A most enticing Instagram snapped and expertly filtered by The Spice Table‘s Bryant Ng sent my friend Nastassia and me into a doughnut-induced tizzy. Constantly on the search for the very best deep-fried rings around, we made immediate plans for weekend brunch, the only meal where this coconut- and pandan-glazed beauty is served.
Nastassia, her boyfriend Reade, and I arrived at right about noon to a humming dining room last Saturday. The restaurant has been quietly serving brunch since December, but didn’t advertise it to the public until just a few weeks ago. It’s clear that word has gotten out about this midday feast.
“The Kaya Doughnut” ($3) arrived at the table before our slew of savories, as requested. After we snapped more photos than we’d like to admit, Nastassia went in for the first bite. The huge smile that crept across her face and the sigh that followed signaled to me that this doughnut was gonna be great!
The dough was plush enough to use as a pillow, while the pale green coconut and pandan glaze struck a sunny, tropical note. What really sealed the deal were the strategically sprinkled flecks of fleur de sel atop the doughnut; they proved to be the perfect foil to all the sweetness. “The Kaya Doughnut” is definitely worth waking up early for.
Rounding out our brunch spread was a trio of savory dishes. We selected the “Crab Wonton Noodle Soup” ($11) from the “Asian Specialties” section of the menu. While the noodles, wontons, broth, and potent chili oil served on the side were all solid, it was the slivers of pork belly char siu that made this bowl unique. I’ll have to request a little extra belly meat next time around.
Also from the “Asian Specialties” section of the menu was the “Dried Scallop Congee” ($11), a soothing and gently flavored bowl of porridge accented with a raw scallop in the center. A freshly fried crueler accompaniment would’ve made this very good dish great.
I could not resist ordering the “Biscuits & Lamb Bacon Gravy” ($10) from the “Brunch Items” section of the menu. The biscuits stood impressively tall and were as buttery and flaky as I had hoped. The gravy was a savory powerhouse. Eaten together: brunch bliss.
Served on the side were two sunny-side up eggs, crispy breakfast potatoes, and toast with butter and coconut-pineapple preserves.
To finish, we shared another doughnut. It was the right thing to do!
The Spice Table
114 South Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
One year ago: The Best Apple Fritter Ever at Diaz’s Bakery – Ojai
Two years ago: Whist at the Viceroy Hotel – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)
Three years ago: La Casita Mexicana – Los Angeles (Bell)
Four years ago: San Diego Tết Festival
Five years ago: Running with Xôi
Six years ago: Pappardelle in Lemon Cream Sauce with Peas and Smoked Salmon