Mama's Secret Bakery

Los Angeles, CA. Is it new? Or simply hidden? It actually has a hint of both, in that it recently opened and alludes to a 'secret' in its very name. Now what is that secret? Well, I've been wondering the same thing, but it draws me back again and again to try and figure out the answer to perhaps an obvious question: good food in a relaxed environment? it can't be that obvious.

I stumbled upon the experience with a friend on a recent Sunday afternoon after having spent some time away from culinary delights. It was a nice change of pace to encounter something new and to experience it with a friend who is generally too busy to venture outside of the customary favorites. Our first option had no tables, and with no desire to wait, we walked but a few feet to this little eatery.

The space has a contempo feel, a European vibe, and eclectic fare with a lean to the French and Turkish cuisine. It ranges in address from 8314-8316 on 3rd Street, so no need to be confused by the listing location. The staff are friendly and accommodating to your requests and the chef is open to bending a few recipes to make certain things work for the individual palate (but Shh...that one is a secret). Order from your table which you can pick...pretty much wherever.

Chocolate Liegois
Chocolate Liegois - this French foamy cup of coffee was a subtle blend of bitter and sweet, but paired with a chocolate powder and yielding quite the satisfactory cup. I wasn't sure if I should eat the whipped cream, mix it together, or cut past it to just sip the coffee - it was good either way and has become my new favorite caffeinated treat. I've found that I rather enjoy their coffee menu as a whole, and have witnessed repeat customers in my repeat visits for the coffee alone.

Croque Madame
Croque Madame - had one of the most cleanly cooked eggs I've ever seen on such a sandwich... a generous helping of turkey on the sandwich and simple combination of flavors made it a strong contender for a new sandwich favorite to try at home. The bread was not their traditionally served brioche, so I can't speak for the sandwich as it was intended - but this was a good option.

Almond Croissant - was served warmed, soft to the bite, and tasty on the tongue. The almond paste is a fair amount and evenly distributed, so as to get a try with each bite. Each time I've ordered these they have been served warm and towards the end of the meal (if you're there for something beyond a cup of coffee and a little snack) and pair perfectly with my warm beverage.

Almond Croissant
Their menu features a range of foreign-originated items and the big 'to try' is their Turkish Serpme experience...traditional Turkish light fare meant to be shared and enjoyed. I'll add it to my list of meals to eat in 2012, and am looking forward to a number of breakfasts and lunches here in the future.  Right now the restaurant's little treats are supplied by an outside vendor, but I have heard 'talk' that as the business expands these little morsels will be prepared in-house; an exciting thing, given that in-house prep would imply expansion of the treats they could offer to their customers...which is generally a mouth-watering thought.

With an offering of free wi-fi and no push to leave, it's easy to get settled, get comfy, and get to work on that book, homework assignment, or journal entry.  Conversations can easily be shared as can local artwork. Take a look around while you're there and check out pieces from local artists; this new venue supports creativity and has plans to enhance the dining experience and restaurant in the coming may notice a difference each time with one fundamental constant: Mama's secret will keep you coming back.

Mama's Secret Bakery
8314-16 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048


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