Thursday, June 28, 2012

Clementine

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Los Angeles, CA. Some days I wake up and just want a cookie. I know, I know, it may come as a surprise given that I usually want a pastry along the cinnamon roll or cheese danish route. However, there it was: a chocolate chip cookie was happening. Now where could I find such a specific dessert in the middle of Century City? A fair question given the corporate surroundings, but easily answered with Clementine, a neighborhood bakery and cafe.

Sitting adjacent to a few locals businesses is this little eatery hosting baked goods and everything one would expect a cafe to offer. Specialized food months also seem to exist, with their recent grilled cheese month (yes...an entire month to specialty grilled cheese sandwiches). Order, take a table, get the food - the general set-up of coffee and tea joints across the city armed with a full kitchen. Ample seating does exist, but keep in mind that peak times seem to be around the lunch hour on any given day.

My Order...
Of course I ended up with a bit more than just a cookie - it was mid-afternoon, and I got a bit hungry, what can I say? Neatly packaged and set on my way, I returned home to take out the treats (yes, they lasted that long, surprisingly enough), and make my way through the eats. Heated items were foil-wrapped to preserve the heat and pastries were individually bagged. A side of cucumber accompanied the food with a purpose that still remains unknown.

Apricot Braid
Apricot Braid - was my first deviation from my cookie quest. A piece of apricot rested neatly in its middle, with the doughy braid encircling the sweetness and painted cleanly with a white sugar glaze. A simple formula for a good eat but proceed with caution: apricot must be liked to really enjoy this confection. It was a bit later for a pastry like this to remain delicious after sitting out all day, and for me it ended up a little dry, but all was well. I understood the goal and ate the rest, wondering if a little heat would enhance it in any way. I guess I will never know, given that it was finished by the time I could reach a heating device. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie - was just like a mother, grandmother, and everyone else who knows how to make a chocolate chip cookie, should taste. It was soft to the bite and filled with enough chips to have a bit of chocolate coat the tongue. The cookie itself did seem to have an extra note I could not readily identify, but all that means is I have more exploring to do. I could have easily eaten an entire batch of these with a tall glass of milk. Heated or room temperature, this particular recipe satisfied the initial thought starting my day.

White Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich
White Cheddar Sandwich - was my second little distraction from my cookie quest but it came with an invitation: how could I not try a grilled cheese from a restaurant that celebrates an entire month of it? I usually want cheese that goes on for days - hot, melted, with a crisp finish on the chosen bread. This sandwich met all of my expectations, with white cheddar cheese oozing from between the crust as I took each bite. An additional plus for next time is that I can add bacon to this already delicious guilty pleasure. I was glad I did not unwrap this sandwich sooner, because it would not have made it home.

So it is not a whimsical tale of a man and his cookie, but an introduction to an eatery that makes for a great new place to frequent. For a lunch break in the middle of a work week, it would be best to call ahead to pick up an order. On any other day, this could be a casual new spot to have some good conversation over tasty fare. Unfortunately, I did miss this year's grilled cheese month, but I have it marked and will be back next year to sample the possibilities. 


Clementine
1751 Ensley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 552-1080
www.clementineonline.com

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