Sunday, February 11, 2007
3 Square Meals: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery
I am always on the looking for a good bakery to add to my list of favorite pastry-purchasing spots around town.
(My incomplete but constantly growing list includes Massimo's Delectables in Culver City (buttery italian cookies and amazing inside-out apple cake), Amandine Patissiere (fluffy pain au chocolate and homemade blueberry cheescake on Wilshire/Bundy), Susina Bakery (glossy fruit tarts and triple berry cake in spot where Sugar Plum Bakery used to be), Los Feliz's Alcove Cafe & Bakery (gargantuan slices of banana cream pies and triple layer chocolate cakes), Le Pain Quotidien (dense belgium brownies...mmm), even Whole Food's bakery section with mini lemon tarts and just-baked buttery croissants...but I digress)
With the discovery of 3 Square Cafe + Bakery along Abbot Kinney, my favorite street in LA just got better. The side-by-side cafe/bakey double-spot is the newest offering from Hans Rockwagner. I've been eyeing the spot for weeks waiting for it to open. Currently, only the bakery side is open, the cafe side (which will be serving more substantial breakfast, lunch and dinner is due to open in a couple of weeks). I haven't visited his other spot, R Bakery in Mar Vista (read fer food's blog for more info), but I hear his newest bakery shares R Bakery's same sandwich menu and tasty, oversized baked goodies.
Located in a modern, loft-like building, 3 Square is minimalistic (look for either the 3 small colored squares painted on the glass door, or in the mornings, the line of pastry-enthusiasts milling about with their fresh-baked raspberry white-chocolate scones and Europe-imported Meinl coffee.)
Inside, a long glass counter tempts with its array of fruity muffins, savory scones, chocolate-covered cookies, lemon bars and fruit tarts. I am normally a sucker for anything sweet and was eyeing this powdered sugar dusted pastry overflowing with juicy raspberry's but since I'm equally enamored with anything with cheese as a main ingredient, I was also leaning toward the poppy-seed/cheddar pretzel twist (which are available at the Rockwagner stall at the Santa Monica farmer's market) and the cheddar/bacon scone. I ended up going with the scone ($3) and unfortunately scarfed down the entire hunk of cheesy/bacony goodness before I could take a photo of it for this blog.
A chalkboard lists lunchtime options and breakfast specials. For future reference, I noted both the black forest ham, swiss and caramelize onion paninis and brie and caramelized pears on fig bread (both $7.50) as two tasty choices for next time.
The long skinny spot doesn't have too much seating, there are a couple of tables and a long wooden counter to eat at, but it's not conducive to long girly chatting over lattes and strawberry-creme tarts, like Jin Patisserie across the road.
Nevermind, I was craving the cheesy bacon scone so much, I made a special detour on my morning drive to pick one up on my way to work. The to-go experience is probably the way to go for the bakery. Neither the bakery nor street parking was super packed at 8:45am so the breakfast pickup was quick and easy--and definitely something that can incorporated as part of my morning commute routine.
3 Square Cafe + Bakery
1211 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Daily Candy's Profile
13222 W. Washington Blvd
7122 Beverly Blvd/La Brea
12225 Wilshire Blvd
Le Pain Quotidien