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Baking

5 Great Restaurant Breadbaskets: Free Bread!

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Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

click to enlarge ERIN LYALL
  • Erin Lyall
In this carbless, gluten-free, spinning/yoga/CrossFit-obsessed town, it's easy to vilify the humble loaf of bread. Sometimes offering very little in the way of nutrition and very much in the way of refined flour, the boule can be easy to bulls-eye.

But for the struggling actors, actresses, and just generally under-employed people in this town (cough, journalists, cough cough), the breadbasket can be a cheap way to fill up in some of this city's fanciest dining rooms. See? You can afford Spago! A glass of wine, a salad, and a refillable breadbasket is all you need.

Turn the page for a list of breadbaskets that go above and beyond the call of duty. No wan baguette. No cold defrosted rolls. Only the best for you, dear readers.

click to enlarge La Conversation - ERIN LYALL
  • Erin Lyall
  • La Conversation
5. La Conversation Café

This teeny, kitschy café on Doheny does a brisk brunch business -- sweet, savory and slightly French. The servers here hustle, pushing tables together on the patio to accommodate larger parties, whipping around the small inside space with fresh OJ and espresso and eggs Bennys. On weekends, your order is served with an adorable little brunch breadbasket: usually a few baby muffins, some Danish, a croissant or two, or whatever they've been baking in back. So go ahead, dig into your egg white asparagus omelet and your skim latte -- since you didn't ORDER the pastries, the calories don't count, right? 638 N Doheny Dr, West Hollywood; (310) 858-0950.

click to enlarge Lucques - ERIN LYALL
  • Erin Lyall
  • Lucques
4. Lucques

Suzanne Goin is simply incapable of baking a bad loaf of bread. She's doing it all over town (at A.O.C., The Larder and Tavern) and at Lucques, her first restaurant in L.A. (at 15 years old, it could now be considered a mainstay). Grab a table in the garden or in the rustic dining room and as soon as you've put in your order you'll get an assortment of goodies: sliced sourdough, butter, fleur de sel, and a fingerbowl of olives and almonds. The simplicity is what gets you: tangy bread with the perfect crumb and a chewy crust, shmeared with butter, topped with salt flakes ... ahhhhh. Pair it with a light dinner and a seasonal cocktail or a glass of rose and forget that Atkins guy ever existed. 8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles; (323) 655-6277.

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