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Local Find: Baked on Oceanview

28 Oct

While Los Angeles is full of excellent bakeries, hole-in-the-wall ethnic finds, and fine-dining restaurants, its traffic is a headache. Driving into the city from my quiet suburban community can be a treacherous feat, leaving me exhausted and wishing to never sit in a car again. When I heard about a newly-opened local bakery serving homemade breads, seasonal pastries, and light lunch items, I could not wait to visit. 

Baked on Oceanview offers a wide selection of breads made from all-natural ingredients, baked fresh every morning. The Whole Wheat roll is soft and airy on the inside, with a subtly crunchy crust- a refreshing change from the stale slices I store in my freezer. A cross between rye and wheat, sweetened with molasses, and sprinkled with oats, the Squaw loaf is another favorite. 

Customers can create their own sandwich using any of the bakery’s signature breads, meats, cheeses, toppings, and spreads- all of which are fresh and made-to-order. The salads are simple and dressed with a grainy mustard vinaigrette, perfect for a healthy lunch. The comfortable, light-filled setting and easy parking add to Baked on Oceanview’s appeal. I recommend Baked as an accessible, local bakery with wholesome, tasty breads crafted from quality ingredients. 

Baked on Oceanview 
3600 Oceanview Blvd. No. 7
Montrose, CA 91208
(818) 249 3587
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Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays and Mondays 

Proof Bakery L.A.

19 Jul
Proof serves a small selection of European-style sandwiches made with the bakery’s signature Stecca bread. From left: salami, manchego, and chive butter, beet, arugula, and goat cheese, and ham with heirloom tomatoes, gruyere, and grainy mustard.

I have a confession to make. There is this awesome, authentic French bakery tucked into a charming corner of Los Angeles that I have been frequenting for the past year. It’s called Proof and every day, the young, talented staff produces small batches of flaky pastries, thin European sandwiches, and refined desserts. All this time has passed that I have been munching on petite paris-brests and salted caramel tarts and I haven’t told you all about this bakery yet. Well, today is the day, my lovely readers, that you too will learn of this hidden gem of a patisserie.

I first discovered Proof 18 months ago when I interviewed the owner and creator, Na Young Ma, for an article in my student newspaper. Na Young is an alumnae of my high school and a firm believer in hand-crafted baked goods sourced from the highest quality, seasonal ingredients available. She purchases fresh fruits and vegetables every week from local farmers’ markets and serves artisan coffee from one of L.A.’s finest roasters: Cognoscenti Coffee. You cannot go wrong with any item on the menu, but some of my favorites include the Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookie, the Almond Frangipane Shortcake with seasonal fruits and whipped cream, the Yogurt Cheesecake, and the Flourless Chocolate Torte. On the savory side: I adore the sandwiches, especially the Heirloom Tomato with Double Cream Brie and Basil. Sandwich offerings change daily and tend to sell out quickly, so I recommend arriving right at noon for an early lunch.

One of the limited-time selections at Proof includes this Devil’s food cake layered with milk chocolate ganache, whipped cream, and caramelized bananas. 

Walking into Proof is like entering a cozy bakery on a side street of Paris except with a hip, SoCal influence. The interior contains tiny marble tables and wobbly bistro chairs and a blackboard displays the menu options, hand-written in chalk. The front staff are pleasant and always willing to answer questions. The bakery is located on Glendale Blvd., in an up-and-coming neighborhood of Los Angeles called Atwater Village. The street hosts a handful of cute stores along with a famers’ market every Sunday, ideal for browsing on a lazy afternoon. 

Oh, and one more thing, just in case you aren’t convinced yet. The granola is incredible- the only one I eat. It has ended my search for the perfect granola and has inspired me to replicate the recipe on my own. 

Proof Bakery 
3156 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-8633
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Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays 

Big Sugar Bakeshop for a Big Sweet Tooth

9 Aug
Big Sugar Bakeshop’s double coconut and Belgian chocolate cupcakes.

Moist red velvet cake topped with vanilla buttercream.

Located in Studio City, California, Big Sugar Bakeshop presents a wide array of decadent baked goods. Though all their sweet treats are equally irresistible, I especially love Big Sugar’s hand-crafted cupcakes. Everyday, the bakeshop offers seven unchanging cupcake flavors in addition to five daily specials. With its airy dough and rich cream cheese frosting covered in confetti-like shavings of tender coconut, double coconut remains my favorite cupcake flavor. Having visited several bakeries throughout Los Angeles, I strongly recommend Big Sugar for its high level of products and customer service. No matter what item you choose to indulge in, I can guarantee that you will enjoy every last bite.

Le Petit Gouter

3 Aug
In celebration of my 16th birthday, my family and I spent a weekend in Paris. We toured the breathtaking city of lights, visiting museums and monuments galore. But by far the most memorable aspect of Paris was the food, specifically the pastry. Host to countless patisseries and chocolatiers, Paris offers a wide array of meticulously-crafted pastries and desserts. I visited some of the city’s most acclaimed pastry shops, sampling numerous sweet treats.

The Parisians are known for their impeccable attention to detail, especially in the culinary arts. Each individual pastry is assembled to perfection; a dessert-lover’s fantasy.
La Patisserie des Reves, the most innovative of all the boutiques I encountered, offers original creations unavailable at mainstream pastry shops. Individual glass domes encapsulate each pastry, allowing the viewer to closely admire the pastry as one would view a masterpiece in a gallery. Their most well-known piece (pictured above), the paris-brest, combines eight airy hazelnut cream puffs into a single seamless wreath. My family and I picked up the paris-brest and walked to a nearby park to enjoy the dainty dessert. Each one of us tore off a bite-sized puff and popped it into our mouthes, relishing the delicious moment.
French chocolates exceeded my expectations. The Patrick Roger Chocolatier presents the finest, most diverse variety of homemade chocolates available in Paris. From rich truffles dusted in chalky cocoa powder to rustic dried fruit and nut clusters dunked in creamy milk chocolate, Patrick Roger crafts all its specialty chocolates on a daily basis to ensure only the highest-quality products for its customers.

Sweets for the Soul

30 Jun
A trio of brownies courtesy of Sweets for the Soul bakeshop in Atwater Village. From nearest to farthest: the Billionaire’s Bliss brownie, the Obama brownie, and the Espresso brownie.
Buttery shortbread and homemade caramel topped with dark guittard chocolate and fluer de seul.
Fragrant ground espresso infused in a cocoa base with valrhona dark chocolate chips. 

Rated by the Los Angeles Magazine as the best brownies in Los Angeles, Sweets for the Soul bakery offers a delicious assortment of hand-crafted treats. Deciding which item to indulge in provides a considerable feat for any dessert-lover as each maintains the perfect balance of flavors. This heavenly bakeshop is a must for Los Angeles natives and tourists alike; I can assure that you will return for seconds.