Al fresco brunch season is officially here, and I am determined to take full advantage. Last weekend, I met up with a group of ladies for a fun outdoor brunch at Hazel in Shaw. Hazel has been high on my to-try list for a while, but I always forget about their brunch option. To my surprise, we only waited about 20 minutes on a Sunday for a table on their adorable patio.
Hazel runs their brunch dim sum style, with an eclectic selection of mostly Asian-inspired small plates. If you’re with a group, the best deal is to order The Whole Shebang, where $95 gets you everything on the menu. This was a no brainer for our crew of four, and with a glass of rosé in hand we settled in for the ride.
Our food arrived in a fairly rapid succession, but with occasional lulls which allowed us to take our time and savor each dish. The Whole Shebang features eleven small plates, and while we differed in our opinions of which were the best and which we could have done without, we agreed that overall the flavor profiles and quality of ingredients were excellent. Here’s a quick rundown of our dishes.
We started out with a vibrant asparagus salad with shaved red onion, fragrant herbs and peanuts that was a crowd pleaser.
The smashed cucumber salad with crispy garlic and chili oil was a favorite as well. Is it just me, or is DC dining all about the veggies these days?
The duck muffin with duck sausage, baked egg and fire panda mayo on an English muffin garnered mixed reviews. As a breakfast sandwich enthusiast, I loved it.
Certainly one of the prettiest dishes of the day, the beet cured gravlax with yogurt and pickled red onion was a hit with my friends.
The kimchi scramble with garlic aioli, crispy rice and shaved bonito flakes was another one of my favorites for its explosion of spicy flavors and intriguing textures.
Hazel’s Chef Rob Rubba is famous for his grandma’s zucchini bread with foie gras mousse, chamomile gelee and bee pollen. After tasting it, I can see why. We unanimously agreed this was one of the best dishes of the day.
How can you go wrong with tater tots? These were perfectly crispy, not at all greasy and the black garlic ketchup served on the side is my new condiment obsession.
Hazel does unusual flavor combinations well. These pork sung buns with garlic aioli, scallions and fish sauce caramel were my favorite example – a little bit sweet with a hefty dose of umami. Photo c/o This Delicious Life.
The mapo eggs with Szechuan pepper lamb sauce, fried eggs and scallions were good, but didn’t really wow anyone at our table.
The breakfast donburi with BBQ short rib, fire panda, pickles, sprouts and rice was the heartiest dish of the Shebang. If I went back on my own, this would definitely be the one dish I ordered. Photo c/o This Delicious Life.
Donuts with black sesame custard and Matcha glaze capped off the meal. While I found these somewhat disappointing, the rest of the table raved over them.
Overall, this was the perfect brunch for a Sunday Funday date with my girlfriends. We enjoyed not having to make any decisions about what to order and just sitting back to watch the magic happen. Some of the dishes lended themselves to sharing more than others, but we were all pleasantly full by the end of the meal.
Hazel’s Dim Sunday brunch menu changes regularly, so while these specific items may not be available on your visit, you can expect delicious food and great service. Now that I have the brunch under my belt, I can’t wait to return to Hazel soon for dinner, and for more time on that fantastic patio.