Shortly after Brockton Villa Restaurant opened its doors along the shores of La Jolla, California, the eatery’s French toast became its bestselling menu item. Brockton Villa’s Coast Toast recipe is a famously pillowy, custardy take on the classic dish that calls for grilling the bread first in order to brown it, then placing it in the oven so the egg-and-cream-soaked toast swells up like a soufflé. Orange juice and orange curaçao (look for the liqueur at a liquor store, or online) infuse the bread with a subtle, delightful citrusy aroma.
Owner Megan Heine named the recipe (and trademarked the moniker) as a nod to the restaurant’s waterfront location overlooking the Pacific. As customers enjoy their brunch on the balcony of the renovated beach bungalow, they have a front-row seat to waves crashing on the golden sands below, and sea lions sunbathing in La Jolla Cove. Can you think of any better way to spend a morning in Southern California?—Megan Zhang
Featured in “The Coastal Village That Runs on Breakfast,” by Megan Zhang.
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. orange juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. orange curaçao
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ½ loaf soft French bread, sliced on the bias into six 1½-in.-thick slices
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Ice cream, strawberries, jam, and/or maple syrup, for serving (optional)