Good bakeries for bread, Westside and LAX?
Where, if anywhere, can I stop in to pick up a really good, fresh baguette and maybe a brioche, on the coastal Westside and also down past LAX?
I'm looking for light, fresh, delicious French or Italian breads and rolls - the kind with a good crust if they're supposed to have one, but real yumminess inside.
I don't need any crumbly, dense, cheesy or eggy breads or traditional sandwich breads. I don't need any dark breads (unless you've got a Westside source for La Brea Bakery's darkest specialty pumpernickel, the kind made with beer that tastes like it has star anise in it, that doesn't usually go to stores).
Not so thrilled with breads as they've ended up at Gelson's, Ralph's, Bristol Farms or Whole Foods. I did find a surprisingly good little loaf of French bread at Pavilions in Marina del Rey. Nothing wrong with these stores, but I think the level of freshness I'm looking for is really calling out for 'actual bona fide bakery' at the point, aside from making it from scratch.
Le Pain Du Jour on Pico, just east of Lincoln in Santa Monica has nice French-style breads and some pastries as well. Baguettes are one of their specialties - your basic style as well as a "country" style. The latter is a mix of the basic dough with some sourdough as well. The result is a more hearty slightly crustier finish.
French Market Cafe on Abbot Kinney has nice baguettes but they usually run out by noon.
A half a block north on Abbot Kinney is Market Gourmet. They usually have baguettes as well as some other Euro-style breads. I think they still source them from La Mason Du Pain in the Fairfax area.
I've typically found farmers markets bake stands to be lacking in good baguettes, but the Sunday Mar Vista farmers market on Grand View has great baguettes and batards. The bakery stand is Les Delices, right next to the US Post Office. There are two bakery stands almost right next to each other, so if you're looking for this one, it's the stand with the tables formed into a "U" shape.
Le Pain Du Jour
828 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
1800 Abbot Kinney Blvd, A Venice, CA
French Market Cafe
2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd Ste 200, Venice, CA 90291
2 Places to try for you
Dolce Forno is the bakery for the Drago empire. it is in Culver City. Their hours are a little unfriendly since it is 9-5 m-f only but I've had good breads from them.
and for Baguettes, Epees and etc try Normandy Bakery east of Culver City off Jefferson. they have decent Pastries and make their own Pate.
3022 S Cochran Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Dolce Forno Bakery
3828 Willat Ave, Culver City, CA
re: Mattapoisett in LA
I forgot La Mason Du Pain in Mid-city/ PicFair Maybe A little Father than you might want to go but worth the effort.
Plus Sorrento's Market in Culver City has decent Italian Rolls for sale.
La Maison Du Pain
5373 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Sorrento Italian Market
5518 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
re: Mattapoisett in LA
We have had some really excellent breads from the il Fornaio Bakery ( http://www.ilfornaio.com/page17.htm ). Right now the closest one on the westside is at their Beverly Hills store (the Santa Monica one is closed for an unknown amount of time). They open at 7 AM. I wonder if the Manhattan Beach location has the bakery option? I don't know for sure but you could check with them if you're interested.
Thank you. I stopped at the Manhattan Beach one late afternoon today - it wasn't really still all that fresh (given the hour) but it was clearly high-quality bread - I picked up some smaller rolls/loaves. I'll try there again early in the day sometime.
Oh, and the biscotti was really good.
(Thanks everybody who replied, by the way, I'll also try some of these other spots.)