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Most Interesting Bakeries in LA?

I've got an aspiring pastry chef coming to town and I'd like to take her to some local patisseries that might prove inspirational. Proof and Huckleberry are (I think?) good starts. What else have we got?

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  1. Maybe Susina and Sycamore Kitchen?

    1 Reply
    1. re: katydid13

      Exactly what I was thinking. Especially Sycamore Kitchen.

    2. If your friend isn't wedded to the more traditional type of bakery/pastries this might be of interest? www.bhankanomthai.com

        1. re: bulavinaka

          Really the best cream puffs in LA. Try the sesame.

          1. +1 on Sycamore.

            Etxea Bread Co.

            3 Replies
              1. I'm a huge fan of Oh My Pan in San Gabriel

                1 Reply
                1. re: ClarissaW

                  We really like Oh My Pan too. I think their drinks are very good too. Clover Leaf in Temple City also does nice bakes goods. Flour and Tea in Pasadena has probably been my favorite of the bunch for baked goods alone.

                2. The rebirth of the Helms Bakery, under the partnership of Sherry Yard and Sang Yoon, is certain to be interesting but the opening won't take place until sometime this fall.

                  1. Jin Patisserie in Culver City

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: J.L.

                      idn't Jin close?

                      What kind of pastries is your friend interested in? Asian? Rustic? French style? A wide variety?

                      I happen to love Little Flower Candy Company in Pasadena (honey lavender and pineapple curry scones are highlights for me, as are the pretzel rolls), and can recommend some of the others that have been mentioned: La Monarca (the guava cheese tacos are my favorites),Flour + Tea, Huckleberry (and Milo + Olive), Proof

                      1. re: Savour

                        Jin moved their operation to Buckingham Pkwy (off Slauson by Ladera Heights) in SE Culver City. They do everything they did before less their front end ops. They're looking to reopen tea service when they find the right space.

                    2. Crumb Fairy Bakery in Van Nuys. Open T-F. Young lady who interned all over and now has her own bakery. Excellent lemon poppyseed cake with lemon filling and fresh blueberries. Large array of cakes cookies scones. Etc. might be inspiring for someone just getting started.

                        1. where is your friend coming from?

                          3 Replies
                            1. re: Papuli

                              I was just at LaMonarca which may be interesting. Not sure if there's a lot of Panaderias in Seattle. I ask location only bc if they're coming from Asia I wouldn't really bring them to an Asian Bakery etc.

                              1. re: trolley

                                I think what really shines at La Monarca is the quality of their ingredients that goes into the goods. For me, it's not hard to find a panaderia where it's obvious that the baker(s) is very skilled. The achilles heel in most tends to be the quality level of ingredients which obviously is reflected in the crazy low prices.

                          1. Porto's Bakery in Burbank and not Glendale. Check out the sandwiches as well. DO NOT use their website which I won't post here. There seems to be some security risk on it right now.

                            3614 W Magnolia Blvd
                            (818) 846-9100

                            Mon-Sat 6:30 am - 7:30 pm
                            Sun 7 am - 4:30 pm

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: SIMIHOUND

                              Simihound, what's wrong with the Glendale location of Portos Bakery?

                              Portos Bakery is my favorite bakery and I usually go to the Glendale location. Should i switch to the Burbank location?

                              1. re: Norm Man

                                Glendale has limited parking and doesnt have a lot of the same offerings as Burbank. I went in looking for something, (I forgot what) that is always at Burbank and Glendale didn't even know about it.

                                1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                  the teeny parking lot at the burbank porto's is a nightmare.

                                  1. re: linus

                                    I always park on the street there, because of that!

                                    1. re: happybaker

                                      i hear you, but street parking is tough. porto's has made a busy corner even busier.

                                      i guess i just don't get porto's and maybe never will. there are some really tasty things on the menu (potato balls for example) but none so great it makes me long to bear the hassle of the place.

                                      that said, if you order way in advance and can find a parking spot, the advance order register tucked into the corner there is pretty manageable.

