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Looking for really great French bread on the Westside or even on the West end of the Valley.

Help me find a decent loaf of French bread on the Westside near Santa Monica, Palisades, Culver City and Malibu,
or even in Woodland Hills or Canoga Park (I'm in Topanga Canyon). This is a very difficult task.
It would be nice if you could just walk in and they would always have it. And fresh!
Venus Cafe

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  1. I love the bread at Bay Cities Italian Deli Santa Monica. Italian Bread & Rolls Baked every 20 minutes all day long.

    8 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Good to know, but Italian bread isn't French bread.

      1. re: J.L.

        But It's pretty darn close...just one country over.

          1. re: J.L.

            To be fair, we don't know what the bread will be used for, so really darn good Italian bread from Bay Cities may be able to stand in.

            But, there is a French bakery that sells good French bread in Santa Monica, Pain du Jour. Supposedly quality has slipped (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/681197). However, everything I've had there recently have been good, but I'm not a French pastry expert.

            1. re: PeterCC

              Hi, Peter, my need is for really high end sandwiches mostly.
              Also sometimes to accompany dinner. Pain du Jour sounds good. I've been avoiding SM and all their meters, speed bumps and traffic. I only make special trips for fish, salad dressing and now will add the bread for a try. Thanks

          2. re: J.L.

            I'm definitely open to good bread from either (neighboring) country!

          3. re: wienermobile

            Thanks for responding! I ate my share of Godmothers about 30 years ago(!)when living in SM. Liked the sandwich filling well enough, but found the bread not to my liking; however there were not a LOT of places for lunch back then!
            I have no problem with other Italian bread, but theirs was too dry and too something else.

            1. re: Servorg

              +1 la maison du pain

              now it depends on what you call "French bread" is, as loaves of something named like that here don't really exist in my home country. Now if you're looking for good baguettes, Surfas has quite a good one in fact (not today, they were out), and of course there's Breadbar in Century City. In a pinch, Il Fornaio's baguette can do. I don't know if Maison Giraud sells baguettes but if they do it's likely very good.

              1. re: bad nono

                I will definitely try Surfas. Century City is rarely in my loop. Maison Giraud is nearby and I
                heard outstanding things about their croissants, which sounded too small and too buttery for my use. Thanks. Iknow Im fussy, but why is it so hard to get good bread?

              2. re: Servorg

                Nice site! Do you know where Wellington Sq. and it's Farmers Mkt is located?
                I'll google...

              3. If you can get over to Century City.... BREADBAR has pretty amazing French Artisanal Bread!


                1 Reply
                1. re: Hammer19

                  Its hard to get over there, but do occasionally and will give it a try. Thanks

                2. For Pacific Palisades, try Maison Giraud on Swarthmore. His croissants have been rightfully praised at the sake of not mentioning anything else there. His baguettes are for real - so real that I've seen him taking one home with him at the end of his day there.

                  +1 on PeterCC's rec on Le Pain Du Jour on Pico. The drawback to this place is they close early and the baguettes and croissants tend to run out even earlier. Go before 1PM and you should be good.

                  Huckleberry on Wilshire has excellent bread - imho, some of the best I've tried in LA. I haven't tried the baguette - usually go for the ciabatta or boule - but feel comfortable extending my rec to it.

                  I would occasionally get baguettes at French Market Cafe on Abbot Kinney in Venice - it's been a while. I wouldn't be surprised if their baguettes are from Le Pain Du Jour - they seem to be the same. I would call though - I don't know if they still sell them or not.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    I will try the baguettes at Maison Giraud for sure. Also Huckleberry on Wilshire. thanks.
                    Good ciabatta is easier to find, but even the good ciabatta is way too floury for me.

                    1. re: VenusCafe

                      I've been buying the LA brea bakery half-baked bread and finishing it at home

                      1. re: VenusCafe

                        Baguettes at Maison Giraud are what you want - nice and crunchy. Like what you find in France. The real deal.

                        1. re: VenusCafe

                          also, Milo & Olive on Wilshire & 27th. BTW, Topanga Gourmet in Pine Tree Circle, has fresh bread on certain days, you could call them if interested. I love Maison Giraud too. Their cookies are the best!

                          1. re: budlit

                            At one time I always got my bread at Pine Tree, but after they stopped reserving it,
                            my timing never worked.

                      2. I like the "French" bread at Sorrento's Market in Culver City. Well, they even say it's a baguette, not an Italian loaf. Delivered every day and on weekends, they have the olive loaf version, too. For me, it's better than most of the "French" bakeries I have tried in L.A.

                        1. Check out Pioneer Boulangerie at Montana and Lincoln.

                          Do not be distracted by the scent of of Orange Chicken, they share a space with a Panda Express (for me, actually a positive). Don't be put off by reviews of the "Cafe." You don't need to eat there. However, go early, they run out of things (something I love in a bakery).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ellaystingray

                            Previously got a lot of bread from the Boulangerie when they were in the huge place on Main, but
                            did not know of them on Montana which is in my 'loop' Thanks!

                          2. Amandine, Wilshire and Amherst.

                            They have nice baguettes and baguette Levain (natural sourdough)

                            1 Reply
                            1. I understand that you're looking for something on the west side or west valley. And Bay Cities, while good, is ridiculously over-praised and not relevant to French bread.

                              The sad thing is that for what you're looking for, only the Vietnamese are doing it right. And for this, you have to head way down to Westminster. Boulangerie Pierre makes fantastic French bread and pate to go with it. Their Pate Chaud is out of this world and a must-try destination for any LA foodie. And then, if you head to Top Baguette, you'll find perhaps the finest banh mi in all of LA, the #2 with beef and lemongrass. Dear lord is it perfect.

                              Anyway, sorry to be the guy who isn't answering specific to what you're looking for... but not only do I think it's not here in West LA, but if it is... you're probably going to pay an arm and a leg for it... which is ridiculous for such a staple item.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mikeinla10

                                Oh damn! Your post echoes my exact experience, right down to the overpraise for Bay Cities!
                                I heard that the Persians were doing great bread also. Was given a loaf of bread from the Sunday
                                Farmers Mkt in SM. It was great, but they have no retail. Thanks