Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen
591 Collection Blvd., Oxnard
In early January, no one is thinking of getting up to do anything on a Sunday. It’s just not going to happen, especially considering the wet weather and the chill temperature. But sometimes the outside world calls, errands must be run, and hunger strikes — and simply put, the new brunch offerings at Copper Blues at the Collection in Oxnard are worth getting out of bed for.
On a clear Sunday, we decided to pop over to The Collection’s latest flagship restaurant/live comedy club for what was touted as a new brunch menu, served only on Sundays, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nestled into the side of a park overlooking an ornate fountain, we sat on the bar adjacent to its equally ornate taps replete with bust sculpture of a mythical, topless woman, the likes of which would seem befitting a ship on its maiden voyage.
Copper Blues exists as a small chain, with Oxnard having the only California location, the others in Arizona and Florida.
As live, smooth jazz music gently flowed from the indoor stage, my partner and I ordered mimosas, which, though we chose a single serving, could also have flowed from the bar, as the brunch offering includes a bottomless option ($15), as well as a bottomless Bloody Mary ($20). The serving size was generous and if we had been within walking distance to our home, we could have been tempted with either, or perhaps one of the four intriguing “tap cocktails,” which include a Moscow Mule, Old-Fashioned and Sazerac ($9-12), discounted by $2 during happy hour.
Of course, we were hungry, and given that my partner is a vegan, the menu options were slim. This proved not to be a problem, however, as the kitchen was more than capable of pleasing the both of us. For her, The Roots salad ($13): an eclectic mix of assorted beets, roasted heirloom carrots and pickled radish with heirloom cherry tomatoes. The normal menu item comes with burrata cheese and arugula pesto, for which we substituted the roasted asparagus that topped another of the menu’s salads, dubbed the Breakfast Salad ($10). Served with a side of ciabatta, the meal proved beyond delicious and left my companion satisfied, a rare endorsement from a vegan dining from an explicitly non-vegan menu.
Copper Blues does, however, offer a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian items.
For myself, the mostly-meat-free-but-I-wish-I-knew-how-to-quit-you individual, the full menu offered many choices that took quite some time to decide upon. There are traditional brunch items like the breakfast burrito, Copper Blue’s dish stuffed with potato latkes, scrambled eggs, black beans, cheese and pico de gallo with a choice of meat and chipotle sour cream ($11); and then there are completely unique items such as the Fried PB&J, which, as you can guess, is a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, crusted in frosted flakes ($10).
I have history with South Korea, having spent a year in the country as a teacher, so the bibimbap ($8) intrigued me. Served with house-made kimchi, pickled radish, a sweet chili soy sauce and an over-easy egg atop bacon fried rice, the dish was not at all traditional but it didn’t need to be. This savory bowl of goodness, generously portioned, hit the right spot for a lazy Sunday morning.
As a main, though the bibimbap alone did more than enough to fill me up, I couldn’t resist the Cajun shrimp Benedict ($14). The dish features two English muffin halves, each topped with a poached egg, crispy fried shrimp, Virginia ham and a Cajun béarnaise sauce and served with a side of country-style potatoes. While the ham and shrimp played surprisingly well together, the sauce was a little oily, which the muffin happily soaked up. Had it not been for my inability to stop eating the bibimbap, I most definitely would have finished the Benedict, which ended up coming home with us anyway.
Copper Blues has made a big splash at The Collection, something that the failed Toby Keith’s never managed to do, simply by taking advantage of the fact that folks in the area have been longing for a great brunch option, served simply, with a plethora of beverage options to boot. Thankfully, we have it now, and I’ll more than likely become a regular at the grandiose bar.