Written by: Matt Gottesman
Tucked back from the street in Woodland Hills, The Baker Bakery & Cafe is a quiet restaurant with a left-of-center menu and legions of stellar desserts.
Satellite radio hums a soothing bouzouki jukebox inside. Afternoon sunshine spills onto a parking lot patio and through floor-to-ceiling windows. The atmosphere is unwaveringly calm and, like the menu, unique.
It’s hard to find spicy shakshuka and challah French toast (made on Fridays and served until they run out) for breakfast, or a one off San Fernando Valley restaurant that makes its own bread on the spot: rosemary, rye, french baguette, sesame, brioche and more.
Earlier in the day, homemade whole grains and sourdoughs are served with feta, olives and jam as the menu arrives. More restaurants should do this. It’s a piquing wake up call for the tongue.
The menu is dominated by panini and sandwich choices ranging from $8 to $11 that come with a side salad or, for a few more bucks, a generous bowl of soup. Their toasted turkey and brie sandwich, stacked between slices of olive bread, isn’t a loud plate. The slabs of cheese are hefty and mild. Honey mustard and caramelized onions make for a failsafe, sizeable dish that goes well with their thinned lentil soup.
Along with many Valley eats, the espresso is supplied from Bar Nine and passes for OK with burnt milk, but the forgettable coffee sparks the eatery’s army of homemade desserts to life.
Three bucks gets a creamy, dense mousse wrapped in an edible dark chocolate mug brought to your table that’s made of dreams and eyerolling groans of satisfaction. The dining room’s shining centerpiece is a refrigerated cabinet showcasing rows of pastelled, fancy desserts and croissants.
The Baker’s laid back ambiance and hardtofind offerings make it a good place to try something new, especially their flooring desserts and homemade bread.
It’s open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 5 p.m. on Sunday, and their menu is available on their website at: www.thebakerbakerycaferestaurant.com.