Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Bakeries

Freshly made tortillas into the afternoon at Super A Foods bakeries

TORTILLAS (1 of 1)Eastsiders alert: Now that Tortilleria Santa Fe in Echo Park has closed, where to get fresh tortillas? The best place I’ve found is Super A Foods (one of a chain of some 13 locations) on York Boulevard in Highland Park (between 52nd and 53rd).The tortillería department makes tortillas fresh all day from about 8 in the morning until at least 1:30 p.m. Most days — and on the weekends until as late as 3 p.m. That means if you stop in for a stack of corn or flour tortillas, they’re freshly made, and probably still warm. 

Depending on the day’s demands, the resident baker will sometimes make flour tortillas flavored with spinach and or jalapeño which give them a beautiful green color. Occasionally, you’ll find ones made with chipotle, too. Plain or flavored, they’re perfect for quesadillas filled with cheese and greens, avocado and, of course, a roasted tomatillo salsa.

Super A, 5250 York Ave. (between 52nd and 53rd Avenues), Highland Park; (323) 551-6884; Open daily 7 a.m. To 11 p.m. Other locations with in-house bakeries include the stores in Temple City, Montebello, Los Angeles, Paramount, South Gate and Fillmore. 


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Photos: tortillas at Super A Foods. Credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times.

Easter (brioche) bunnies at Proof Bakery

Brioche bunny at ProofProof Bakery in Atwater Village is celebrating this Passover-Easter weekend with a menu of spring dishes and holiday baked goods. 

Owner Na Young Ma's farmers market quiches with crème fraiche custard are always a big draw. (The last piece usually goes to someone who likes to gloat while the rest of the line suffers quietly.) They include Swiss chard, Gruyere and leek, or, if you prefer, chard, Gruyere and bacon. 

But this weekend the show-stopper might be her brioche bunnies. And if those go fast, there are consolation sweets: coconut macaroons; flourless chocolate torte; and fresh fruit tart with berries and Diplomat cream.

For Passover, there's "Mazel-Toffee!" (crumbled matzo mixed with sliced almonds, butter and brown sugar topped with dark chocolate) and matzo bark (matzo sheets coated with dark chocolate, sprinkled with toasted pistachios and dried apricots). 

3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 664-8633, www.proofbakeryla.com.


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Photo: Proof Bakery

Last chance: 'Waylynn's Pantry' at Fonuts

CaramelsFonuts co-owner and pastry chef Waylynn Lucas has set up "Waylynn's Pantry" for the holidays at the West 3rd Street shop specializing in baked doughnuts.

Available at the shop are chocolate bourbon pecan pies, chocolate grab bags of marshmallow, pretzels, almonds and corn flakes in dark chocolate, and salted chocolate caramels. Get them while you can.

8104 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 592-3075, www.fonuts.com.


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Photo: Salty chocolate caramels at Fonuts. Credit: Fonuts.

Short Cake bakery opens Friday

GanacheThe much anticipated Short Cake bakery opens Friday in the Original Farmers Market on 3rd Street. This is the sweet partner to the Short Order diner located just a few stalls away.

Short Cake bakers Hourie Sahakian and Ramon Ramirez have crafted unique sweet and savory pastries that include croissants, scones, cookies, pies, quiches, cakes and more. The cakes and pies will be made in individual portions (as the name suggests), so there is no need for sharing. The bakery will also be serving savory offerings that are ideal for a quick lunch or dinner, such as quiche with bacon, leek and Comté cheese or bun bread pudding with spinach and mushrooms, and bacon and cheddar croissants.

For the grand opening weekend, the bakery will be giving samples of its signature baked goods,  such as chocolate cardamom cream cake, chiffon cake with orange curd and meringue, and apple cider spice cake and Nik Krankl's Single Origin Cold Brew coffee. In addition, Short Cake will be hosting a book signing with Nancy Silverton for her latest, "The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles' Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria," on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. 

6333 W. 3rd St., No. 316, Los Angeles, (323) 761-7976, www.shortcakela.com.


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Paris by sweets: Follow that app

PainUh oh. David Lebovitz has just come out with an iPhone app. Guess what it is: “Paris Pastry.”

Does anyone really need a guide to 300 pastry, chocolate, ice cream and candy shops in Paris?


Lebovitz is the former Chez Panisse pastry chef and author ("Ready for Dessert," "The Sweet Life in Paris" and "The Perfect Scoop") who lives in Paris, writes a popular blog subtitled "Living the Sweet Life in Paris," and in his spare time does “delicious research around Paris, scoping out the best bakeries, chocolate shops, and confectioners in the sweetest city in the world.” He’s also a contributor to the fab Paris website Paris by Mouth.

I know some people are going to grouse that the app costs more than 99 cents, as in $4.99, but I consider it a bargain to have the curated results of all that research on your iPhone as you walk around Paris. Don’t have an iPhone? "Paris Pastry" will be released as an ebook in December.

But an app is ever so much more handy. Search by district or by category (Hot Map
chocolate? Candy? Ice cream?) View a map and make strides for everything close by. Lebovitz also lists his top 25 pastry and chocolate addresses in Paris.

Each entry has address, phone, website, hours, closest Metro stop, and link to a map. Plus, you can work up an appetite viewing photos of each shop’s specialties, helpful when the display cases are jammed with dozens upon dozens of sweets and you don’t know where to start.

He’ll be updating the app as he finds new places he’d like to include. Plus, you can follow along on Facebook or Twitter for the latest news. 


Paris Pastry, available at the iTunes App Store, $4.99.


