Amazing signature bread served warm to your table soon after you are seated and order. Is there any greater welcome gift that a restaurant can bestow upon a hungry patron? Great bread is often the reason for choosing a restaurant (or if you’re watching your carb intake, a reason to avoid a restaurant where you simply can’t control yourself). Here’s my list of the top 5 winners in the category of best signature bread in LA:
1. Garlic Cheese Bread at The Smokehouse (442 W. Lakeside Drive, Burbank). This is hands down the best garlic bread you will ever eat. It’s salty, cheesy, garlicky awesomeness. Enjoy it with dinner and martinis at The Smokehouse, the iconic dimly-lit, red boothed throw-back which has sat for the past 65 years across the street from the Warner Bros. lot.
2. Pizza Dough Bread at Angeli Caffe (7274 Melrose, Los Angeles). These are small round loaves of piping hot perfection. If you’re dining with a hungry group (or kids), once this incredible bread is brought to your table, propriety will be abandoned, burns will be risked and this right-out-of-the-oven treat will be ripped apart and devoured instantly.
3. Garlic Knots at Caioti Pizza Cafe (4346 Tujunga, Studio City). Hot, buttery, garlicky, soft and chewy. The garlic knots at Caioti Pizza Cafe, a small rustic neighborhood eatery, are extremely addictive. The one drawback: they sometimes run out.
4. Grilled Pita Bread at The Great Greek (13362 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks). This is not the free (and good) bread they give you when you arrive at the Great Greek. You have to actually order the amazing grilled pita bread here and it would be a Greek tragedy to not do so. The pita is exclusively flown in from Chicago. Eat it with fresh whipped Hummus, tangy Tzatziki, or my favorite — Tarama, Greek caviar dip.
5. Popovers at Neiman Marcus (9700 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills in their Mariposa restaurant; also 6550 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park in their NM Cafe). Who doesn’t like popovers? The ones at Neiman’s are consistently perfect. Light, cripsy and flaky on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. Served with strawberry butter!