A fusion of Korean American brunch and dinner
Brunch lovers will find—if not a cure—then a temporary salve for their hangovers at The Sunday restaurant. Not only does the menu take a comprehensive approach to all forms of brunching, but it also includes an entire set of fusion items. Whatever direction diners decide to go in, they will not walk away hungry. The portion sizes are all substantial.
Depending on which direction one is coming from, The Sunday is located in Emeryville in a residential block. One can pass by it on the way to IKEA or while rushing to MacArthur BART. It’s built into the bottom floor of the dark blue condos on the corner of 40th Street and Adeline. The patio accommodates approximately four tables; the interior, not many more. On the weekends, tables fill up fast. When there’s less pressure to call a meal “brunch,” there are plenty of tables available on a late weekday afternoon.
The menu reads like a volume of The Greatest Brunch Hits Ever, listing nearly every iteration of what a chef can do with the incredible, edible egg. There are benedicts, omelets, pancakes, hash or two eggs any which way you like. The only thing you won’t find are many vegetarian options. When the server took our order, she said they were out of soyrizo and tater tots ($6). Nearly every other dish is made for carnivores.
We ordered an alternative to tater tots from the kingdom of potatoes—parmesan garlic fries ($12). You can smell waves of garlic wafting across the table when they arrive. They’re deep fried in extremis, on beyond where McDonald’s takes them. There wasn’t a single limp or soggy fry in the lot. Salt and cooking oil are major players at The Sunday. You’ll need some refreshing beverages to counter those ingredients.
The kitchen uses dark meat for the fried chicken and waffle dish ($19) and the fried chicken sandwich ($13, a spicier alternative includes a chipotle adobo sauce). When one cuts into the chicken, the crisp skin retains a small amount of oil. One can order country gravy or maple syrup with the chicken and waffle. The gravy comes in a small container on the side, a wobbly blob the consistency and color of a thick light brown mayonnaise.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying both plates were “salt bombs,” but no one would define them as being as light as a plate of crudités. I also realized that I may have reached my own personal endgame with the fried chicken sandwich itself, as a once novel alternative to the cheeseburger. After many years of seeking them out, I still haven’t found a version I’ve preferred more than Bakesale Betty’s buttermilk fried chicken and coleslaw sandwich. Full disclaimer: An order of their strawberry shortcake might have been the thing that sweetened and, ultimately, sealed the deal for me.
Along with croffle, waffle and French toast options, the lemon ricotta pancake combo ($18) is listed under the “Maple” menu heading. I’m not sure which chef came up with the idea to mix together lemon and ricotta, but they deserve at least one Michelin star. Those flavors never fail to please. The combo also includes two eggs, any style, and a side order of bacon, sausage, turkey bacon or turkey sausage.
The subheading under The Sunday’s restaurant sign reads, “Contemporary Korean American Cuisine.” There’s an entire section of the menu devoted to “Fusion,” but one can find fusion everywhere else as well. Bulgogi is featured as an omelet ($18), filled with sriracha aioli, a rib-eye that’s been marinated in soy sauce, and cheddar cheese, or, in a benedict ($19) served with a chipotle hollandaise.
But at the top of the Fusion list itself, one will find Korean assorted mini pancakes ($18) with mungbean, seafood, and chive and jalapeños. If one would like to skip brunch altogether, the restaurant’s “Sunday Dinner Only” entrées include kimchi fried rice ($16), bul-dakghetti ($16, a spicy stir-fried ramen) and the shin-Sunday ramen ($12, a bowl of creamy broth, vegetables, sausage and a sunny-side-up egg).
The Sunday, open Sun 9am–4pm, Tues to Fri 9am–2:30pm, Sat 9am-3pm and 5–9:30pm. 3986 Adeline St., Emeryville. 510.922.9354. instagram.com/thesundayrestaurant.