Thursday, February 23, 2017

One of NorCal's Best Bread Bakeries Popping Up This Weekend in LA.

Photo by Aubrie Pick.
Recently LA has upped its bread game. Purveyors like Lodge, Clark Street, Bread Lounge, Gjusta, Rose Cafe and Bub & Grandma's provide the sort of superior loaves previously unavailable in these parts. But, as a Bay Area Boy, I'll be frank: the bread here still pales in comparison to our Northern brethren.

Don't believe me? Think I'm a homer? Think I'm a crazy person who doesn't know anything about what makes bread good? Well, this weekend you'll get a chance to sample for yourself one of the Bay's newest and finest entries - right here in the Southland. Manresa Bread, the bakery offshoot of Los Gatos's THREE-Michelin-starred Manresa, will be popping up on Saturday in Santa Monica and on Sunday in Hollywood. You'll be able to pick amongst various MB baked foodwares Saturday at Ester's from 9am-1pm and Sunday 10am-3pm at Baroo.

For Saturday's pop-up at Ester's in Santa Monica, head Manresa baker and partner Avery Ruzicka will collaborate with Rustic Canyon's Jeremy Fox to offer MB favorites like levain, pumpernickel bread, kouign amann, chocolate croissants and prosciutto-kale-pesto croissants, as well as some of Chef Fox's Finocchiona sandwiches and banana-almond butter toast. Sunday at Baroo will include a similar Manresa selection along with numerous entrees via Akira Akuto and Nick Montogomery's NOTO, which may include a tuna melt with spicy relish and cheddar, egg salad toast with smoked trout roe and a breakfast lasagna with bechamel, Swiss chard and pancetta sauce.

If you miss out? Don't sweat it, bro! You can always have the bread shipped to your domicile nationwide.

Photo by Aubrie Pick.
Saturday, 2/25/17
Manresa Bread at Ester's.
1314 Seventh Street, Santa Monica.

Sunday, 2/26/17
Manresa Bread with NOTO at Baroo.
5706 Santa Monica Blvd, LA.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

FREE. New Jeni's In Venice Scooping Pro Bono Next Week. And Giving To Charity This Weekend.

Jeni's, the beloved Buckeye State ice creamery, quickly made a name for itself via their initial LA offering, a milky white Los Feliz location. Naturally, eastside presence established, they're flocking west. Last week they opened their second LA location via a floor-to-ceiling windowed, 1400 square foot, breezy Venice shop in the heart of the suddenly vibrant Rose Avenue. 

Serving favorites like Brambleberry Crisp, Salted Peanut Butter With Chocolate Flecks and (my personal fave - GET. THIS. SHIT.) Gooey Butter Cake, the new Venice Jeni's is open daily 11 am-11 pm. As a sweet bonus to celebrate the opening, next Thursday, February 9th, the shop's namesake, Jeni Britton Bauer, will be in house, scooping FREE from 7 pm until close. One free scoop in cup or cone, per person, and the first 50 people receive a swag bag. Take advantage.

Also, if you can't make it next week, I suggest you stop by either the Venice or Los Feliz location this Saturday, 2/4. In observance of a real holiday called International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, both will open early at 9 am; and until 12 pm, Jeni's will be donating ALL proceeds to local non-profits. So you're pretty much getting your ice cream (for breakfast) and eating it too.

Or go both days. Like I probably will. 

Photo via Caroline Juen.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

You Should Be Eating This Right Now: Dune's Falafel.

What: Organic Green Herb Falafel Sandwich.
Where: Dune (3143 Glendale Blvd, Atwater).

Why: The difference between a good falafel sandwich and bad is VAST. Maybe think "The Dark Knight" versus "Batman v Superman." Of course, like a good superhero movie, a specific falafel sandwich's transcendency involves much more than its namesake. There's the pita, the accruements, the sauce, et al. I've long spoke of Grand Central Market's Madcapra serving LA's finest (hence it being included on my Top 16 of '16) and it still very well might be. However, it better watch its back for Dune. Not just because the charmingly compact Atwater Village healthy Mediterranean post serves one heck of a falafel sandwich, but because they are opening a second location in MadCapra's 'hood of DTLA. Like Madcapra's sandwich, Dune goes very fresh and very organic, starting with the balls which burst with the sort of flavor you simply don't get at your county fair falafel stand. They bake their own flat bread, which tastes both healthy and indulgent, and top it with house hummus, pickles, marinated cabbage and onions and a tangy tahini. Lastly, the surprise guest behind door Number 3!, an added crunch comes via thin shoestring potatoes (I also added feta). It's worth the drive to Atwater. And soon the train to downtown.