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Best sourdough bread in Los Angeles?

kermit Sep 11, 2007 01:25 AM

The discussion on French bread got me thinking about good sourdough bread in LA. Any good recommendations? I can't spell it for the life of me, but in the Bay Area, there used (still?) to be a company called Labaru (I'm probably really butchering the name) that had the best sourdough bread. It had a "stick" to the crunch when you bit into the dark crust...not sticky like honey, but sticky in a crunch way (if that makes any sense). I'm looking for that type of sourdough bread. Dark crust, fresh rolls, has a nice, crisp finish when the loaf is broken, etc. Thanks in advance.

  1. d
    Diana Sep 11, 2007 06:52 AM

    I just last weekend had a fabulous whole wheat sourdough boule from Le Pain Quotidean.

    La Brea does a good sourdough.

    I haven't tried much else.

    I dream of getting sourdough delivered from SF.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana
      kermit Sep 11, 2007 11:13 AM

      Thanks for the LPQ lead. I've tried LB's before with mixed results, but I'll give them another whirl. I could not agree more about getting sourdough delivered from SF. That would be the ultimate indulgence!

      1. re: kermit
        Hughlipton Apr 2, 2010 04:33 PM

        The best sourdough is in San Francisco. Just came back and may not eat sourdough again for at least three weeks. For a restaurant I think Daily grill either imports it from the Bay area or has the closest to it. Don't know if they will sell yo a loaf. Never found a bakery that comes close here in Los Angeles. The story is that it has something to do with the weather elements in the Bay area that makes it special.

    2. bigtums Sep 11, 2007 10:08 AM

      Has anyone ever been to that bread factory looking place on Avenue 26 in Cypress Park?

      4 Replies
      1. re: bigtums
        kermit Sep 11, 2007 11:14 AM

        Bigtums, thanks for the suggestion. I haven't been there. Do you know the name of it?

        1. re: bigtums
          monku Sep 11, 2007 07:18 PM

          That's the Frisco Baking. Sourdough and French bread baker fixture in LA for many years. Outlet is open to the general public with wholesale prices. They supply the sourdough bread to The Original Pantry and Hamburger Hamlets (garlic bread).

          Corner of 26th Avenue at San Fernando Road--Near the 5 & 110 Freeway

          1. re: monku
            ns1 Sep 11, 2007 07:39 PM


            you are a demigod in my book.

            1. re: monku
              Sam D. Mar 28, 2010 10:19 AM

              Frisco also supplies the sandwich rolls to Philippe's and to Eastside Italian Deli.

          2. Akitist Sep 11, 2007 10:20 AM

            LA and SF sourdoughs are pretty different. Might be a difficult search.

            1. f
              foodhuntress Sep 11, 2007 11:47 AM

              Boudin is a chain bakery/cafe from SF that has a few branches in So Cal. It's excellent, very fresh. In the OC, there's one in South Coast Plaza, and one across the street from it. According to their website, there's one in LAX.

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodhuntress
                Hughlipton Apr 2, 2010 04:35 PM

                And without a ticket you get past the door how at LAX? I'm really interested because I hear at one of the terminals they also carry Molinari sopressata and the only other place I know of that does that is Monte Carlo in Burbank but it's the small round one. I love the way they slice it at Molinari's, as paper thin as proscuitto.

              2. s
                silverlakebodhisattva Sep 11, 2007 01:28 PM

                The old Pioneer Bakery in Santa Monica, if you got the bread there as it came out, used to come about as close to San Francisco sour-dough as I've found in LA in 30+ years of looking. I'm guessing that the Bay Area atmospheric conditions and the water might have as much to do with it as anything. I don't remember even seeing their supermaket stuff in a few years.

                LaBrea's ain't bad, nor is the par-baked stuff from TJ's, which I'm guessing might be contracted from L.B. I'm not sure the Cypress park factory actually is still in business. Boudin is OK in a pinch, but even theirs, presumably from a uniform starter, seems to come out different in San Francisco...

