Best $3 Gourmet Pastry and Coffee Combo - 2011
L.A. Baking Company
You wouldn't expect to find a delicious and cheap wake-up off the 5 freeway at Broadway. A fleet of white Sprinter vans invokes the Helms trucks of yore, providing finer Southland establishments with wholesale a.m. bread delivery, from sun-dried tomato rounds, sourdough pagnotta and braided jalapeño olive to the more conventional pumpernickel, wheat and sourdough loaves. The only all-solar-powered bakery in town, L.A. Baking Company offers conventional confections — "cakes for all occasions," a rainbow of Danish, streusel, muffins and breakfast pastries, tarts and mousses — as well as piña colada cake, Chocolate Suicide and tres leches, which it is happy to deliver anytime, anywhere, offering 24-hour bilingual customer service. But wait, there's more! With all of the baking done on-site, you can stop in to the sunny, black-and-white-checkered café and ask for the unrivaled $3 pastry and coffee combo, the slightly pricier "L.A. artisan gourmet sandwiches" or one of a decadent variety of cupcakes, which, counter girl Grace tells us, are simply all the rage right now. 2108 N. Broadway, dwntwn. (323) 225-5826, labaking.com.