The Olive Trees That Came to Brunch

We came for the lobster rolls and stayed for the 100-year-old trees.

One of our neighborhood favorites, Herringbone in La Jolla, opened splashily last year to crammed happy hours and lively late-night dining inside an arching, blond-beamed former warehouse space. In keeping with the Mediterranean ethos (monkfish osso bucco’s on the menu right now), the eatery houses six wondrous olive trees.

Skylights ensure the necessary full sun.

C and Steph, reunited!

Not your great-aunt’s “Olive Garden.”

Each is over 100 years old — but, considering olive trees live to over 2,000, these gnarled barklies are practically preschoolers. They do add stately vitality to the wry, arid vibe of the interior, which includes a whale skeleton light fixture above the bar and lobster traps filled with inflated blowfish, all courtesy of West Hollywood-based Thomas Schoos. Go thirsty and get the Peter Rabbit, a Pimms-spiked vehicle for bruised basil and pickled carrots.

When our friend Steph was in town from NY, we had to take her (or rather she took us out; thanks, Steph!) there for Sunday brunch. That morning the trees were radiant. And the mimosas bottomless.