                                      1. re: linus

                                        For me, it's not such a hassle as they are right by where I get my hair cut - and a best friends house. So I can always combine a stop with something : )

                                        Burbank almost always has the ciabatta rolls - and they are awesome. And cheap! Plus, their cookies are well priced and taste REAL. I used to bring home the oatmeal raisin cookies just for me and then sadly (or happily, depending on your perspective) my husband tried them. I now have to share.

                                        Linus, give them a try again. Park on a side street, bring a book while you wait in line - and then get the ciabatta rolls. The egg bread. The masareal (one of the best "pop tarts" you'll ever have) http://www.portosbakery.com/content/m...

                                        Throw in the oatmeal cookies, the tomato, basil and feta sandwich and an iced tea and I think you'll have a good time.

                                        1. re: happybaker

                                          oh, i go every now and again. im not much for baked stuff but i get the occasional sandwich and am mystified on why i just didnt get a potato ball, croqueta or empanada.

                                  2. re: SIMIHOUND

                                    For Portos Glendale, the easiest thing is to just park in the Glendale parking structure south of Wilson, behind Brand. Free 90 minutes and a short walk.

                                    But yes, I adore the ciabatta rolls of Burbank and they are harder to get at Glendale.

                                  3. re: Norm Man

                                    Portos in Downey is a bit of a drive from people in the Glendale/Burbank area, but it's just as solid for anyone who'd rather head that way.

                                2. Clementine
                                  Sycamore Kitchen
                                  Short Cake
                                  Ice Cream - Carmela and Sweet Rose Creamery
                                  Little Flower
                                  Euro Pane
                                  Maccalls Meat and Fish

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                    if you're adding ice cream then i'd like to add Mother Moo's in Sierra Madre. she uses locally sourced ingredients and strauss milk in her ice cream. she's also baking up a storm on the fly. one day it's a plum galette using fruit from a local tree or next day it's dal. it's not quite a bakery but she's doing very interesting things all the time.

                                  2. Does Maison Giraud in the Palisades warrant inclusion, at least for the croissants which, according to what I've read here, are worth the trip? I just moved to the Palisades this week and have yet to try it myself.

                                    1. Wow, thank you all so much! What an amazing list! About to get cracking on it ... I will report back!

                                      1. Sweets for the Soul in Atwater. Unique, decadent brownies and other bakery, Ice cream and sweets. The Valrhona chocolate covered banana with nuts is crazee good!

                                        1. The Bread Lounge in Downtown LA, is the closest to my European sweet tooth. Their grilled cheese is the best I've ever had. (But not known for pastry, more baked goods)
                                          Europane, Portos, Cafe Dulce) are excellent. and don't forget about the numerous Korean bakeries like Paris Baguette. Also, try the Korean bakery opposite the Zion market on 6th street. We like the Paris Baguette in Glendale.

                                          1. Euro Pane in Pasadena has the best scones in LA.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Tom45Tom

                                              Could say the same for Gjelina Take Away in Venice.

                                              1. re: Tom45Tom

                                                & the best macarons too! Love the Sea Salt Caramel!!!

                                                1. re: SweetObsession

                                                  That is my favorite of their macarons, too. Their croissants are also very good. Hell, everything I have had there is good.

                                                1. My family are dessert fanatics and we try to test a different bakery every week. I have tried almost all listed. The stand out general bakeries (versus ONLY cupcakeries) are Valerie's Confections in Silverlake (the petit fours are outstanding), Bodega Louie in DTLA (the chocolate formage small cake with hazelnuts is one of my favorite chocolate treats), Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City (one of our favorites for scandinavian bakeries...hands down, you got to take them), Huckleberry in Santa Monica.... of course, Fonuts by the Grove are amazing healthier donuts, Sweets for the soul for brownies (though the farm of Beverly Hills are my favorite), Joan's on Third (also by Grove have a great assortment), Essential Chocolates in Culver City, Semi Sweet Bakery in DTLA, Big Man Cupcakes in DTLA, Nikel Diner in DTLA also has an amazing assortment of desserts, Lark Bakery in Silverlake/Echo Park area, The Pie Hole in Little Tokyo Arts Distict (savory and sweet pies), The Curious Baker in Santa Monica Place (market place on 3rd floor), Vosges Chocolat, K Chocolatier, Bouchon, Sprinkles... all in Beverly Hills... that is probably enough for the first trip (but plenty more to try that are good).

