We were a bit bummed that the music was hard to hear over the boisterous energy of the room, but nevertheless, the '70s were in full swing, from the waiters' flashy polyester shirts to the mirror ball in the restroom to the record-shaped menus. It's disco fever whether or not you choose to participate in the festivities.
The Corner Office’s “I Will Survive” Brunch is available Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the dining room definitely fills up. If you do happen to mosey in without a reservation, there are plenty of bar seats and four-tops available for walk-ins, which we had no problem snagging at 1 p.m.
If you’re wondering whether people actually dress up: it’s hit or miss. A few went all out, mainly the table celebrating a 21st birthday with reluctant friends in tow. But since the Corner Office is located in the theater district, it’s a bit hard to tell who’s actually in costume and who’s not. Smack dab in the middle of tourist central, anything goes — so feel comfortable showing up in whatever moves you. Between the location and decor, it has a bit of a hotel-bar feel, but the atmosphere is lively and electric with an infectious buzz, perfect for extending the weekend as long as possible.
Whether you think themed brunches are to-die-for or tacky, it's worth tolerating the cheese for the “bell bottomless libations,” and Dy-no-mite Bloody Mary bar in particular. Bottomless mimosas are also available for $10 if you prefer a side of bubbly with your ‘fro, but the bloody bar is a real thing of beauty. At $7 for the house mix, $9 to DIY at the bar or $15 for all-you-can-drink, it's a photo-worthy spread of Asian, Mexican and Southwestern flavors. Armed with glasses more than half full of vodka (the bar definitely doesn’t skimp on the alcohol), we made our way through the smorgasbord of spices, pickled veggies and other accoutrements — missing the shrimp, cheese, eggplant, and ham advertised on the menu, but still with plenty of options. Starting with a deliciously tangy tomato base, I layered my glass like sand art, alternating heat, Worcestershire sauce and spices with piles upon piles of kimchi, pickled okra, and chicharrones until it was so full I barely made it back to the table without a spill. The only complaint? There were no side plates to gorge on garnishes while we were waiting.
I ordered the East Bound and Down: two eggs over easy atop a hearty hangover helper of creamy shrimp and grits, cubed pork belly and a ring of red pepper and fennel ragout that looked deceivingly like tomato sauce but tasted like crisp peppers. It was easily the winning dish of the table.
My dining companions opted for the two Bennies: the “Soul Train” with crispy crab cakes, crawfish taters and cilantro Hollandaise, and the “John Doe,” poached eggs paired with braised pork belly and arugula. Both came topped with shoestring potatoes (an odd garnish) but looked a little lonely on their plates, lacking any other sides for presentation. All of the eggs were cooked firm, without the liquid yolks that make eggs Benedict great, and the Hollandaise was also clingy and stiff.
Our waiter was totally cool and let us swap out one plate in favor of a breakfast burrito, a much better (and bigger) choice. The management's handling of our disappointment with the original dish showed good faith and good service, but given how fabulous the ambiance and drinks were, I wish the Corner Office would show as much attention to detail with the food as with the disco ambiance. My recommendation? Make it a liquid brunch. You could easily make an entire meal out of those Bloody Mary garnishes and leave happy — or add a breakfast burrito if you need a little more sustenance.