                4 Replies
                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                  Pesky_Humans Sep 11, 2007 02:35 PM

                  I remember seeing it here sometime last year, but cannot seem to find it now. Anybody have any idea who supplies The Pantry with their killer bread?

                  1. re: Pesky_Humans
                    Wolfgang Sep 11, 2007 04:06 PM

                    La Brea sourdough might be okay if you could somehow get it right out of the oven. Otherwise, it always tastes as if it's beyond its freshness and flavour peak.
                    I really enjoy the bread they serve in baskets at the Daily Grill (only tried it at the Beverly Connection location) and at Kate Mantilini's. Does anyone know where either place gets their bread?

                    1. re: Wolfgang
                      Will Owen Mar 28, 2010 08:30 PM

                      I got a loaf of La Brea at that nice local market in Burbank, on Magnolia a bit west of Victory. They have a special glass case for it, and it was very fresh. My only problem with it is it's in many ways the best bread I've had that was labelled "sourdough", but it's NOT your classic sourdough at all, being tender of crust and VERY tender of crumb. I love it, but after several sandwiches I'm missing the chewiness I associate with proper sourdough.

                    2. re: Pesky_Humans
                      monku Sep 11, 2007 07:20 PM

                      Original Pantry get's their sourdough from Frisco Baking
                      621 W Avenue 26, Los Angeles - (323) 225-6111

                      You can buy the same 1.5 lb. loaves for less than $2 there. Used to be $1.50 a few years ago.

                      See post above--also sourdough for Hamburger Hamlets garlic bread.

                  2. maxzook Sep 11, 2007 08:00 PM

                    Links galore

                    Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe
                    3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                    La Brea Bakery
                    624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    Le Pain Quotidien
                    8607 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                    Frisco Baking Co
                    621 W Avenue 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065

                    1. monku Sep 11, 2007 09:34 PM

                      How about the best sourdough in Oakland-Columbo. I see it at the Weber-Millbrook thrift bread stores around town like in Burbank. They sometimes have the fresh sourdough loaves and a lot of times the premade garlic sourdough loaves.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: monku
                        DiveFan Sep 12, 2007 02:50 PM

                        Good tip, I'm always on the lookout for Columbo at a reasonable price (unlike Ralphs). Some of the Weber-Millbrook and Entenmanns outlets have been absorbed by Bimbo Bakeries USA - many outlets are listed on their web site:

                        Anyone seen San Luis Sourdough other than at Ralphs?

                        1. re: DiveFan
                          sel Sep 13, 2007 08:49 AM

                          The San Luis Sourdough Bread is sometimes sold at Costco, white and wheat.

                          1. re: sel
                            DiveFan Sep 13, 2007 04:14 PM

                            Which one have you seen it at? The closest I've seen SLS is at the Bakersfield whse, 90 miles too far :-). Only LaBrea and pseudo-sour from Gold Coast found at mine. TIA!

                            1. re: sel
                              happybaker Mar 28, 2010 08:49 PM

                              Here's an odd truth - San Luis Sourdough is now a part of sara Lee. And as such, their sliced white loaves often show up as a part of the Sara Lee/99¢ store delivery! Not always, but often.

                              It toasts really well.

                              1. re: sel
                                Hughlipton Apr 2, 2010 04:37 PM

                                Not a bad substitute. They serve it at Brad's in Pismo with their clam chowder which may be the best this far south of San Francisco.

                          2. ipsedixit Sep 11, 2007 09:46 PM

                            Wildflour Baking Company
                            328 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
                            Sierra Madre
                            (626) 355-9000

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              maxzook Sep 12, 2007 09:02 AM


                              Wildflour Baking Co
                              328 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                              Pioneer Boulangerie
                              804 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                maxzook Sep 12, 2007 09:04 AM

                                More links.

