It took extra effort on the part of Berlin Bistro's owner to get fresh bread delivered seven days a week.
It was worth the effort.
The Brioche French toast at brunch is perfectly crunchy with vanilla scented egg batter on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside. It’s dusted with sugar and served with fresh seasonal berries. Worth the trip by itself, it’s $12.50.
Brunch is served weekends from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Try the smoked salmon flatbread ($14.50) which consists of paper-thin salmon and dill-cream cheese, topped with heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, dill and lemon, all sitting atop a grilled flatbread. Besides all the distinct flavors, there’s the crunch on the flatbread and the smoothness of the salmon and the cream cheese.
“The salmon flatbread is our most popular brunch item," owner Kerstin (pronounced Kastin) Kansteiner said. “It’s also popular at lunch.”
Another brunch specialty is the Santa Barbara Omelet, flavored with tomatoes, bacon, spinach and delicate goat cheese.
“We want people to be as comfortable as they can be, eating, or just having coffee in the neighborhood,” Kansteiner said.
The interior, which has a comfortable sound level, is highlighted by some communal tables and lots of bricks and wood. Berlin is in the same building as the iconic Fingerprints music store, which supplies the background music. Outside dining is popular and busy weekends at evenings.
More About the Food
The lunch special is a real bargain. Ten dollars gets you a drink and a Chicken Sandwich or the Power Bowl Salad (Israeli couscous, avocado, boiled egg, spinach, ale roasted tomatoes arugula, mint, citrus dressing and sunflower seeds).
Small plate choices include the fig prosciutto flatbread with arugula, fresh figs, goat cheese and balsamic glaze.
According to Kansteiner, one of the most popular main dishes is the Roasted Turkey Sandwich.
“The turkey is carved from a whole turkey roasted on site,” she said. It comes with Havarti cheese, tomato, arugula aioli on a focaccia bread.
Another sandwich is the Arugula burger, which is hand formed ground New York Strip Loin, bacon, crispy shallots, goat cheese, tomato and Russian Dressing on a Brioche Bun.
Entrees include are the Salmon and Couscous salad, which is skin-on roasted salmon and the popular Baseball steak, with tomato jam and salsa verde.
Berlin serves Soju-based cocktails.
Their entry in the Long Beach Bloody Mary competition has the perfect kick and garnishes that include fresh, thick bacon.
The Blackberry Mule as a traditional mule with muddled black berries and is so smooth!
Wines are from California, Chile, France, Portugal and Argentina and beers change frequently with choices among saison, ipa, amber or porter.
Coffees are brewed three ways; Hairo, Chemex or French Press.
The Cardamom Cappuccino is a special drink. It has a strong, pungent flavor and aroma, with hints of lemon, mint and smoke.
Important to Know
There’s construction around Berlin Bistro but it’s worth putting up with the slight hassle. There’s a parking lot right across the street.
Berlin Bistro is at 420 E. Fourth St. in the East Village. It opens weekdays at 6:30 a.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m. The phone number is (562) 435-0600 and the website is www.berlinbistro.com.