James Beard Award-winning Cookbook Author

Westchester Bakery Los Angeles

I miss baking when I’m not at home, so the next best thing is to visit one.  My wife and I are in Los Angeles for a few days, getting ready to fly to Hawaii, and there’s a dandy little bakery I found on google near where we’re staying.  The shop is small, and when I stepped inside the smells of fresh baked bread and pastries carried me back to when I was a twelve-year old, entering my old neighborhood bakery in San Francisco, the Sugar Bowl.

The first things to grab my attention were the whimsical cookies on the bottom shelf of a pastry case: Spiderman, Hello Kitty, and Spongebob Squarepants.  How absolutely up to date!

There were all kinds of tarts and sweet yeast breads and many appealing cakes.

What to buy?  An almost sheer Florentine—slightly chewy but mostly crunchy to munch on right away—and for breakfast the next morning, we settled on a bear claw filled with almond paste and a pear tartlet, also with almonds and a crisp and buttery crust.  After a quick reheat in the oven, we gobbled them down.  I felt satisfied.  I’ll be stopping in at more bakeries in Hawaii and reporting from there soon.

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