                                Columbo Baking Co
                                580 Julie Ann Way, Oakland, CA 94621

                                Wildflour Baking Co
                                328 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                                Pioneer Boulangerie
                                804 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                                Weber's Millbrook Breads
                                6801 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91201

                              2. Emme Sep 12, 2007 05:43 PM

                                Bay Cities
                                Pain du Jour

                                1. m
                                  Marvin Sep 13, 2007 08:47 AM

                                  Have you tried the various farmers markets around town? I know that there is a guy who shows up at the one in 3rd Street in Santa Monica who sells a wide variety of breads including sourdough and I recall it was really good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Marvin
                                    Dybno Feb 21, 2008 10:38 AM

                                    I just bought a awesome Garlic Sourdough from a guy at the Sunday farmers market in Hollywood. It had full chunks of garlic cooked into it.

                                    1. re: Marvin
                                      Whimzerd Feb 21, 2008 11:36 AM

                                      the man at the wed. 3rd street market is Jck Bezian . I don't really know how his style compares with SF but he is the best and most learned baker of sour dough that I know

                                    2. d
                                      Damianc Feb 21, 2008 10:03 AM

                                      The bread you remembered was Laraburru, they went out of business oh, maybe 20 years ago. One of their drivers was in an accident, and they got sued. Even though they were solvent, the threat of a lawsuit ruined their credit and no one would extend them credit for their supplies, so they had to close.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Damianc
                                        Josar Feb 21, 2008 03:49 PM

                                        The money thing at Frisco are the Jumbo rolls. On Saturday morning until about 1:30, you can get them right out of the oven. I think they cost about a dollar each.

                                        1. re: Damianc
                                          Hughlipton Apr 2, 2010 04:40 PM

                                          Wht a memory. I used to live their in 1954 and have no recollection of that name. I'm not questioning you. I just really don't remember it. My Dad most likely bought it back then and that's why I have no recollection of the baking company name.

                                        2. c
                                          CSPrevot Sep 29, 2008 09:24 AM

                                          This place in the bay area ships fresh sourdough bread overnight: http://www.sanfransourdough.com/


                                          1. SaltCod Feb 25, 2009 12:00 AM

                                            The first thing that popped into my head when I thought of sourdough in LA was not La Brea's, which I love, but the chunks at Soup Plantation that I dunk in the clam chowder. Yum!

                                            1. c
                                              cliff420 Mar 27, 2010 08:48 AM

                                              Jack bezian at the wedsnday santa monica FM, saturday pasadena Fm and sunday hollywood Fm has by far the best sourdough in the US maybe world. Make sure to ask for the flatest loafs when buying from him, these are usually aged for about a month and the taste is amazing. Moroccan olive is my personal favorite from him

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: cliff420
                                                ns1 Mar 28, 2010 09:15 AM

                                                uh which breadman is this?

                                                There's a few at the Sunday Hollywood FM

                                                Is this the guy with the amazing turnovers, the guy who acts like sourdough is the second coming of christ, or the 3rd guy usually next to the tamales?

                                                n/m, quick google search shows that it's the second


                                                and it appears that me being turned off by his stand has been a glaring mistake.

                                                1. re: ns1
                                                  Wolfgang Apr 2, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                  Can you get Bezian's sourdough during the week?
                                                  I googled him and call the bakery number and got an answering machine.

                                              2. monku Mar 28, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                Last week I sampled a sourdough roll from Giuliano's in Gardena and it was pretty close to the one's I've had from Boudin in San Francisco at their bakery on 10th Street/Clement. Giuliano's in Gardena bakes their bread fresh everyday.

                                                1. m
                                                  maiweezy Mar 28, 2010 10:17 AM

                                                  The Tavern's sourdough loaf BLEW MY MIND. Insanely crunchy and dark crust, soft and sour on the inside. Pure heaven. The baker uses a 19 yr old mother.

                                                  11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: maiweezy
                                                    bulavinaka Mar 29, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                    >>The baker uses a 19 yr old mother.<<

                                                    Huh? As a rolling pin? Why not a 25-year old stripper? ;->-

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                                      WildSwede Mar 31, 2010 03:48 PM


                                                      1. re: WildSwede
                                                        bulavinaka Apr 2, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                        Chowhound turned me into a fat foul-mouthed cuss. I used to be just the latter two before... :)

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                                          WildSwede Apr 2, 2010 11:30 AM

                                                          Too funny!! ;-)

                                                  2. b
                                                    bruinike Mar 28, 2010 12:26 PM

                                                    The sourdough served in the bread basket at MARCHE LA in Sherman Oaks is fantastic (as is the potato roll). Made on the premises.

