hollandaise, and a fried egg. There's pretty much nothing not to like about these fries.
The Drunken French Toast is another late-night but upscale take on a classic. The challah is a bit crispy but also really tender, while the pear brandy and pear compote lends a nice lightness to the overall dish. With the mascarpone and maple syrup, the dish is a definite hit: sweet, delicious, and immensely satisfying.
One of my favorite dishes of the meal, the Duck Duck Goose is a gussied-up scrambled eggs. Fluffy, light, and really flavorful, the soft eggs are complemented well by the foie gras, which is a little bit crispy but melts in the mouth. With earthy mushrooms and a side of Blackberry Jelly Toast, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
A purple potato and duck hash, The Purple Haze is a really substantial and tasty dish that is surprisingly light but also very satisfying. The potatoes were soft and tender, and paired really well with the salty but meaty duck.
Overall, the meal was really great. The food is certainly indulgent, but don't let the idea of breakfast-for-dinner food fool you into thinking this is your average late night diner. As slutty as they may be, each dish is well thought out, balanced, and prepared with surprisingly refined ingredients. It's the kind of food you would want for a nice dinner date, an outing with the girls, and even for a drunken post-bar-hopping binge with the hookup-of-the-moment.