Imagine if your favorite bakery - blissful croissants, perfectly made canelés, crusty boules, an egg salad sandwich so exactly rendered that it would cause an Old Town riot if it were ever removed from the menu - reappeared, a few blocks down the street, with most of the menu reworked in whole wheat flours instead of the more traditional white. An alternate universe bakery, written in and kneaded with whole grains. Which is exactly what happened this spring in Pasadena, when Sumi Chang opened a second outpost of her 15 year-old bakery Euro Pane.
Chang meant to close the old bakery, but after regulars threatened a quiet revolution, she decided to keep them both. Now you can find rows of whole wheat scones and strudels and batards displayed in a case next to a community table made from an 80 year-old pecan tree; another case filled with gluten-free macarons, in brightly colored pastels, made with almond flour; a counter displaying baskets of whole wheat ficelle like Easter presents. Do not mistake this Euro Pane as a PSA bakery, a good-for-you version of an old favorite: it is instead an ongoing experiment in how much flavor whole grains can reveal, in a loaf of bread, a cinnamon roll.
Euro Pane: 300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 844-8804.
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Look for more "Best of L.A." pieces in our annual Best of L.A. issue, coming Oct. 7th.