A couple of months ago some Southern California food bloggers exchanged a few tweets on Twitter about pub crawls. These tweets then evolved to the notion of a bakery crawl! So that’s how this genius idea was born….all with a few simple tweets! But with all great ideas someone needs to put it in motion. Sara of Our Private Kitchen was our person. This is the 2nd LA Bakery Crawl that she’s organized and she is becoming quite the pro at it! Chrystal of Duo Dishes, Julia of Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body, and I met Sara and her husband in LA for a day filled with fresh baked goods and luscious truffles.
1) 9am meet at Huckleberry in Santa Monica
2) Susie Cakes in Brentwood
3) Compartes Chocolatier in Brentwood
4) Jin Patisserie in Venice
Huckleberry was our first stop and it was busy on at 9:00am on Saturday. There were no empty tables inside and there was a constant line at the counter. Signs of a successful eatery and it was definitely a great choice to start off the day! They had a vast selection of fresh baked goods and breakfast dishes. Chrystal and I shared a Raspberry Butter Cake that was rich and buttery. The crust was buttery and crunchy and the cake was moist. There was corn meal mixed into the batter which gave the cake a nice texture and crumble. The raspberries were slightly tart and gave the cake a fresh pop. It was the perfect way to start the morning. There were so many tempting baked goods to choose from that it was hard to pick just one, especially since there were three more places on the list. Reluctantly, we paced ourselves. Good thing there were 5 of us so we got to try a little bit of every one’s selection!
In case you were wondering what the a real breakfast (with protein and veggies) looked like at Huckleberry….Here’s Julia’s Breakfast Burrito
Susie Cakes was our next stop. They tag themselves as an “All American, Home-style Bakery” and I love it! The cakes have simple designs because it’s the cake itself that is the star. They have a variety of sweets to choose from such as slices of cake, cupcakes (with frosting filling), bars, whoopie pies, ice cream sandwiches, fruit pies and cookies. Their chocolate whoopie pies are their exclusive dessert so I went for it. I had a bite and that was all I can really eat (without a glass of milk anyhow). Personally I found it too sweet or maybe 10am was too early to indulge in a whoopie pie. Now the coconut cupcake with coconut frosting…that was delicious. The cupcake was moist and it has just the right amount of sweetness and coconut for me. The iced molasses cookie was a dream. It was chewy and the glaze added just enough sweetness to balance the rich molasses flavor. We also tried the seasonal cookie: Susie’s Nutty (Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Butter Cream). It was great combo together. Julia raved about the celebration cake (a 6 layer vanilla cake with sprinkles with vanilla frosting). I definitely would go back for another cupcake or try a slice of the celebration cake.
Our third stop was Compartes Chocolatier. It is in walking distance from Susie Cakes, which is so convenient. When you walk up to this truffle shop it just exudes LA chic: a cool blue and brown palette, comfy outdoor seating area with inviting big blue cushions and a running fountain. When you walk inside the sweet smell of chocolate hits you. The smell of chocolate just makes me happy! There’s a modern crystal chandelier hanging on the inside and rows of exquisite truffles and gourmet chocolates. The service here is impeccable – it’s everything you expect out of a small boutique shop that is proud of their product. It was hard to decide – but again – between the five of us we were able to sample quite a few wonderful and memorable pieces of fine chocolate!
My absolute favorite is the Jasmine Tea Truffle. You see a lot of green tea flavors popping up but not so much of the jasmine tea. It was a morsel of heaven. It has a pleasant floral flavor with notes of tea. I loved it! I also bought a Smoked Campfire S’mores dipped in milk chocolate for my husband. S’mores is one of his all time favorite treats. I have to tell you it was so good. It is a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers and chocolate then the whole thing is dipped into chocolate. My third choice was the Smoked Sea Salt. There was a great contrast between the salty sea salt and the sweet chocolate. The sweet and salty combo is not going any where.
Our 4th and last stop was Jin Pastisserie in Venice located on Abbot Kinney Blvd. I went to college at UCLA and wished I spent more time in this neighboring area. It’s such a fun place with so much character. Jin Pastisserie is a pastry boutique and tea garden all rolled into one. The atmosphere is amazing with outdoor seating that is surrounded by lush trees. It really is a great place to go for tea and a small bite to eat. There’s just something real relaxing and calm about the whole place. Jin Pastisserie has a large tea selection to choose from. Most people around us were ordering dessert sets (plates of a sampling of desserts) along with their tea. Our group was coming down from a sugar high and was looking for something more substantial. I gravitated towards the lunch set which included an egg salad croissant, garden salad, chips and the cake of the day. Others at the table ordered the duck prosciutto sandwich and chicken salad sandwich set. The croissant was nice and flaky with a thin layer of egg salad. The salad was refreshing. I was still on a jasmine tea kick from Compartes….so that’s what I ordered and I really enjoyed it!
If you haven’t done a bakery crawl yet I encourage you to give it a whirl. It’s so much fun to spend the day with your friends sampling good food. I definitely had a great time and hope to do a bakery crawl in Orange County….are you interested?? (I’ll let Sara know to plan one for all of us!)
The Bakery Crawl participants (plus Sara’s husband):