LA Bread may have shuttered, but Atwater Village residents aren't having to go far for freshly-baked baguettes and bacon scones. The Village Bakery and Cafe opened three weeks ago in the former LA Bread location on Los Feliz Boulevard. Owner and baker Barbara Monderine took over the space, lock, stock and French-made Pavailler deck oven from the previous occupants. “I bought this place for the oven,” says Monderine, who was in the music business before partnering with Terri Wahl to open Auntie Em's Kitchen, where she was an original co-owner. She runs Village Bakery–named for Atwater Village–with her husband, Richard Williams. And a few cousins. “It's a real family-run business.”
Village Bakery, Monderine points out, “is not Auntie Em's. My thing has always been baking.” In addition to a full breakfast and lunch menu, including salads and sandwiches, Monderine and family bake cookies and pastries and 15 different kinds of bread, including sourdough boules and baguettes, made from a starter she brought down from San Francisco. On Mondays they shut down the store and make cannoli. (Yesterday they made 7,000 of them.) “When you're making cannoli, you can't do anything else.” If you're wondering why 7,000 cannoli, the bakery operates a wholesale business as well as a retail shop.
Monderine took over the lease of the furniture store next door when it recently went out of business, and says they will be knocking out the wall and expanding the bakery sometime early next year.
The Village Bakery and Cafe: 3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 662-8600. (The website, which is currently under construction, will be up later this week).