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Elote bread at 189 by Dominique Ansel
Photograph: Jesse HsuElotes Milk Bread at 189 by Dominique Ansel

Carbo-load with some of L.A.’s most creative breads

Written by
Simon Majumdar

Fortunately, even the health fiends of L.A. are getting over the notion that carbs equal death. One of the newer and most exciting aspects of dining out in the city is the growing tally of creative takes on gluten. To celebrate, here are a few of the best bread bites in L.A. Because even when thoughts turn to beach bods and bathing suits, there’s no harm in indulging in a slice or three of these standout carb creations.

Elotes Milk Breads at 189 By Dominique Ansel

The food at Dominique Ansel’s restaurant at the Grove can be hit-or-miss, but given his provenance as a baker, it’s no surprise the bread is off the charts. The sourdough is worth ordering, but these soft milk breads, which come stuffed with a roasted–sweet-corn (elotes) pudding and topped with cotija, are a Los Angeles must. $10.

Photograph: Jesse Hsu

Sfincione at Felix

Felix may be lauded for its pasta, but Evan Funke’s sublime focaccia is worth its own praise—and will make anyone realize just what a special meal they’re about to experience. The bread’s crisp outer casing, with a thin sheen of olive oil that’s laced with a sprinkle of salt and rosemary, gives way to an inside so soft and fluffy, it could have its own children’s TV show. $8.

Photograph: Jesse Hsu

Sun Buns at Hearth & Hound

Despite the menu’s ambiguity at April Bloomfield’s newish restaurant—the words Sun Buns are followed by no further description—just know that a plate of them will immediately win you over. The warm, nutty and yielding dinner rolls prove that Bloomfield is in top form. $6.

Photograph: Courtesy Michael's/Rachel Jacobson

The Sourdough at Michael’s Santa Monica

Chef Miles Thompson’s 2016 arrival gave this stalwart a much-needed breath of life, and that includes what is arguably the best sourdough in the city. It’s made from a family starter that he brought with him to the restaurant; the crust on this buckwheat loaf is worth putting on the menu as its own dish, and the tang of what’s underneath is everything a proper sourdough should be. $8.

Photograph: Jesse Hsu

Bing at Majordōmo

The bing (Chinese wheat flatbread) at David Chang’s first L.A. outpost are flaky, delicious and ample enough to eat on their own. But they’re even better when accompanied by the sweet and savory accoutrements, such as eggs and smoked roe, and Chang’s signature hozon, made from fermented chickpeas. $6-$32, accoutrements depending.

Photograph: Jesse Hsu

The Lentil Crackers at Native

The French-lentil crackers at this Nyesha Arrington spot are immediately recognizable as cousins of the Indian papadum. Like the traditional snack from the subcontinent, they’re enjoyable on their own and as the perfect tool to scoop up dips and sauces. In the case of Native, the crackers come served with a superbly smoky eggplant mousse. $12.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Bryanna P.

The Flour Tortillas at La Azteca Tortilleria

Los Angeles is anything but lacking when it comes to excellent food from the many regions of Mexico. Everything is solid at this this long-standing tortilleria, but the flour tortilla surrounding the beloved chile relleno is delicious enough to be enjoyed all on its own, with just a smear of butter. $4.95 per dozen.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Ramon L.

The Thousand-Layer Pancake at Joy on York

The new restaurant from Vivian Ku of Pine & Crane fame breaks the laws of physics by being super-hot and way cool at the same time. In particular, the Lucas Special, with egg, cheddar and purple basil on the thousand-layer pancake is so craveable it’s worth more drives from the Westside than any sensible person should ever consider doing. $6.75 as a sandwich.

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