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Looking for great bread in L.A.

KargesFineArt Mar 23, 2007 12:01 PM

Is anyone familiar with a bread company up in the bay area called Acme? It's the best bread I've ever had but it's only available in the San Francisco area.

Does anyone know of a bread maker in the L.A. area that is of equal quality?

Thank you,

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  1. emily RE: KargesFineArt Mar 23, 2007 12:30 PM

    Try Breadbar on 3rd St. (http://www.breadbar.net). It's owned by Eric Kayser (of Paris bread baking fame) and is the best bread I've found here.

    1. Pei RE: KargesFineArt Mar 23, 2007 12:55 PM

      I've tried a few places, and no one's as good as ACME. The one time I came close was with a croissant at Delice on Pico. I haven't found a baguette or levain that looks, smells, or tastes like ACME's. Thank goodness my friend's driving down to visit tomorrow with ACME, or your post would have sent me into tears.

      I haven't tried Breadbar on 3rd, but Breadbar in the Century City Mall is not very good unless you can get your hands on a fresh Alpine loaf.

      I've also been told on this board that I need to get over to Maison du Pain.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pei
        sel RE: Pei Mar 23, 2007 01:19 PM

        This is sounding kinda like those NY Pizza or NY Eggrolls in L.A. threads. One of my lads aka BreadBoy tries to get me to take him up N just to feast on the goods from the location across from Cafe Fanny and at The Ferry Bldg. location! I love their offerings as well. The sad truth is that there is no bread like Acme's (or Tartine's) in the area covered by this board. The L.A. area does have good breads but they are NOT comparable to what is available in the S.F. Bay Area (or N.Y. or Paris)!

        I like EuroPane, La Maison du Pain and used to buy breads at Michele Richard's but haven't been there in a long time. I haven't been to Breadbar yet.

        1. re: sel
          Pei RE: sel Mar 23, 2007 01:42 PM

          Exactly. I've long since given up trying to find "___ style ___" in the wrong region. I'll eat my bread and my Cal-Ital when I visit SF, I'll have my Korean and my sushi while I'm in LA. It makes visiting back and forth more fun!

          1. re: Pei
            IchEsseGern RE: Pei Mar 23, 2007 07:34 PM

            Le Pain Quotidien (http://www.lepainquotidien.com/) is not too shabby. Neither is the bread at La Brea bakery if you go to the actual location on La Brea Blvd. Both of them are too expensive though, imho.

            Porto's (http://www.portosbakery.com/) has really really good bread and it's very reasonably priced. Their sourdough batard has a wonderful crust, and I like their challah. They also have several kinds of baguettes (I think the rustic ones are best), walnut raisin bread, rolls, and Cuban bread. Locations in Burbank and Glendale--I'm lucky because I live a block away from the Burbank one, so I can use it as my fresh bread source. They also have great croissants (plain and chocolate) and a variety of other delights (but I'll stick to the bready things here!).

          2. re: sel
            maxzook RE: sel Mar 25, 2007 07:34 PM

            IMHO, the best bread in LA is the rosemary-currant loaf at EuroPane.

            I live alone, and I find that most artisinal bakers in LA sell humongous restaurant-sized loaves that go stale as a rock before I finish them. One thing I really appreciate about EuroPane is that their loaves are small and manageable.

            On the downside, don't bother with the sandwiches, but it's worth getting there extra-early on weekend mornings for the wonderfl ginger scones. Getting there early also helps avoid the crowds and minimizes the hassles from the abominable service.

        2. aching RE: KargesFineArt Mar 23, 2007 08:07 PM

          No mention of La Brea Bakery? I haven't had Acme, but I do love LBB. A slice of their garlic french bread, toasted, with butter - mmm mmm good.

          4 Replies
          1. re: aching
            maudies5 RE: aching Mar 23, 2007 10:44 PM

            Saks Fifth Avenue in BH now serves Poilane bread which is delivered daily from Paris.

            1. re: maudies5
              Frank_Santa_Monica RE: maudies5 Mar 23, 2007 11:17 PM

              Really? It must be a couple days old by the time it arrives. Is the bread good?

              1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
                maudies5 RE: Frank_Santa_Monica Mar 24, 2007 10:53 AM

                The bread is delicious!

            2. re: aching
              JudiAU RE: aching Mar 23, 2007 11:58 PM

              LBB does not rate mention because of the significant and sad decline of same since it changed hands several years ago.

            3. onigiriyumyum RE: KargesFineArt Mar 23, 2007 11:16 PM

              I personally don't think I could live without bread, and it's kinda hard coming around really good bread in the Valley. I've tried Breadbar but I wasn't all that impressed. I've had way better bread in Lima (Peru) and I'm hoping for a place that sells French rolls just as good.
              So, where is this ACME place that is so highly recommended here?
              I'm going to Maison du Pain tomorrow to test it out.
              Did I mention how much I love bread? well, I love bread. YUMYUM!

