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Bread Bowls?

I know that Panera Bread and Corner Bakery both have them. But to me this are so I don't know not like S.F. Bread Bowls. Any good places for the famous sourdough bread bowl in LA area?

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  1. Boudin Bakery is straight outta the Bay area, so presumably, the local branches are finish-baking a frozen (or parbaked) loaf made up North. I think their bread is just ok for a corporate chain and not even close to the level of an SF bakery like Acme, but it might do.

    Boudin has two locations in OC @ South Coast Plaza, one inside the Disney California theme park, and a few inside LAX.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      They bake the bread on location. It's set up like an open kitchen.

      1. re: bigipps

        Do they bake everything from step 1, or just finish baking a partially completed loaf? Bakery operations of Boudin's size typically have a central commissary where products are partially made prior to shipping.

        I'm guessing that's the case here. Do you know differently?

        1. re: Professor Salt

          At the South Coast Plaza location, there is a glassed off room by the registers where you can watch the bakers work. The last time I was in there I saw them running the dough through what I assume was a kneading machine. Most of the times I have been, I have seen someone working with dough. I have not seen anyone actually making the dough though.

          The other locations may be different.

          1. re: bigipps

            Yeah, the one at Disney does the same thing... It's pretty darn close, but Boudin is hardly the best sourdough in SF either so....


    2. I like the ones sold at Vons in a two-pack right next to the help-yourself soup station. I take them home, cut it open, pull out some of the insides, spread some butter on both sides and put it in the oven for a while. Then add soup and munch away. Very good.

      1. Yea I do that as well! I have been to Boudin at South Coast Plaza. Not bad but certainly not worth the drive when Panera and Corner Bakery are at my back-door (brea).

        1. If you're ever at Disneyland, that restaurant across from the Blue Bayou, more of a cafeteria-style, serve-yourself and pay place, does Clam Chowder in bread bowls, that IMO is the best thing at Disneyland.

          1. You should try Pioneer bread. Mostly wholesale to the restaurants around town but you can pick it up at Vicente Foods in BW. I think they still have a company store at Montana/Lincoln in SM. I know they sell to Gladstones. The only decent thing at Gladstones is the bread and the breadbowl chowder.

            1. Wheatland Baking make fantastic sourdough bread bowls -- you can buy them at Fish King (when in stock) or call to find out where else they sell to.

              1. BreadBar has them. And they sell them to the Beverly Hills Cheese Store, who fills them up with a great fondue mixture of cheeses. You bake the whole thing and it's wonderful. Only available on Fridays and Saturdays, though. $10 each.

                1. I'm also looking for some bread bowls for a party. Does anyone know where I can get 2 dozen of them, fairly cheap, and smaller than the average size? I'm in Highland Park so anywhere around here would be great.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bigtums

                    Really, all bread bowls are just small boules. Just find a good bakery and get them. I like the ones La Brea makes and puts out in markets. Gelson's has them, usually.

                    You can also look in Whole Foods at their bakery.

                    The boules at Le Pain Quitidean, Panera, Belwood and bread bar are good.

                    But just look at the selection in your local supermarket. You may be surprised. All you do is cut the top off, hollow them out, and fill with your favorite goo. If you want, get the bowls and a good soup or such seperately from your Grocer.

                    1. re: Diana

                      That's true. I guess I'm worried with a smaller "bowl" that when I hollow it out the lining will be too thin and the soup will go through. Also, since I need so many I didn't want to spend more than a $1 per bread.

                      1. re: bigtums

                        ust get a loaf with a good crust. Sourdough is good. I would forget smaller bowls, and just go with a small boule (the same size places use when they serve you soup or chili in bread bowls). No one ever compalins about having too much bread. Hollow it out a little less, if you are worried. Also, put the soup in the bowl right before serving, otherwise it wil have time to soak.

                        I dunno about price. I've never seen a boule for $1 per, but then again, I imagine that some bakeries do sell them.

                        1. re: Diana

                          I have a little french bread/sourdough bread outlet by my on Avenue 26 in Cypress Park. I'm hoping they'll have something for pretty cheap. Thanks for the tip!