Sunday, December 23, 2007

City Bakery: Who Needs Men When They Make Cookies THIS Good??

(Soup bowl sized latte + Molten Chocolate Cookie)

I never visit New York without first compiling a “places to go” list. And, of course, by “places to go”, I mean “places to eat”. Last summer, I made most places on my list (Eleni’s, Fat Witch, Grand Central Oyster Bar, Ciao Bella, etc.) but of course, without wanting to drag my family into my crazed eating-around-the-city tendencies, I had to give up hopes of going to every single place on my list.

One of the places I missed out on was The City Bakery. Since I had managed to satisfy my desire for baked goods with the magic of Eleni’s (the patisserie right by my hotel helped a lot too), I didn’t think too much of it back then. Recently, however, I heard that they opened a branch right here in LA at the Brentwood Country Mart.

I knew that I HAD to go.

I’ve wanted to visit the Brentwood Country Mart for some time now but the trouble with living in LA is that it’s next to impossible to get anywhere without a car. I don’t drive, and after a few not-so-pleasant episodes with the Los Angeles public transportation system, I’ve become really reluctant to venture anywhere that’s beyond walkable distance. So it’s a good thing that Bernard came to visit because I’ve been using his visit as an excuse to “go out”. So, on Tuesday, I worked out the bussing route (OK, I admit it – even with my extensive planning, we still got a little lost…but only a little) and I finally got to visit the red barn, and…the City Bakery!!

After a quick browse of what they had to offer, I settled on the molten chocolate cookie ($3.00) and a latte ($3.50). Bern got the chocolate chip cookie ($2.50) and their famous hot chocolate ($4.00?). Sure, it was a little pricey, but it was OH-SO-WORTH-IT! I ordered the regular-sized latte and found myself sipping my coffee out of a soup bowl! Bernard’s cookie was also HUGE…you could definitely fatten a small child with one of those. The hot chocolate and my cookie was a little on the small side for their prices but what they lacked in size, they made up in taste. Their hot chocolate is creamy and crazy-rich…an absolute Chocoholic’s wet-dream! It was definitely a good thing that their sizes were relatively small…I’m sure Bernard would have keeled over and died of a chocolate overdose if the cup was any bigger.

And I’m going to start a new paragraph for my molten chocolate cookie…because it deserves a paragraph of its own. At first glance, it looked like a normal, simple, chocolate cookie. But when I tore a little piece off, I was introduced to a beautiful molten chocolate center. There are really no words good enough to describe the first bite…all I can say is that, at that point, I wished I were a cookie too…so I could marry that chocolate wonder. What I felt at that moment must be what people call “love”. Without exaggeration, the City Bakery’s molten chocolate cookie is pure genius. It’s basically a rich and gooey chocolate brownie housed inside a chocolate cookie exterior. Two desserts in one portable package? You bet!

Needless to say, the City Bakery ROCKS!! Yes, I live near a place where I can get half-a-dozen of pretty damn good cookies for 2 bucks, but after trying the molten chocolate cookie, I just know that, from now on, I’ll be bussing out to the City Bakery to get my cookie fix. In fact, Bern and I have already made plans to go back again some time this week! Thank God for this little slice of New York in LA!!

FOOD: 4/5

The City Bakery LA ($)
Brentwood Country Mart
(Intersection at San Vicente and 26th)

**Word of warning: Unless you are an experienced and certified chocoholic, do NOT attempt to order the molten chocolate cookie with the hot chocolate. Your arteries will not be able to handle it.

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