At Bountiful Bakery in Montrose, owner Denise Assad is no stranger to early mornings (if you can even call them that): She wakes up at 3 a.m., makes her way to some Stumptown coffee and then heads to the kitchen where hours are spent kneading, twisting, stirring, pounding. The real fun begins around 9 a.m., when that buttery sweet aroma fills the air and customers trickle in to sample the goods.
“I try to bring back the time in my life when I was baking with my grandmother. Whatever I bake, that’s what I remember,” says Assad. She stays true to tradition. Nothing is too sweet; there's lots of spice and lots of butter. “Butter satisfies the soul,” Assad adds, “It's a taste of your youth, your family. That’s what I do. I bake to remember.”
Having spent more than five years in catering, building a loyal following through frequent visits to farmers markets around the city, Assad has finally found a home for her treats on North Verdugo Lane. The bakery, which opened September 18, offers an assortment of cakes, tarts, cookies and breakfast items, including quiche lorraine and a sourdough sandwich filled with pepper bacon, avocado, two poached eggs and melty cheddar cheese.
In addition to top sellers such as babka and walnut sticky buns, there's a tiny but worthy selection of lunch items. Not always available due to ravenous locals, there is sometimes chicken pot pie. Made thick and creamy, it's packed with dark and white chicken, sautéed onions and carrots, peas, fresh thyme and homemade velouté sauce which is created by condensing fresh chicken broth, milk, butter, flour, salt and pepper. The lunch menu is set to expand in 2015 with Rubens and Monte Cristos, along with other comfort foods.
The bakery is open Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's closed Sundays when Assad is at the Pacific Palisades farmers market. For menu item updates, visit Bountiful Bakery on Facebook.