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City Bakery

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what does everyone think of City Bakery in the Brentwood Country Mart

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  1. The biggest disappointment to hit Brentwood in the past five years. I had such high hopes, but their lack of variety, crazy prices, silly use of space drove me out about a year ago. Good cookies, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cupcake

      I second the good cookie tag. They are really sweet, but they get the texture of the chocolate chip just right. Everything else has struck me as fairly bland. I'm always mildy excited by the pea encrusted tofu with the wasabi sauce and I always have to try it and I always end up saying "eh."

    2. I practically grew up at the Brentwood Country Mart and I am devastated at what it has become. City Bakery is an unmitigated disaster. It's a big barren warehouse space. I met two friends for lunch yesterday at the Mart. One quick look at the tired salad bar at City Bakery convinced us to get to the patio for either a Reddi-Chick basket or fare at Barneys. City Bakery was empty; the patio was filled with happy diners munching on chicken baskets and Barney's salads and burgers. The cookies from City Bakery are so cloyingly sweet that it makes your teeth hurt.

      1. I only like the lemonade.

        Agree with Maudie - terrible thing to do to the Mart, where I also grew up. What's with that cavernous space? And, the food always looks so unappetizing, to me. Whatever I do choose to get, turns out bland.

        1. The only thing that I will pick up --- IF I'm walking around that area --- is the pretzel crossiant. The cookies were very sweet and too big. I expected a bit more from them after seeing the article in LA mag when they opened.

          1. I was there (under duress) as recently as Friday and wanted to echo the negative comments made here. I actually, though, don't hold the ownership entirely, or even principally, responsible for the fiasco that is City Bakery. It is catering to a clientele that seems only too happy to pay out ridiculous sums for very undistinguished food and drink. In that, the owners probably understand their audience very well. But, anyone who actually prizes optimal-quality food at a reasonable (not laughable) price will find much else that's better, in the Mart and just about anywhere else in Brentwood. To go there is simply to encourage the ownership to continue on doing what they're doing badly, but profitably.

            1. I'll pipe up in defense of City Bakery once again. I first started going to the one in NYC so that was my first impression of the place. I like the salad bar, love the pretzel croissants and enjoy the baker's muffin and french toast.

              1 Reply
              1. re: emily

                I also grew up going to the Mart! It is hard for me to go any where else but Reddi Chick when I am there! I still miss the taco stand that was there SOOO many years ago!!! I actually have liked some of the offerings at the City Bakery (the grilled shrimp for example!) but it is really pricey for what you get. Just give me the super seasoned salted fries and the Wing-Rib basket and I am happy!!!

              2. Are they still open?

                1. I like CITY BAKERY a lot for the things that I want to eat there. While the prices for the salad bar are pretty high, it is often an interesting mix of dishes that you don't find elsewhere. My fave meal is the Niman Ranch beef hot dog on a house-made bun and fresh fruit for $5.00. I like the cookies and the pretzel croissant. Some of the other pastries are a bit doughy for my taste. The farmer's lemonade and Alice Palmer are delish drinks. The servers are usually friendly and, I don't mean to create false expectations, but I have seen more free things given away there than any restaurant I have ever been to, e.g., a lemonade while some one is waiting, a free refill of hot chocolate, etc.

                  1. I absolutely hate the space... you walk inside that tiled warehouse and you get this chill feeling like you want to bolt out of there as soon as possible. It is redeemed by their bakers muffin which is quite possibly the most delicious breakfast pastry I've ever encountered (crunchy cross between bread pudding and a muffin that is barely sweet and has some apple bits, walnuts, and raisins thrown in with the breadcubes).

                    HOWEVER, my enthusiasm for the bakers muffin dimmed after I wrote to Ms. Hansen at the LA Times asking if City Bakery might be willing to share the recipe as a gesture of good cheer... and was told that the response from CB was that "we don't give out our recipes." Humph. (...yes I'm being a bit facetious here on purpose but still, people like Nancy Silverton are nice and give out their recipes every now and then!) ;)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: amandine

                      CB's response is stupid because they have given out their recipes on occasion. The cranberry tart was in the LA Times at Thanksgiving and the Stuffed Gingerbread cookies during the holidays. Recipes for salad bar items can be found on Food and Wine's website.