Hipster Heaven: Eastside Brunching

It’s rare that I get all the way to the eastside of Los Angeles, since we live in Miracle Mile and work on the westside/in the South Bay. Going anywhere east of Western and north of Hollywood Blvd is an adventure that our sleepy, domestic, video game-filled weekends rarely accommodate.

And so it was a treat to get to see some of our friends at a place we’d all been dying to try for months. Homestate, inspired by Austin and informed by hipsters, bookends a very short but charming strip of food and beverage joints in the middle of a fairly rundown block in east Hollywood.

Known for their brisket and breakfast tacos (and their brisket breakfast tacos), Homestate is super busy – like, line down the street busy – so we decided to call in our orders, grab the food to go, and find a shady spot for brunch. Sadly, finding public seating that’s not covered in old gum is like finding a unicorn that speaks Latin, so we went next door and ate on their patio after ordering coffee and espresso.

Homestate’s tacos are most definitely worth the wait, with handmade flour tortillas that give just the right amount of chew, ground beef with more flavor than you’d expect, and perfectly fluffy egg whites that make you feel like you’re eating healthy even though you’re most definitely not.

Left: Mayer Hawthorne’s How Do You Do taco with brisket. Top: Picadillo taco with fresh, crisp cabbage. Bottom: Blanco taco with added avocado.

My tacos: the How Do You Do created by singer Mayer Hawthorne is comprised of brisket, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cholula, with proceeds going to support the ACLU; Picadillo, with ground beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and pickled jalapeños; and the Blanco, with egg whites, mushrooms, and Monterey Jack (with added avocado because I’m fancy like that).

I feel like I could probably live on these tacos for about a week, each one bringing a different and delicious sensibility. The brisket is nicely seasoned, the carrots in the Picadillo lent welcome sweetness against the spicy peppers, and the mushrooms added an earthy almost meaty flavor to the Blanco.

But in order for us to even get to sit down and eat our tacos, we had to snag a table at Go Get Em Tiger, which meant ordering something from there, too. Lucky us, GGET is a shining star in the coffee universe. My two espressos came with sparkling tea because this ultra-boutique coffee spot calls espresso “The Business,” and that means a chaser of tasty tea with every shot. Our friends enjoyed their latte and regular brew, while my boyfriend pretty much inhaled his hibiscus limeade from Homestate.

Oh, yes. This espresso is most definitely “The Business.”

Even though we were pleasantly full from our brunch, we couldn’t resist the siren song of McConell’s Fine Ice Creams, which are very, very fine indeed. I ordered a shake made with earl grey tea and shortbread ice cream, its sweetness tempered by the robust tea flavor. My boyfriend had a mint chocolate chip shake, which I swear tasted like that old grasshopper cocktail. Something about an old-fashioned ice cream shop with fancy flavors makes me want to start making my own ice cream. Uh oh!

Weekends were made for adventures, and this one was one of the tastiest. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go walk for about 30 miles to burn off all that food…

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