The Butcher, the Baker, and the Cappuccino Maker, or BBCM for short, opened its doors in USC Village last week, welcoming coffee enthusiasts, casual brunchers, aesthetic atmosphere appreciators and students seeking a social studying environment. From its flagship location on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, BBCM has brought the concept of the all-day cafe to the heart of USC.
Café culture is on the rise in urban areas like New York and Los Angeles. It’s not unusual to start your day sipping a latte and typing away at a laptop, then meeting a friend for a chat in the same café over lunch, and around dinner time finally tucking away your work as the cafe transitions into a dining and bar destination. BBCM is USC’s taste of an all-day café affair. It boasts a varied menu of everything from breakfast pastries to heavier fare like pizzas, pastas and seafood entrees.
USC’s BBCM is bright and open, but also has a cozier atmosphere, as it is classily cluttered. The space is an irregular shape with a few too many corners since it is on the edge of the Village, but the interior works well with the shape: The walls are cleverly lined with bookshelves, which offer a variety of (real) books on a vast assortment of topics from former President Harry Truman to detective thriller novels. Among the books are several other curios, including a vintage typewriter, globe and USC memorabilia.
There is a coffee roaster slowly churning beans in the corner of the room, and the scent of the dark roast mixes with the heady scent of baking dough. Their coffee menu replete with mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos leaves nothing to be desired, and there is even one cold brew for each roast the cafe offers. Their coffee is generally not as sweet as Dulce’s, which is just across the Village, but their beans are also third wave and just as smooth as the Ritual beans Dulce brews. BBCM’s iconic drink is the colorburst latte, the perfect complement to any Instagram feed, though at the steep cost of $7. BBCM also serves mimosas all day — a glass is $10, or a sampler of three different mimosas (orange, hibiscus and strawberry) is $14.
Along the inner wall is a pastry and dessert display case, which customers line up against as they wait to place their orders. To the left of the cashier, the wall shifts into a bar, paneled with mirrors and lined with wine glasses and pitchers. The bar seats are empty in the early morning hours, save for a few students utilizing the outlets, but they fill up as the cafe gets busier. Along the opposite wall are smaller tables, some paired with bright yellow couches that are a pop of color against the white walls and dark wood accents. Along the middle of the restaurant runs a long, marbled communal table, which perfectly complements the marbled plates and baby blue and white speckled coffee cups.
The breakfast menu consists of a variety of eggs, sandwiches and brunch dishes. A popular item is the Butcher’s eggs benedict ($15), two buttermilk biscuits topped with your choice of smoked salmon, pork belly or avocado, and of course, two beautifully cooked eggs. There is also the option of ordering sides: salad or breakfast potatoes.The flavor pairings of egg, salmon and hollandaise sauce satisfy both the tastebuds and the appetite. The salmon is fresh, though it can be cooked slightly longer until the texture is crunchy, a complement to the eggs. The avocado, however, does not contrast the eggs as well, leaving one with a thick, unexciting flavor.
At a pricey $9, BBCM’s avocado toast — now a staple millennial dish — is a single thick slice of whole wheat toast, slathered in ripe avocado and topped with thinly sliced radish, sunflower seeds, peppers and cilantro. It comes with a complimentary egg, thick and runny, but served to your preference. While the portion appears small, it is very filling. Beyond breakfast, there are plenty of sandwiches, salads, pastas, seafood dishes and pizzas to choose from. The croissant sandwich ($13) and the eggs benedict pizza ($15) cleverly blur the lines between breakfast and lunch, boosting BBCM’s reputation as a brunch destination.
Like many of the restaurants in USC Village, BBCM is on the more expensive side — a meal and coffee can range from $15-$30, and a light breakfast of just coffee and pastries or a muffin still adds up to about $10. USC’s BBCM operates on a seasonal menu; as the weather warms up, items will change, though their coffee and baked goods will always be menu staples. BBCM is located on the intersection of Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard, and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.