                                                    1. t
                                                      torchsong Mar 28, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                      Not sure how it compares to SF Sourdough but I really like Gelson's Market Rustic Bread. It does not say it is Sourdough on the label but it is and since it is made in house you sometimes get lucky and get it still warm from the oven. Nice crunchy crust.

                                                      1. h
                                                        happybaker Mar 28, 2010 08:45 PM

                                                        One of the crispest sourdoughs I've had was from Homeboy Bakery downtown.

                                                        I got it as it came with my husbands breakfast (at Homegirl cafe) and I mooched a bite. And really wanted to mug him for the rest - it was that good. The crust was yummy - really crisp but not heavy.

                                                        They have a homeboy retail shop at the chinatown location, very safe and there is a parking lot behind. So if you are in the area, you might want to check it out!

                                                        You could also call them to see where you might be able to buy it in stores - they wholesale as well.


                                                        1. n
                                                          namstermonster Apr 1, 2010 12:54 PM

                                                          hatfields serves an amazing sourdough roll... lighter than the usual sourdough... sooooo unbelievably delish.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: namstermonster
                                                            bruinike Apr 2, 2010 07:35 PM

                                                            Indeed! It's from La Brea Bakery (asked because it was so good).

                                                            La Brea Bakery
                                                            624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                          2. mollyomormon Apr 2, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                            Huckleberry's rustic lough has a really nice sour tang...

                                                            1. b
                                                              bruinike Apr 2, 2010 07:35 PM

                                                              Tavern has a great sourdough - they serve it during bread service, use it for their sandwiches and it's available for purchase.

                                                              1. Dommy Apr 2, 2010 10:22 PM

                                                                My favorite is from the Alamitos Fish Company near Long Beach.... beautiful texture and tangy, amazing crust, baked fresh in house! Nothing else I've tried around town comes even close..


                                                                1. s
                                                                  sel Apr 2, 2010 10:36 PM

                                                                  OK, despite being a 2 1/2 year old thread, I just thought of one of my old repete standbys. The 'Mini Loaf' at Malibu Fish & Seafood is actually a small sourdough round loaf served quite warm that is wonderful! Best shared with someone that you deem worthy!

                                                                  Malibu Fish & Seafood
                                                                  25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                                                                  1. DiveFan Apr 22, 2010 07:28 PM

                                                                    Since this topic has been reawakened, note that the many IBC Millbrook (a.k.a. Hostess, Weber) outlet stores are another local source for Columbo sourdough.
                                                                    Before I stopped by, I didn't know that there is a decent Rye bread made under the Columbo name.

                                                                    Weber-Millbrook Bakery Outlet
                                                                    17811 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

                                                                    Wonder-Hostess Bakery Outlet
                                                                    12539 S Prairie Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      jackattack Apr 24, 2010 01:19 PM

                                                                      I bought the Il Fornaio sourdough bread at Fresh n Easy (because I couldn't find anything else there worth buying......(35 grams of fat in potato soup, seriously??...more fat in the bean burrito than in the steak burrito, seriously?) and I am now hooked on Il Fornaio Sourdough!

                                                                      1. Hughlipton Apr 25, 2010 10:43 AM

                                                                        The Ralph's Market in Studio City is now carrying San Luis Sourdough. Not San Francisco but a worthwhile substitute.

                                                                        1. e
                                                                          EclecticEater Apr 25, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                                          The sour dough bread at Kings Seafood Restaurant is as good as most in the SF Bay Area, a worthy match of Acme Baking and that served at Tadish Grill. The Daily Grill's bread is a second to this bread. Haven't tasted much else that resembles what I believe is as good as Kings.

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