Morning Glory

High-octane brunch spot lures stylish denizens with bold design and brekkie soufflés

Posted on August 1, 2019

Consider Little Italy’s Morning Glory a breakfast tribute to 1980s excess; a saturated Art Deco redux for the selfie set. There’s the mirrored bathroom with swan faucet for swooning, a Moët vending machine for instant effervescence, and a pink-and-green color scheme that’s more Miami Vice than moneyed. And the high-def focal point? A starburst chandelier reaching out to grab you like Tawny Kitaen on a Mary Kay Cadillac.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

The 4,000-square-foot brunch-and-cocktails concept is the latest from San Diego’s social dining titan Arsalun Tafazoli, founder of Consortium Holdings. In this neighborhood alone, Tafazoli has conquered various food groups with custom-designed altars at which to worship. Born & Raised for steak. Ironside for seafood. Underbelly for ramen. False Idol for Tiki drinks (pirate patch sold separately). Morning Glory marks the swan song for his design collaboration with Paul Basile of BasileIE. The duo first worked together a decade ago on Noble Experiment, the not-so-secret bar behind Neighborhood in the East Village.

Chef/partner Jason McLeod tempers the design titillation with consistently elevated fare. The Michelin star chef has hoisted meatballs, apple pies, and lobster rolls into new dimensions. This time, an international menu drives home the all-day portion of the show. There’s pancake soufflés (order once seated), pork belly fried rice, shakshuka (Middle Eastern scramble), and vegan frittatas.

Once past the head-banging menu, liquid brunch is rather refined. The award-winning cocktail program features an Italian Soda with Campari and rhubarb liqueur, a Bloody Mary trolley with scholastic accoutrements, and a boozy Orange Julius, as well as spiked milky teas. Coffee drinks listed under “sleep when you are dead” include hot buttered tequila in a French press.

So, take two aspirin and don’t call ahead for reservations — they don’t take them. Hangover cure-alls like Advil and eye drops are sold by the cashier. The better to see the strawberry and cockroach wallpaper, my dear. Open 7am to 3pm daily. 619.629.0302, morningglorybreakfast.com   Gillian Flynn

Morning Glory

Photography courtesy of Zack Benson Photography