Friday, November 19, 2004
carbo loading at la brea bakery
la brea bakery bread is available throughout the country, but there is only one actual la brea bakery (okay, okay, outside of the big eff-off industrial ones pumping out licensed product, and the one at disneyland). nancy silverton started this little bakery on la brea avenue when she, her husband mark peel, and wine buyer manfred krankl, opened their very lovely restaurant, campanile in a 1920s building once owned by charlie chaplin. at first it was just there to provide bread for the restaurant, but the popularity of their artisanal loaves exploded, and soon it was difficult to find anything available after noon in the tiny, narrow bakery. as the restaurant expanded its menu to include breakfast, so did the bakery to include pastries and cookies, then later café items like coffees and sandwiches, and gourmet food items.
nancy eventually sold the bakery name to a large corporation, which, if anything has improved the product somewhat as it is consistent in its quality throughout the country. i have to say, one of the major drawbacks of her breads for me in the beginning was the fact that the crusts were so hard that 'crusty' no longer covered it and moved into the 'bleeding gums' territory. sure a great sign of a well-crafted loaf, but hell on the periodontist bills.
the little bakery on la brea still bakes its own bread, and there is a wide variety of items still not available nationwide. i picked up a few of my favourites: a round loaf of dried cranberry and walnut bread, french loaf, an almond tart filled with chopped almonds and marzipan, brioche, an apricot jam thumbprint scone, and a lovely, savoury rosemary scone. i stopped by in the afternoon, so there weren't any cinnamon rolls that chika and i have had a running lament over, but i imagine i'll be back in time next time. sometime.
la brea bakery
624 s la brea ave
los angeles 90036