Bluestone Lane touts itself as an Australian-inspired coffee shop/café and lifestyle brand. I will say, having visited Melbourne (and loving it), I understand the correlation. No one can deny the coffee craze has become a cultural phenomenon across the world for the last few decades. So, finely crafted coffee and creative food items offered in the same location are the name of the game these days, Bluestone Lane exemplifies just that.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by Chef Brandon Nichols, who has worked at the Venice location (523 Rose Ave), for over a year. He was ever-so friendly and told us about the origins of the dishes and advised us on our entrée choices. Our delightful server (Shannon McDonough) further explained the menus, and alerted us that we were just in time for happy hour.
Bluestone Lane offers breakfast/brunch/lunch items on their menu. But make no mistake, cocktails are a big part of their draw. The Happy hour menu (available from 4pm till close) brings locals in for exceptional deals on both cocktails and appetizers. Some tantalizing drink specials include: watermelon Bellini (fresh watermelon juice, topped with prosecco), Rose Avenue Spritz (strawberries, lime, rosemary BL sparkling grapefruit and rose), and the Coogee Cold Brew Cocktail (Cold Brew with Petrov Reserve), are the favorites. Other popular appetizers are Burrata & Berries (Cow’s milk burrata, strawberries, golden beets, soft herb salad, toasted almonds & fig balsamic dressing), and Flatbread (with prosciutto, ricotta, fig jam).
I ordered a Spicy Margarita, which was fantastic. My dining companion ordered a Spring Trellis iced tea. I stole a taste – it provided a refreshing fruity boost. See photo above.
The menu features an eclectic cross-over of breakfast type food, along with hearty lunch items. Add-ons were also offered for any of the entrees such a poached or fried egg, tomatoes, avocado, grilled chicken, prosciutto, bacon, chorizo, smoked salmon, and more.
My dining companion and I ordered several lunch items – the Bay Burger (caramelized onion, rocket, fig jam, white cheddar & basil aioli) with a fried egg on top was our first selection. It was cooked a perfect medium rare, as we requested. The drizzle of egg yolk, and aji sauced that swaddled the burger created a full and zesty flavor. It came with fried fingerling potatoes which were deliciously spiced.
The Fried Chicken Sandwich (house slaw, pickles, avocado & Peruvian aji sauce) our second dish was simply divine…offering a tasty crunch. I especially enjoyed the pickles and ali sauce, which added a savory, piquant balance to the dish.
For our salad, we ordered The Greek to share (Sheep’s MIlk Feta, Tomatoes, Castelvetro Olives, Zatar Chickpeas, mInt, spinach & house lemon dressing). My dining companion raved over the zesty dressing. I especially loved the fresh mint which for me added a deeper flavor level. We both adored the crunchy chickpeas, an upscale substitution for mundane croutons.
Finally, our server insisted that we partake in an Australian inspired desert named Lamingon with jam. The delicate sponge cake was twice rolled in chocolate, topped with tiny bits of coconut flake, and offer a tasty strawberry jam inside.
If you are looking for a quick bite, without giving up on taste, be sure to pop into one of Bluestone Lane’s many locations. The company has created a strong brand and has expanded to twenty-nine coffee shops and twelve cafés across LA, SF, DC, NYC, Philly, and Toronto. To find out more, visit https://bluestonelane.com/