Last week, I flew out to Southern California for a four-day vacation. We had decided to spend our first two days in Venice Beach, and I immediately got to work researching restaurants.
I found a list on The Infatuation called "The Venice Lunch Guide," which is where I learned about Great White. The description read, "Your dreams of being a pro surfer and moving to Australia might not be all that realistic, but you can still dare to dream at Great White. This cafe is run by Australians who may or may not be surfers, but who do know how to make the kind of all-day everyday brunch food that’s the real reason to move to the Southern Hemisphere. They do grain bowls, fish tacos, and a burger, but really, you’re here for the breakfast burrito, no matter the time of day." I checked out the full menu and knew we had to go there.
We touched down at LAX on a Saturday around 1:00pm. We took a quick Uber ride to our Airbnb, dropped our bags, and headed straight for Great White.
The restaurant is just steps away from the iconic Venice sign (it's a banner, really) that hangs at the intersection of Pacific and Windward, one of the entrances to the Venice Beach boardwalk.
As we approached, we could already tell it was packed.
While we waited in line, I was admiring the decor, which had a very airy, breezy vibe.
We were hoping to score a table outside, but even if you wind up inside, their huge glass doors are open to the street.
Once we reached the counter, I noticed that in addition to the food and drink menu, they also sell boat keys and surf wax. You've got to hand it to them, it's very on brand.
With our orders placed, we began circling the outdoor tables like hawks. Thankfully, a few people stood up and we were able to snag seats without too long of a wait.
The first item to arrive was the shaken ice latte. After two sips, my travel buddy declared, "If I lived here, I would be here every morning! This tastes like a coffee frappe."
We also grabbed two bottles of lemonade (sporting that same Great White logo), which were ice cold and a perfect mix of tart and sweet.
While we waited for our food, we couldn't help but stare at all the plates coming out of the kitchen. The salmon mezze bowl looked amazing, the French fries looked golden and crispy, and the blue smoothie bowl was so beautifully plated it was a true work of art.
My plate came first, the avocado toast, topped with a poached egg.
Now I know what you must be thinking, what a basic order. Au contraire! This was no ordinary avocado toast. The bread was hearty and expertly toasted to the ideal level of satisfying crunch. The avocado was fresh (grown in California!) and garnished with fresno chiles, radishes, cilantro, and cotija cheese. I made this disappear quickly.
We were hoping my bestie's plate was right behind mine, but it took over 20 minutes for hers to show up, and that's after we told two different servers that we were still waiting. Our best guess is that the ticket got lost in the kitchen, since we ordered at the same time.
She had selected the soft scrambled eggs on toast, and added two sides: halloumi cheese and roasted tomatoes. We were both pumped to see they offer halloumi as an add-on.
While the presentation was lovely, the dish was a disappointment. She shared, "The piece of toast underneath here is the end piece of the loaf, which let's be honest, it's the worst piece. It really needs some sort of spread or aioli between the bread and the eggs, because as it is, it's too dry. I wasn't expecting the tomatoes to come separately or on the vine like this, if I had known that, I probably would have skipped the addition. I was hoping they'd be folded into the eggs somehow."
Despite her lackluster food, the memory of that shaken ice latte has remained - it was her favorite beverage of the entire trip (and there were many). We've been home almost a week and we're still talking about it / longing for it.
If you're staying in Venice, or even just exploring the neighborhood for the day, I'd highly recommend Great White for breakfast or brunch. They are open from 7:00am - 5:00pm, all seven days of the week.