Situated on the second floor above the Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 is the first restaurant by Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cronut. Recently opened, the restaurant and bakery have been inundated with reservation requests and long lines into the bakery, but the inconveniences are worth the wait as Ansel’s cuisine remains unparalleled.
The friendly, considerate staff is available to answer any questions you might have. The ambiance of the restaurant is refreshing and bright. I recommend arriving at the restaurant before it opens to put your name down for a table.
As you wait, I encourage perusing the bakery and purchasing a few pastries on the ground level. Brunch is only served on the weekends.
Similar to the mechanics of dim sum, brunch at 189 revolves around servers who canvas the tables offering a variety of sweet and savory dishes that come directly from the kitchen. Each table features a Le Creuset cast iron tray in the center where each dish is placed. Each dish is a blend of French cooking techniques infused with flavors from all over the world and features only the best California produce.
The Weekend Table menu is a card that features emojis from each dish in circulation and serves as a stamp card and receipt. Everything on the card is priced between four and 10 dollars, but be careful not to overwhelm yourself with everything on the menu as I did.
The card is also divided into six sections, breads and starches, meats, fish, veggies, premium and sweets. Under each section are two to four dishes. I recommend trying a dish from every category on the menu and taking the leftovers home with you.
The soft scrambled eggs priced at 10 dollars are a must order. The meal comes with orange juice and vibrant coffee. The eggs not only are light but also are infused with a savory airy cream that only Ansel could perfect.
The meat section features three items: maple spiral ham, merguez sausage and fried chicken. All three are a perfect combination of salty and sweet. I recommend sampling the maple spiral ham because of its fatty flavors and its maple accents.
If you are looking for more of a breakfast meal, the fluffy pancakes, candied apples and cinnamon rolls cover all the bases for a delicious breakfast. The fluffy pancakes melt in your mouth as the candied apples and cinnamon rolls add a sugary sensation like none other.
The breads and starches come with Dominique’s Kouign Amann, hash browns and biscuits. The DIY lobster rolls under the fish section are to die for. The lobster melts in your mouth as you ingest the buttery bread roll.
The smorgasbord of different flavors and aromas can be overwhelming at first, but as time goes by, the haul lessens as you feast. 189’s cheap prices, wide variety of meals, friendly staff and upscale location are all qualities of a great restaurant. 189 by Dominique Ansel is like a cronut, a combination between savory flavor of the croissants and sweetness of a donut.