Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Santa Monica: The bakery hunt begins!

After my all too prolonged separation from the hunt, I'm back to posting regularly. I had the day off today and explored a few local bakeries in the Santa Monica area. I started off at breakfast with a kiwi, raspberry, and strawberry fruit tart at Le Marmiton on Montana Avenue. Le Marmiton is owned by Jean-Marc Kiffer, who also began running a restaurant in Marina Del Rey following the success of his first operation. While usually I am partial to fruit tarts with minimal custard, the vanilla custard in this fruit tart complimented the fruit beautifully. Now, I wouldn't say that ordering a tart here is easy on the billfold, but to be fair, the fruit portion is quite generous and is clearly very high in quality. Plus, I firmly believe that you can't put a price on a good, authentic French tart these days. There was also a savory onion tart in the display case that looked delicious, but I have to save that one for another day.

My second bakery stop for the day was in the late afternoon, at Yummy Cupcakes on Wilshire (right near the 3rd street promenade). I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this cupcake shop. The plump cakes had the taste and feel of the much- praised Magnolia Bakery cupcakes: honest, simple, warm creations that hold universal appeal and keep people coming back for more. Yummy cupcakes wears its heart on its sleeve: it wasn't trying to sell me based on fancy shmancy imported ingredients. In an age where each trendy cupcake shop seems to resemble the next, Yummy cupcakes feels like more. It has more of that friendly neighborhood quality to it. When I stood there deciding what to order, I could watch them frosting and making the cupcakes right in front of me. And as I left the shop, there was no branded box to carry my cakes in as I strolled down the promenade- only a simple, unpretentious brown paper bag. As Yummy's finger lickin' super sugary icing coursed through my veins, I experienced pure unfiltered joy! (My only gripe is that this bakery, along with so many others, sells clothing for dogs, an exercise in cross-promotional absurdity I will never comprehend.) Yummy, please keep Santa Monica honest: If you don't, who will?
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