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morning coffee and pastries or quick breads: downtown to west hollywood

d
david kaplan Aug 20, 2009 07:22 AM

Where do you go for excellent morning pastries? Croissants, savory quick breads (e.g. cheese scones), breakfast sandwiches -- all good. I'm visiting, staying downtown but driving toward the west side most mornings.

My stand-bys are Susina, La Brea, and Clementine (though Clementine is a little far from my hotel this time around). Current opinions on these places for breakfast fare? And, anyplace new or different in this category to recommend?

Thanks very much.

  1. d
    david kaplan Aug 24, 2009 08:15 PM

    Thank you for the responses.

    One morning we went to Hygge -- coffee was unexceptional but I loved the pastries. Kringle was very sweet yet still a good balance of eggy custard, marzipan, and delicate pastry dough. Almond tart had a thick, substantial crust, the same sweet marzipan, and a bit of chocolate. Both were really good.

    Two other mornings were LA Mill. I thought the cafe creme brulee was clever and delicious: it's a cappuccino with heavy foam, topped with torched large-crystal sugar. The sugar crust stayed intact atop the foam, so it retained texture throughout the entire duration of my sipping. The caramel corn did balance the peanut, popcorn, and caramel nicely, but I would have liked those elements as a dessert on their own without the espresso, which was overwhelmed by the strong, sweet caramel corn flavors and only added bitterness. To get some coffee taste, and to chase away the overwhelming sweetness of the caramel corn drink, I ordered a con panna immediately afterward.

    I would have the creme brulee and con panna drinks again, no question. As for the caramel corn, once was enough, but I'm glad to have tried it.

    Didn't get to Urth Caffe downtown this time, but I'm glad to know it's there. Walked into Bottega Louie briefly, and despite the positive mentions I was put off -- perhaps unfairly -- by the mass-produced look of the food displays.

    1. j
      jaykayen Aug 21, 2009 09:06 PM

      Comme Ca

      1. a
        aventinus Aug 20, 2009 09:21 PM

        Intelligentsia and La Mill have the best coffee but the pastries are suspect. (I know Intelligentsia's come from Breadbar and La Mill's come from the pastry chef at Providence, but they still aren't very good.) The best overall choice in my mind is Bottega Louie.

        2 Replies
        1. re: aventinus
          c
          cls Aug 21, 2009 09:03 PM

          La Mill's house made pastries are really good if you get there early. I tried the scones twice at 6:30 and they were terrific both times. BTW, they're busy cooking them in the back, they're not coming from Providence.
          intelligentsia pastries I thought were excellent, I am not sure why the negativity. There is a chocolate / orange muffin that's a standout. The pastry maker changes ingredients seasonally I am told, and they told me the maker, it's not Breadbar.
          Of the two, I think Intelligentsia has better coffee, but the Black Onyx at LA Mill offers a great non jittery caffeine high.

          1. re: cls
            budsoftaste Aug 22, 2009 12:02 AM

            Yeah, I didn't think their stuff came from Breadbar. I go to both frequently and didn't see any simialrity in their baked goods.

        2. c
          carter Aug 20, 2009 08:06 PM

          If Silver Lake's junction area, meaning around sunset and Santa Monica Blvd. is convenient enough, then the Intelligentsia Coffee would be the suggestion.
          By staying downtown LA, sort of, then the Urth Caffe in the Arts District/Biscuit Lofts area, would be the suggestion, or maybe Groundwork at either Sunset & Cahuenga, or the one downtown on 2nd St., maybe at Main.
          Peet's Coffee on Larchmont around 1st Street at the south end of the retail area would also work.
          All suggestions are subject to when you want to stop, beginning of the trip, middle or just before you arrive.
          Hugo's in Weho or Peet's on Sunset or the one in BH on south Beverly Drive also could work.
          The good news - you have many options.

          1. m
            mrhooks Aug 20, 2009 11:05 AM

            Hygge Bakery, 11th and Hope, Downtown. Really good Danish breads and pastries. I've been there 5 times, and everything I've had has been good to excellent. I really like their kamme and water kringle.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrhooks
              a
              aventinus Aug 20, 2009 09:22 PM

              I've been meaning to try this. Thanks for the reminder.

            2. wutzizname Aug 20, 2009 08:34 AM

              You might also try:

              Breadbar
              La Maison Du Pain
              Urth Cafe

              -----
              Urth Caffe
              8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

              BreadBar
              8718 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              La Maison Du Pain
              5373 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

              1 Reply
              1. re: wutzizname
                JAB Aug 21, 2009 01:07 PM

                There's an Urth downtown as well.

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