I had the morning off today, so after dropping off my little one at school, I drove up La Cienega to discover another new place (for me) in the restaurant dense part of West Hollywood. I drove up to Joan's, which has gotten compliments on this board and which has a very nice website, but alas, they were closed until 10. I was bummed, but decided to drive on to Doughboys which I had tried the preceding week for breakfast. Joan's had a second shop next door that I believe was catering and take out. For those in the know, is this like Clementine's cold prepped food stuff that you can take and warm at home?
On to Doughboys. The first time I went I had the granola with milk. I wanted to like it but it was just ok. Good assortment of oats, fruits, nuts, seeds, but it was a little overbaked. Some of the chunks were very large and since they were well done, I had to be careful not to crack a molar. However, it did come with a generous portion of sliced strawberries and bananas and a tall glass of ice milk, so that was nice.
I got an olive loaf to go. It looked beautifully speckled with black so I had high expectations, but unfortunately they bagged it in plastic. That is no way to treat a $6 bread! When I brought it home and over the next few days as we ate it, I was disappointed to find that it had the most subtle of olive flavors, and the texture of the crust in particular was neither crunchy nor chewy but like wet leather - the closest thing I can think of is the top of a baked Duncan Hines cake - it's just kind of taught and shiny and moist. Ok for cake, not so good for Olive Bread.
However, I really wanted to like the place so I went back today (really because Joan's was closed), and got a rasperry scone, a corn scone, and a plain brownie. To be fair, the scones aren't. If it looks like a muffin and the texture is that of a muffin, then it's a muffin. I've never seen a scone elsewhere that was baked in a paper cupcake wrapper. As muffins, they were pretty good, moist, large, good crunch on top, and flavorful. The corn was really corny. The brownie was incredibly rich, maybe too much so. I had about 3 bites and was overloaded with butter and sugar. But I can only complain about too much butter and sugar tongue in cheek, right. I'll still go back for their breakfasts, which look amazing, but I think the baked goods are much better at Boule and Clementine.
Driving west on 3rd, I came across Breadbar, which was the clear winner today. I got their plain baguette and an olive loaf. I haven't tried the olive yet, but the baguette is magnificent. A little shorter than many others (18 inches?), tapered at the ends, incredibly crusty and crunchy outside with a smoky aftertaste redolent of baking at high temparatures, and a lovely airy interior. This would be phenomenal with butter, cheese, pate, jam. I can already tell that it will be a weapon I could club someone with tomorrow, but I doubt it will last that long!!! These are better even than the La Brea baguettes were several years ago until they started selling them parbaked to Costco and TJs. Breadbar is opening another location in the CC mall, supposedly by April. You should go!
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