Traveling Bread – A Trip to L.A.!

As you may have guessed, the bread bitches have been on a bit of holiday hiatus. But during that time we were both fortunate enough to sample some exotic breads while on vacation. I returned to my old stomping grounds in Los Angeles to sample some of my old favorites and try some new kneads that exemplified the good, the bad, and the ugly in bread baskets.

LOCATION
Fritto Misto
Santa Monica, CA

Almost immediately after disembarking the plane (and going through the pain of rental car pickup), I made a beeline to one of my favorite restaurants.

fritro

BREAD

  • A fairly standard white bread — that really hit the spot at 1am EST.
  • Notable for its nice crusty exterior.

BUTTER/OILS/SPREADS

  • Butter Packets. Not cold. Spreadable.
  • While usually I would knock the packets, at this restaurant it goes with the no-frills BYOB atmosphere that keeps prices low and portions ample.

butterfritto

LIKELINESS FOR REFILLS

The busser brought the bread out almost immediately after we sat down and our waitress was sure to ask if we wanted more refills.

RATING (out of five)

calibread2

LOCATION
Storyteller’s Cafe
Disneyland (Anaheim), CA

This ranked as one of my all-time most memorable bread baskets and I was thrilled to return and see if it lived up to memories (that may or may not have been clouded by Disney magic).

stroytellers

BREAD

  • Two Kinds Bread: Cornbread Muffins and a Milk White Mini Loaf
  • I’ve never met a cornbread/white bread combo I didn’t like — truly the perfect bread pairing.
  • Perfectly crumbly and moist cornbread that was not to sweet and held up to buttering.
  • The true star though was the Milky White Mini Loaf. Yes my own personal mini loaf (okay I was supposed to share).
  • The loaf seemed to magically pull apart in perfect slices without cutting.
  • Rich with a perfectly browned crust — fresh out of the oven goodness.

BUTTER/OILS/SPREADS

  • A large portion of butter on a separate plate. Perfectly spreadable.
  • Appreciated that the butter was not haphazardly presented in the basket.

LIKELINESS FOR REFILLS

At Disney the customer is always right, so let’s just say I feel confident I could have as much bread as I pleased.

RATING (out of five)

mickey5

LOCATION
Carthay Circle Restaurant
California Adventure (Anaheim), CA

This had to be the classiest in theme park restaurant I have ever encountered. Themed like a old-hollywood joint in the 1930s.

carthay

BREAD

  • Pre-sliced warm bread, but was difficult to pull apart.
  • Slightly nutty and wheat based.
  • Tried (perhaps unsuccessfully) to walk the line between refined palates and crying toddler toting theme park patrons.

BUTTER/OILS/SPREADS

  • Butter. Soft. Slightly warm. Butter.
  • A sea salt dusting would’ve been appreciated.

LIKELINESS FOR REFILLS

This restaurant pulled out all the stops service wise, cleaning up my bread crumbs before the entrees arrived and what not. Made sure there was plenty of bread on the table at all times.

RATING (out of five)

mickey2

LOCATION
McKenna’s???
Seal Beach, CA

This place was utterly terribly and literally closed the day after we ate here. I was not in charge of our dining location this day. But the bread was the bright spot that gave me some sort of nourishment. It was seriously good bread.

mckennas

RATING (out of five)

ray35

LOCATION
The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills, CA

If I had a spirit hotel it definitely would be the Beverly Hills Hotel in all its pink and green glory. Not trip to the Polo Lounge is complete without a celebrity sighting and this return visit did not disappoint. I spied both Samuel L. Jackson and Lukas Haas (the little boy in Witness), though I can’t confirm they consumed the bread.

IMG_2988

BREAD

  • A bread basket potpourri:  sourdough, cheesy something, and cheese crisps.
  • While I am not a cheese consumer, I am told (via my Aunt) that crisps were the best part of the basket. Light and buttery.
  • The cheesy something was warm and dense — tricking me into thinking it would be good.
  • What I got was nasty and overpoweringly peppery, blue cheese grossness. Even the cheese loves at the table found something severely off about it.
  • The sourdough was cold and hard.  Strike one and two.

polobb2

BUTTER/OILS/SPREADS

  • At least the butter was soft and it seemed extra yellow and rich. Must come from fancy cows.

polobutterpolopackage

LIKELINESS FOR REFILLS

At most restaurants in L.A., I always assume the wait staff are all aspiring actors — and their looks seem to attest to this. But at the Polo Lounge, these were all consummate professionals. They offered to refill the bread several times (even though I was too disgusted to do so) and even though I was mortified my Aunt requested them to package the bread to go so I could have the adorable take out box and they did so without batting an eye.

RATING (out of five)

samlbread

One Comment Add yours

  1. Betsy Emdin says:

    I’ve missed There Will be Bread and you’ve made me hungry even though I just half a pint of Moomers Banana Nut Bread Ice Cream (could’ve used more bread, actually).

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