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LA's answer to SF's Tartine??

p
purediva Aug 30, 2006 05:16 AM

Hi All,

My dad and his gf are in town visiting for the first time since we moved to Marina Del Rey last year. They were just up north visiting my brother and his wife in the Mission in SF...and along with consuming as much dungeness crab as humanly possible, they did their ritual visit each day to Tartine Bakery, which I myself have been a long-time fan of for it's sumptuous selection and quality ingredients.

Being the competitive older foodie sister that I am, I naturally would love to take them to an equally delightful bakery/brunch spot in LA. I have yet to really fall in love with any place on the Westside as yet myself, though I do like Urth Cafe, Joan's and Le Pain Quotidien was pretty good until I experienced bad service probelms at the latter. Right now I'm considering:
- Breadbar
- City Bakery
- Amandine
- Clementine

I'm mainly looking for a place with nice pastries, quiche and other special egg-y dishes, interesting salads, good coffee...and the like.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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  1. r
    running pig RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 05:59 AM

    Is Amandine still in business? Anyway, I just ate at Tartine...ooohh....long line. Funny enough, I antually like the banana tarts at Clementine better than those at Tartine (though Tartine is prettier). City Bakery is nowhere near comparable to Tartine. The most similar place in L.A. is probably Susina. GO EARLY!

    1. j
      jacinthe RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 06:27 AM

      I feel like Bluebird Bakery, in Culver City, reminds me most of Tartine. Perhaps it's because they serve wine there, although they don't have the extensive array of pastries that Tartine has.

      Amandine would be a nice choice also. I've had some good quiche and soup there.

      1. omotosando RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 06:28 AM

        To me, there is only one place in L.A. that fits the bill, even if you have to drive a few miles east to La Brea - Cafe Midi. First of all, the owners are French and they know how to make a mean quiche. They have two kinds of quiche every day. The egg dishes, sandwiches and salads are also all delicious - better than anywhere else I have tried in L.A. for this kind of food. If you are really going for the pastries, however, I would not recommend Cafe Midi. Yes, they have desserts, but the place is very French and in France you have cafes and you have patisseries and this place is a cafe.

        1. b
          banquisha RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 03:17 PM

          Was just at Tartine for Memorial Day Weekend. Pretty good stuff!
          Anyway, I highly recommend both Clementine and Amandine. Clementine has more cooked food, Amandine has more pastries. I like Amandine's pastries better... they're not as sugary sweet.

          1. r
            revets2 RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 04:38 PM

            if you're in the marina, i'd go to jin patisserie, just a stone's throw away on abbott kinney.

            although they don't officially have "brunch", but they open at 10:30am and serve quiche, sandwiches, salad, and delightful pastries, but don't look for a croissant here.

            if i just moved from SF, which i have in the past, i would feel jin would be my oasis. teas are from palais des thes and coffee is good too.

            don't know how long they'll be in town, but you could trek to Campanile, but they are closed for reno until 9/6.

            the other famous brunch in your area is at joe's also on abbott kinney.

            have fun!

            1. Pei RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 09:11 PM

              Mmm. I moved from SF recently but had forgotten my promise to find myself a replacement Tartine.

              While I was still in SF, some people recommended Sweet Lady Jane. What does everyone else think?

              Of your list, I've been to Clementine and Amandine and prefer Amandine. Amandine has Japanese owners, so it's sort of like Tartine with an ever so slight lean towards your more Asian Western style bakery (Sheng Kee, or those ones you find in the 99 Ranch plazas). But emphasis on the slight, because they still make killer cakes and croissants (I always felt Tartine's croissants were a bit too burnt). The quiches, however, don't even begin to compare to Tartine's.

              1. p
                purediva RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 11:31 PM

                Thanks Hounds...that's good stuff. Seems like the crowd's swaying towards Amandine or Clementine of those on my list. No votes for Breadbar huh. Interesting...

                I was all excited when I found out about Jin since Abbott Kinney's a stone's throw from us, and while I think it's a really cute place and had some nice things - I felt a lot of the pastries were on the drier, bland side. Could I just have been there on off day?

                Oooh, the quiche at Tartine...should've had Dad bring me a slice. Brought me home a brownie instead, which was delicious. Yeah, I wasn't big on Tartine's croissants...I was all about their croque monsieurs. Will have to look into Susina and the others mentioned....

                2 Replies
                1. re: purediva
                  Pei RE: purediva Aug 31, 2006 01:58 AM

                  Do try both Amandine and Clementine and report back! I'm only one person, so my ability to sample broadly is limited (I do try, though). So far, Amandine has better desserts and Clementine has better food.

                  1. re: purediva
                    t
                    tuttifrutti RE: purediva Sep 1, 2006 10:37 PM

                    jin has the most exquisite dessert!

                  2. r
                    revets2 RE: purediva Aug 30, 2006 11:41 PM

                    Sweet Lady Jane has okay, sometimes dry desserts, but not really brunch. The seating situation is tough, too.

                    Yes, perhaps you were at Jin on a bad day. Try again and report back.

                    I didn't mention breadbar b/c they don't really do eggy stuff.

                    I think the best quiche is at La Conversation in WeHo on Doheny north of Santa Monica Bl. It's almost custard like.

                    1. r
                      running pig RE: purediva Sep 1, 2006 01:02 AM

                      Ahh...Jin Patisserie. I forgot that one. I have not had the tea service but we really liked the little cakes and chocolates. Very "Venice" environment. Not similar to Tartine, but good desserts.
                      Breadbar is good for picking up a few loaves...I like their whole wheat bread. Very busy, kind of obnoxious for a "sit down" brunch.
                      Someone mentioned Joe's, which I really like as well.

                      1. o
                        ostudio RE: purediva Sep 1, 2006 05:30 AM

                        I will throw in my vote for BreadBar.
                        The breakfast pastries are terrific-especially the pain du chocolate and the almond croissants. I've enjoyed the simple, delicious, & well executed eggs dishes on the menu which is always accompanied with a basket of sliced breads. All the breads are excellent, but especially the fig bread, baguette, and alpine cheese rolls.
                        The sandwiches are very good also. The menu is not terribly creative, however I appreciate the high quality ingredients and execution.
                        If you are going on the weekend-go early. It is much calmer on a weekday.

                        1. r
                          revets2 RE: purediva Sep 20, 2006 06:58 PM

                          purediva...

                          got to tartine this weekend. it was great. i don't think there is anything like it down here in the southland. i hope that someone will be inspired. we had frangipane tart with wild blueberies, frangipane croissant (okay), bread pudding with elephant plums (amazing), gougiere, two quiches, one perfect americano, and three lovely bowls of cafe au lait... all for less than $30 might i add.

                          i must say, i prefer the quiche at la conversation on doheny north of s.m. blvd. in weho, but it's different, more like custard.

                          will try bar tartine next time.

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