              5 Replies
              1. re: onigiriyumyum
                Pei RE: onigiriyumyum Mar 23, 2007 11:32 PM

                ACME is based in Berkeley and easily found in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

                1. re: onigiriyumyum
                  bulavinaka RE: onigiriyumyum Mar 23, 2007 11:40 PM

                  Hmmm... wonder if ONIGIRIyumyum likes bread... sounds like you are the devourer of all starches! Potatoes has to be high on your list as well... maybe the ultimate bread for you personally would be a french roll made of a combination of potato and rice flours... with some salsa de aji on the side...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    onigiriyumyum RE: bulavinaka Mar 23, 2007 11:47 PM

                    Well, as a good Peruvian, there are two things I can't live without, one is rice and the other is BREAD! ...this is why I spend hours at the gym trying to keep from looking like a french roll.

                    ...and Pei...you make me sad. all the way in SF?! ... ... ... ROAD TRIP!

                    1. re: onigiriyumyum
                      mkleeh RE: onigiriyumyum Mar 24, 2007 12:37 AM

                      You can get it sent to you from the bakery . I have cinnamon swirl challah (it makes the most fantastic french toast) sent from Semi Freddies in the bay area. but Pei is right, it is no use to try to duplicate stuff found in other places in LA.
                      Go on a road trip to the bay area and marvel at the bread aisle with shelves and shelves of fantastic bread, besides Acme there is Grace bakery that has incredible pugliese bread and about 6 or 7 other bakeries with lots of variety . in LA some trader joes artisian breads are ok .

                  2. re: onigiriyumyum
                    wizardx RE: onigiriyumyum Mar 24, 2007 08:45 AM

                    For REALLY good bread in the valley head over to Italia deli and bakery on San Fernando Mission and Balboa

                  3. Swoshmn RE: KargesFineArt Mar 24, 2007 12:38 AM

                    Urth Cafe, maybe that's just because I compare it to the food that has never impressed me, but the bread at Urth Cafe has been my favorite part.

                    I don't know for sure at all, but they may sell it by the loaf.

                    1. Das Ubergeek RE: KargesFineArt Mar 24, 2007 09:08 PM

                      Wow. OK.

                      So if you're looking for beautiful artisanal sourdough or baguettes or ficelles -- fussy French bread, in fact -- I can't help you. I bought a baguette at the Berkeley farmers' market in October that I *still* dream about finding down here.

                      But if you're looking for good BREAD, there are a wealth of places in the east Valley, and you can get your start here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/331144 -- and don't forget limpa and Austrian bread at Berolina in the 3400 block of Ocean View Blvd. in north Glendale.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                        onigiriyumyum RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 24, 2007 10:43 PM

                        Cool, thanks wizardx and ubergeek. I'm going to try Le Maison de Pain tomorrow but I'll make sure to hit up a the ones you guys recommend at a later time.

                        1. re: onigiriyumyum
                          westsidegal RE: onigiriyumyum Mar 25, 2007 12:30 AM

                          be sure they are open on sunday before setting out. . .

                      2. whiteonricecouple RE: KargesFineArt Mar 25, 2007 11:16 AM

                        For sourdoughs & artisinal breads, we can't think of any not already posted, but if you are looking for just a great baguette, hit Little Saigon. There are a plethora of baguette bakeries by the Vietnamese as well as a French/Vietnamese couple. Banh Mi Saigon is our favorite, but we give the main breakdown on our site, www.whiteonricecouple.com on the Viet Baguette page.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: whiteonricecouple
                          running pig RE: whiteonricecouple Mar 25, 2007 01:29 PM

                          I really like Rockenwagners little rolls, the pretzel roll things and whatnot.

                          1. re: running pig
                            bulavinaka RE: running pig Mar 25, 2007 04:56 PM

                            I agree, and I've seen some full loaves of artisnal breads at their 3 Square bakery, along with overruns that are for their cafe... but I've been a real sucker for their pastries and sweets...

                          2. re: whiteonricecouple
                            aching RE: whiteonricecouple Mar 25, 2007 08:09 PM

                            I was just going to make the Little Saigon baguette recommendation myself! I can't claim to know Little Saigon very well at all, but every time I'm in the area I make the trip to Lee's Sandwiches on Brookhurst for banh mi, and I noticed today that many people were just buying baguettes to take home. They ARE delicious! Lee's has 29 outposts, so there is probably one reasonably close to you.

                            1. re: aching
                              bulavinaka RE: aching Mar 25, 2007 09:10 PM

                              We need a Lee's in the Westside... desperately... no representation of banh mi out here...

                              1. re: aching
                                whiteonricecouple RE: aching Mar 25, 2007 11:07 PM

                                Lee's does produce a good , hot out of the oven baguette. If you enjoy Lee's, then there's so many more baguette pleasures to experience in Little Saigon. If you are a little more daring, good with body language (or even speak a little viet) then you open yourself up to a whole different world of baguette lifestyle outside Lee's. Lee's sells many a baguette because their have a fantastic price: buy one get one free. How can anyone pass it up? Other places have almost the same pricing as well ( they just don't have the big banner outside to advertise it) . So when you're in the area, explore a bit and bite in to something maybe a little crustier & more buttery. Enjoy.

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