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Oct 28, 2008 05:57 PM

REVIEW: Mani's Bakery and Cafe w/ pics!

I had the opportunity to lunch at Mani's Bakery and Cafe on Fairfax a couple weeks ago with some friends. Our first impression of the place was that it was small and crowded, but we got a table no problem. The interior was painted funky, fun colors and we were pleased with the wide variety of the menu. However, as we were being seated I slipped on a wet spot on the floor right in front of two employees and nobody cleaned it up the whole time we were there.

I ordered a vegan breakfast burrito, one friend ordered the pesto turkey sandwich, and the other friend ordered the BBQ Ranch wrap with turkey and cheddar. The food took a while to come out and we started to wonder if it ever would. Our waters were never refilled. However, the food was wonderful! Everything was cooked and sauced perfectly and in very generous portions. We eyed what other patrons were eating and agreed that absolutely everything looked good. The accomodating attitude towards allergies/dietary choices was a huge plus!

After the meal we agreed that it was a bit overpriced for the "trandy factor" but overall a good place to have lunch. We indulged in some baked goods also: between the three of us we immediately fell for the chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookies and the chocolate dipped peanut butter bites. The chocolate truffle cupcake was incredibly rich and not too sweet, which was just how we like it. The cake part fell apart pretty easily but was still delicious. One friend tried a fruit turnover and remarked that it could use more filling and less dough. The guy helping us at the bakery counter was very patient, helpful, and good-natured as we exclaimed over what to try.

Overall Mani's impressed us and we walked out very satisfied and would definitely go again if we were in the area.

Mani's Bakery & Cafe
519 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. Mani's has been around for a long time now. Their bakery goods and food are really good. The atmosphere can be a little reckless for such a tiny spot.

    1. I'm perplexed by these descriptions of trendy (or trandy!) and "reckless." I had lunch there yesterday and found it half-empty, boring and bland, and certainly not trendy. The description of "cooked and sauced perfectly" is also bizarre. Maybe if you have some specific dietary consideration it's edible but I thought it was quite expensive for bland corn chowder, mushy tuna sandwich and utterly flavorless greens on the side.
      Although a few of their baked goods are ok (others are brick-like), the no-sugar thing seems awfully misleading. How is it healthier if it's still packed with honey or fruit juice concentrate or whatever?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chowpatty

        "The description of "cooked and sauced perfectly" is also bizarre."

        It makes sense if you're writing about a gourmet restaurant.

      2. I work nearby, and have been disappointed by their baked goods. Blueberry crumbles, muffins, etc aren't very good, and quite pricey. In the last year, I've gotten a couple of coupons, for a free coffee, with purchase of a breakfast item. After striking out on two different choices, I now just pass the coupons on to someone else.

        1. I walk by Mani's all the time but never bother to eat there anymore because the few times that i have, my food was bland and i felt that i spent way too much money for mediocrity. I do like that they have italian sodas! i haven't been there in ages, so hopefully that's still around. The baked goods were only so-so.