C+M Coffee Bar: The High Art of the Pop-Tart

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Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Hand Pie at C+M - G. SNYDER
  • G. Snyder
  • Hand Pie at C+M
Have you been to LACMA's new Levitated Mass exhibit? Because it's actually far more impressive than a giant rock with a path under it has any right to be. Afterwards you could treat yourself to a milkshake at LACMA's new "chef-driven coffeehouse" C+M (short for Coffee and Milk), which opened a few weeks ago. Technically the milkshake is labeled as a "milk sorbet" at C+M, as its a bit icier and less rich than your typical malt shop creation. And if you subscribe to the philosophy that it's always 5 o'clock somewhere, you could even order a version strengthened with a shot of Branca Menta (think of it as a boozy version of the Shamrock Shake).

Josh Graves, the pastry chef at nearby Ray's (who sports the most awesome mustache we've seen in the kitchen), supplies the baked goods. A long glass display case shows off daily rotating treats -- things like cinnamon-peach hand pies, chocolate sandwich cream pies, strawberry-pistachio tarts, and a super-rich peanut butter-bacon-banana creation called the "Elvis Cake."

click to enlarge C+M - G. SNYDER
  • G. Snyder
  • C+M
There are sandwiches on baguettes made with duck prosciutto and wedges of buttery brie, Intelligentsia coffee frothed with Straus creamery milk, and what already appears to be one of the signature offerings here -- a flaky pop tart filled with date puree and flavored with a lumberjack's serving of bacon.

With its Eames-inspired plastic chairs, its cool brushed metallic walls, and it's Jim Campbell-designed digital clock -- that shows time as a percentage of spent daylight -- C+M is likely in the running for most stylish coffeehouse in town. Pair that with the ever-popular Ray's, and LACMA might in fact be the best art museum in the country in which to grab a bite to eat. Because what goes better with Ruska and Rodia than a slice of black velvet cake?

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