Bakeries present quality treats for sweet tooths
Posted February 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm in Lifestyle
First came the cupcake. Bakeries frosted, filled, topped, decorated and supersized the individual treats until there wasnât much leftÂ to be done.
Following suit as the next hot trend was the macaron -â the petite French meringue sandwich cookie that had people going crazy for more. Neither has become extinct, but another pastry is joining Â their ranks. Far from a novel creation, the humble pie is being infused with new life.
Forget basic cherry and blueberry: To stay on the cutting edge of culinary trends, L.A. bakeries have to dish out some majorly inventive pies and turn up the cuteness factor at their storefronts.
Here are some of the best slices in the city.
The Pie Hole
This newcomer to the Downtown scene plays off an urban hole-in-the wall setting, and it works. Situated on the eastern side of Downtown near the popular Zip Fusion and WurstkĂŒche restaurants, the bakery looks like an old classic with its brick faĂ§ade and iron chairs. Inside, the menu is rolled out on brown paper, giving its somewhat pricy items a casual feel.
The dĂ©cor may be minimal, but the food packs quite a punch. All sweet pies are available by the slice, and several savory options, such as tomato-basil, come in pocket-pie form.
The variety depends on which ingredients are in season, but all of the current selections have been around for more than a month thanks to their impressive popularity.
The most unique selection is a pie made of a flaky croissant-like crust and a filling similar to rich chocolate soufflĂ©. Top that all off with some caramel and sea salt and you have what The Pie Hole calls its âcrostada.â
This is for the foodie with a serious sweet tooth. Though itâs almost overwhelmingly sugary, the lightness of the crust and whipped filling offset the possibility of a richness overload. The salt sprinkled on top is perfect and makes each bite pop with so much flavor that the slice will disappear in no time.
Though its name would indicate that itâs known more for cakes, this Original Farmerâs Market bakery can do a pretty great personal pie. The little desserts come in fun flavors like brown-butter pear and buttermilk custard. But as with The Pie Hole, they are not all available at once.
If you love a good crust, Short Cake may be your place. Because the pies are made individually, they are surrounded by plenty of flaky, homemade crust. The apple version is a standout, livened with a tangy hint of lemon and enveloped in a perfectly browned pastry that melts in the mouth.
The bakeryâs location makes it the perfect place to grab a dessert or snack after shopping at The Grove. The only downside is the areaâs busy parking lots, but for a little bundle of goodness, it could be worth a trip.
Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop
Generally, dessert is the star of a meal as the sweetness of a treat lingers entrancingly at the end. This is true of Simplethings, a shop that serves a wide variety of sandwiches and a selection of miniature or regular-sized pies.
Guests order at the front of the simplistic, Southern-inspired eatery and can choose a pie from the case to pick up after finishing a sandwich. If you ask for your pie first, the waiters will happily oblige.
The pie flavor schedule can be viewed online before making the trek to West Hollywood. Everyone has their favorite pie flavors, but the selection at Simplethings will delight any day of the week. Traditional flavors rotate constantly while seasonal ones come and go.
Following the salty-sweet trend, the salted caramel pie is a standout, with its graham-cracker tart crust and gooey filling as rich as that of a candy bar.
New Yorkâs bakery of âSex and the Cityâ fame opened its doors here in the summer of 2010 and has been bringing its dessert charm to West Hollywood with a variety of classic baked goods.
Sitting beside its pretty pastel-frosted cupcakes are pies that could win at any state fair. All of the pies â including the black bottom pecan, a chocolatey twist on the original â are sold by the slice.Â That particular pie has got it all: perfectly toasted nuts and a luscious sweetness that binds the intriguing richness of the cookie crust.
Magnolia may be one of the more traditional bakeries in town, but it has proven that fresh, quality ingredients can speak volumes. While others may come and go with varying trends, this one will never get old. Letâs face it: Everyone gets a craving for an old family recipe now and then.
Whether you are looking for a different choice at a favorite sweet spot or want to try the cream of the crop, great pies are everywhere around the city, waiting to be searched out and sliced up for your indulgent pleasure.