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Photos: Screen shots from Paris Pastry app by David Lebovitz

'13 Days of Halloween' at Village Bakery


"The 13 Days of Halloween" start on Wednesday at Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village. On each of the 13 days leading up to Halloween, the neighborhood bakery offers a different scary treat. By Halloween Day, all 13 will be available.

It's sort of like an Advent calendar for Halloween rendered in baked goods -- starting with witches' fingers shortbread (pictured above). Other treats include: monster eyeballs, ghost meringues, jack o' lantern pumpkin tarts, skeleton gingerbread men, chocolate mice, skull cookies, mummy rice krispy treats, mini pumpkin cakes, black cat cookies, bat brownies, serial killer cookies and skeleton cupcakes. Other Halloween treats, not part of the 13 Days of Halloween, also will be available. 

3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 662-8600, www.villagebakeryandcafe.com.


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Photo credit: Village Bakery

Caitlin Williams Freeman and SFMOMA's latest edible art offering

Zurier_Arabella-233x334Caitlin Williams Freeman is the in-house pastry chef at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's rooftop cafe. The former UC Santa Cruz photography student co-founded Miette. Then in 2001, in what she thought would be a temporary stint, she started making pastries for her husband James Freeman's Blue Bottle Coffee locations.

When his company landed a spot on SFMOMA's rooftop, Williams Freeman used the opportunity to channel her love for paintings and photography into her baking. Now the cookies and cakes available -- for visual and literal consumption -- at the coffee bar pay homage to artworks on view in the museum's galleries.

Constantly coming up with new ideas for art-inspired desserts, edible spinoffs have included a Katharina Fritsch ice cream sandwich, with poodle-shaped chocolate cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream; a fudgsicle-take on Ellsworth Kelly's Stele I (located in the sculpture garden); and a Thiebaud cake inspired by the museum's large collection of Bay Area artist Wayne Thiebaud's paintings.

The latest addition to the menu is a popsicle created in reference to Santa Monica-born artist John Zurier's painting "Arabella," included in the "The More Things Change" exhibition, on view until Nov. 6. The popsicle, made of fresh spearmint ice milk and strawberry, costs $5 and will be available up until the exhibition's closing day.


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Bouchon Bakery to open in Beverly Hills on Wednesday

Bouchon 600

Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery is set to open Wednesday in Beverly Hills under the auspices of pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel, an alumnus of Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, Calif., and Bouley Bakery in New York. 

Bouchon Bakery, on the ground floor of the same Canon Drive building that houses Bouchon Bistro, will offer traditional viennoiserie such as croissants (classic, chocolate and fruit-filled); sticky buns; muffins (banana nut or blueberry); tarts (chocolate ganache or lemon); cookies like the TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo); chocolate bouchons; macarons; freshly baked bread; and sandwiches, salads and packaged goods.

Interior designer Adam D. Tihany aided in transforming the bistro's grand entrance lobby into the small and quaint bakery storefront. The lobby's doors open up onto the garden plaza, where a Parisian-like outdoor cafe-style setting offers a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy with a cafe au lait, croissant and book in hand.

Shvartzapel apprenticed under Pierre Hermé veteran Damien Herrgott at Bouley Bakery and then worked for six months at the famed Paris patisserie. Find six classic macaron flavors including chocolate, vanilla, caramel, raspberry, passion fruit/white chocolate and pistachio inside the bakery's glass display casing. Also look for the kouign-amann, the super flaky-caramelized-buttery pastry that's a specialty of Brittany, France (it means "butter cake" in Breton). Shvartzapel describes it as the love child of an oreja (or palmier) and a croissant.

Bouchon Bakery, 235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9910, bouchonbakery.com.


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Hot French baguettes ... from a vending machine?

Baguette vending machine

Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger, writes:

The quintessential Paris experience is to enter a boulangerie, inhale the heavenly smell of fresh bread and buy a baguette for an impromptu picnic on the Seine.

Now imagine stuffing a euro into a vending machine that dispenses warm baguettes with all the cachet of an ATM machine. Talk about a buzz kill.

Read more about what French baker Jean-Louis Hecht calls the "bakery of tomorrow" by clicking here.


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Photo: A vending machine in Paris spits out hot baguettes 24/7. Credit: Michel Euler / Associated Press

Take a look at Fonuts, set to open next month


Get ready for fōnuts. Will the unfried doughnut take L.A. by storm? There will be cake fōnuts and raised (yeasted) fōnuts, in vegan and/or gluten-free incarnations. Four-star pastry chef Waylynn Lucas (Jose Andres' Bazaar, Patina) and her partner, voice actor Nancy Truman, will be selling fōnuts from their West 3rd Street location hopefully in the next few weeks. 

Lucas and Truman say they have scoured doughnut shops across Los Angeles, examined the fried rings, tweaked recipes in 5-gram increments and adjusted cooking times and temperatures to perfect their take on classic glazed, strawberry buttermilk, peanut-butter-and-jelly filled and more. There is a rosemary-olive-oil fōnut that might -- and I don't say this lightly -- blow you away. 

The cake doughnuts are vegan or both vegan and gluten-free, based on recipes concocted by Truman, who says she discovered she was wheat intolerant a couple of years ago but couldn't give up baked goods.

Lucas uses a combination of steaming and convection heat to create the raised fōnuts (which are not vegan) and brings to bear her pastry chef skills, resulting in a fluffy, light-textured baked doughnut that, with proofing time, takes two days to prepare. Flavors are winners, too: from the familiar -- cinnamon-sugar, peanut-butter-chocolate -- to the less so -- chorizo cheddar. Crack seed fans, look for a Hawaiian fōnut filled with coconut custard and sprinkled with li hing mui powder. 



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See more photos after the jump.

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.