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Jan 2, 2011 05:40 PM

Black Cat Bakery: First Impressions

Stopped in for breakfast at Black Cat Bakery (Formerly Mani's) on Fairfax earlier today. I like what they did with the space, a vintage modern sort of hybrid.

I ordered an Italian omelette with fruit on the side. Prices seem reasonable. Omelette was good, I guess i was hoping for a "Square One Dining" kind of experience where my mind was blown, but it wasn't at that level. Fruit was ripe and tasty, but nothing special, just pineapple and honeydew melon. Wish they included some berries or bananas.

One gripe was no bread was included with the meal. Not sure if that was extra or if I had to ask but next time I'll add that in. I guess since they have Homeboy Bakery bread, maybe they don't want to include it with a meal for free? It's a bit stingy of them I think, but not a deal breaker for me.

Espresso was great! Didn't watch them make it so I'm not sure if the espresso machine is auto or manual, I'm guessing manual by the taste...didn't see what beans they were using either but very rich, smooth flavor. Quite good by LA standards.

Definitely will be back to try more breakfast and lunch options. I like that Chef Nick Coe has specials, not sure if they're weekly or daily but I'm excited to try other items there.

Black Cat Bakery
519 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. Had late breakfast on Sunday with GF and I really like what they did withe the space. I had Blueberry pancake with pork sausage on the side. This is by far the best pancake I have ever had. It was moist and flavorful with real blueberries and warm real maple syrup. Pork sausage was also really good with slight hint of spice and just right amount of fat. GF had Kut'ya which is I guess some type of Russian cereal with home made almond milk. She really like it since it was vegan and she said it was very tasty. I truly loved their drip coffee and their smoked salt chocolate chip cookie was awesome. I'll be back to try their lunch next time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bobthechow

      Their gluten free Mexican brownie was great and I also liked their vegan soup which I think was corn & asparagus chowder. Their breakfast menu is very interesting and would like to try their Bibimbop farro on my next visit. It's also good to see some familiar faces from ex Manis employees now working there. I also really the way they cleaned up and gave more stylish decor.

      1. re: Bobthechow

        I checked it out yesterday and agree that the blueberry pancakes are fantastic. I also really enjoyed the spanish-style tortilla and their take on bibimbap, made with farro instead of rice, although they need to start stocking some sriracha in back to doctor up the heat level. Great addition to the neighborhood with really friendly folks and reasonable prices.

      2. I've been a couple of times for lunch or a quick snack, and I'm inclinded to go back. The prices are certainly reasonable for the neighborhood, and I loved my egg salad sandwich. I agree about great coffee.

        1. I am eating my Farro bibimbap now. I got takeout today as none of the food trucks today looked appealing on wilshire. i was impressed with the friendliness of everyone in the place as soon as i walked in which continued until i was handed my food. i'll be back! ps. i had to look up farro - i'd never heard of it. glad to read it's low in gluten- hopefully that info is correct.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Clyde

            Clyde, according to Wikipedia, farro is a wheat species. It probably does contain gluten.

            1. re: Dogbite Williams

              actually, you're both somewhat correct. farro *is* an ancient species of wheat...but the farro genome lacks the series of peptides that causes gluten reactions in Celiac and gluten-sensitive people. however, the reality is that the crops are likely all contaminated by gluten from other wheat species such as durum that are grown nearby.

          2. Did Mani close and is this a totally new operation, or is it Mani 2.0? It sounds like they are also serving a health-food style selection, with vegan and gluten-free options?

            2 Replies
            1. re: coffeebrownies

              Mani's relocated to Maple Drive in BH back in October, but eaterla is now reporting that they've decided to close on weekends and just stay open M-F. Black Cat isn't related to Mani's, it's just in the former space.

              1. Wonderful banana muffin!