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Visit to La Brea Bakery

Tessa | Jun 29, 200309:38 AM

Yesterday I drove up from Orange Co. to make a long-awaited visit to LBB and found it mostly disappointing. Not everything I wanted was available, which was perfectly fine, and here is a list of what I sampled: almond croissant, canneles, almost-oreos, twice-baked brioche, apple galette, artichoke-topped bread (sorry, don't know the names for a lot of these items and don't feel like looking them up in the cookbook), farmhouse torte, coconut macaroon and a piece of Crottin, wedge of St. Nectaire and a small slab of Hudson Valley Camembert. I was much more impressed with the cheese selection than the pastries: the croissant was dry, the galette was also dry and greasy, the artichoke bread was dry and tough (although the artichoke topping was tasty). I think the biggest disappointment was the cannele, though. I've made these at home using the LA Times recipe and found LBB's version almost inedible in comparison. Lastly, I was a little annoyed that my baguette and chocolate cherry bread didn't make it into the bag (although I suppose I should have checked before I got home).

Overall, I find the bakeries in SF to be much, much higher quality, particularly Boulange de Polk, which has amazing tarte tatin and canneles. I even think that the croissant and chocolate sandwich cookies from Village Bakery in Costa Mesa are far superior to their sister versions at LBB. Still a fun trip (since I've been wanting to visit LBB for a while), especially since we had lunch at Nyala and stopped by Surfas (some things weren't quite the discount I was expecting, but the food area was amazing!).

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