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: tkkordic

                                                    Essential Chocolates in Culver City has yet to impress me. What do you rec? Thanks...

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                      Square Ding Dongs, cake balls, cupcakes (when fresh), red velvet ice cream, and they usually have a special cake or pie available. It would not be the first bakery I run to, but they have some good stuff.

                                                    2. re: tkkordic

                                                      "Bottega" Louie—and I second that!

                                                    3. Is the LA branch of the B1 Bakery still open? Their croissants are quite good.

                                                      1. Not a bakery per se, but SweetSalt in Toluca Lake has amazing baked goods (made in house)

                                                        1. Buttercelli Bakery in Sherman Oaks. http://buttercellibakeshop.com/ and of course Portos Burbank.

                                                          1. Sweet Lady Jane. By far the best brownies in the city - or anywhere. Their pastries are magnificent. Once had their Egg Nog Cake at XMAS and it was to die for!

                                                            1. For perfect croissants: Luca's in Toluca Lake (formerly Chez Nous, the new owners kept the pastry chef!)

                                                              1. The best bakery that has been around for at least 5 decades is Benes. You now can get Benes baked goods at most Gelson's and if you really like good European stuff try to order a Rumpelmeyer Cake. You are guaranteed to freak!
                                                                I am not sure if they still do, but they had two stores on 3rd street in back of Cedars Sinai in West Hollywood.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: jojomejojo

                                                                  are you talking about B & L? They are closed and a new bakery is there now..

                                                                2. A second on Sweet Lady Jane for a stunning array of cakes and sweets, and La Brea Bakery, although it focuses on artisinal (and amazing) breads, also offers a nice range of perfect pastries daily.

                                                                  1. Recommend Natas in Sherman Oaks for delicious Portuguese treats.

                                                                    1. Porto's, Joan's on Third, Susina's, Huckleberry, Milo + Olive, Sycamore Kitchen, 85 degrees, Paris Baguette

                                                                      1. You need to bring your guest to Bea's Bakery at 18450 Clark St, Tarzana CA 91356. Bea's has been around for over 40 years making delicious breads, rolls, cakes and pastries. Try the Rye bread, Pumpernickel. Their Raisin Challah is to die for. Their Strawberry Shortcake is SCRUMPTIOUS. Be sure and try a piece of their Russian Chocolate Coffee Cake....DEELISH!!They make great Rugelach cookies and Hamentashen too. Look at their website www.beasbakery.com ,

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hms1952

                                                                          +1 for Bea's. In my experience, best rugelach & challah in town!

                                                                          1. re: archer

                                                                            +1 for Bea's.

                                                                            Try their coconut bars and russian tea biscuits. Their babka is good and hmm... haven't tried their Russian Chocolate coffee cake. I guess that's next!

                                                                          2. re: hms1952

                                                                            Try their black and whites, as well. It's a keeper.

                                                                          3. I think if we are going to discuss bakeries then we should not put in places that only make donuts or croisants. A real bakery that makes everything from breads to cakes should be it.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: jojomejojo

                                                                              You are always welcome to restrict your own recommendations in anyway you want. However I do note that, since this is your first post to the entire CH site, it might be beneficial to make "some sort" of recommendation of a place that is actually in business prior to suggesting that the rest of us limit our posts? Just a thought.

                                                                            2. Red Bread Bakery, Kitchen and Market in Culver City/Marina del Rey. Just started a new post on them... Great place to take any aspiring chef - pastry or otherwise - for a first hand look at a relatively innovative working model in-progress.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. It hasn't opened yet but when it does, the revived Helms Bakery has promise to become a very interesting bakery. It's a joint project of Sherry Yard, former executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Restaurants, and Sang Yoon, owner of Father's Office and Lukshon.