- Mistress Ivy
I am a scone searcher...I like scones, not muffin impersonators. Not sweet & cakey. They should be like a fresh, home-made, slightly sweet (mainly from the fresh fruit added)cross between a baking powder & a buttermilk biscuit. A little crumbly. Preferably with walnuts, or almonds or pecans. Nothing like a hockey puck.
I like scones with decaf mocha...so I search them out. I can make my own, and even have a favorite recipe. It's a cross of the 1947 Joy of Cooking Scone recipe with a New Zealand woman's grandmother's recipe with a little of my own refining...I particularly like marionberry scones with walnuts.
So... is there a place in?:
Van Nuys/ Studio City/ Burbank/ Glendale/ La Crescenta/ Pasadena
that makes scones fresh every morning, that are biscuit-y but not hockey puckish(I don't care if they are drop style or the cut-triangle style), that aren't hiding behind some wierd topping or "flavorings" [like cranberry/orange/almond raisin all in one scone]?
Sounds like Kings Road Cafe/City Roasters is the place for you. Their scones are exactly as you have described. Combine with THE best coffee in the either hemisphere and you should be in heaven (even after the schlepp): Corner of Kings Road and Beverly Blvd., one block east of Orlando, which is one light east of La Cienega (think Beverly Center).
Yes, of course, in Pasadena, go to Euro Pane, a tiny bakery/coffee house/sandwich shop on Colorado about a block east of Lake Avenue. Sumi Chang learned scone-making from the best in the business, Nancy Silverton. And of course, if you haven't had the Nancy Silverton original scones, go to Campanile on La Brea in LA in the morning. I've been gone from LA for a couple of years but as far as I know they are serving breakfast again, or if not, you can get them from her bakery.
I have not found good scones here in New Orleans where I now live, but I have a wonderful recipe that I developed when I baked pastries for Nicola in downtown LA. It is descended from a Nancy Silverton recipe that I swiped from a guy who had worked for her. My favorite version is apricot-ginger. The dough is rolled and cut and then frozen, and the scones are baked at a high temperature straight out of the freezer. This is great because you can keep some in the freezer and bake them when you want them -- and they're best when they're not more than a couple of hours old.
There is an excellent scone recipe in Rose Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible. It makes an extremely flaky scone by using a rolling and folding technique almost like making puff pastry or croissants.