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Pastrami Hash at The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach

Let’s be honest, brunch is just breakfast for people who fancy sleeping in. There’s no shame in that. Spending an extra few hours in bed on a Sunday is a respectable goal. But if you go by the portmanteau that gives the meal its name, a real brunch ought to be hearty enough to power you through the long afternoon, while still paying homage to a morning meal’s twin hallmarks: cured meat and eggs.

By this classification, the pastrami hash served at The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach makes the perfect brunch order. It’s reminiscent of an Austrian gröstl – potatoes, cured meat, fried eggs and a few chives, all prepped in one big skillet – but chef Michael Campbell has made the dish his own through a combination of technique and creativity. The pastrami is a fun nod to the perfect Sunday sandwich, and it’s balanced by the acidity of pickled green tomatoes.

The real highlight of the dish is a horseradish crème fraîche. It’s not wildly complicated, but good food doesn’t have to be. The flavor packs a punch, adding just the right level of burn. Best of all, it keeps the dish feeling far lighter than a giant cast iron pan loaded with cured meat, roasted potatoes and fried eggs has any business being.

This is a real brunch dish – for those who want a little bit of breakfast, a little bit of lunch and a whole load of flavor.

Chef Michael Campbell’s Horseradish Crème Fraîche
1 pint crème fraîche
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. prepared horseradish
2 tsp. salt
1 small shallot, minced
Whip cream to stiff peaks then fold in vinegar, horseradish, shallot and salt.

The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949.715.6080  :: MontageHotels.com/LagunaBeach/Dining/Loft

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