Nancy Silverton’s gone Italian

May 15, 2012 § 10 Comments

This is the original Nancy Silverton pecan sticky bun from the La Brea Bakery

As I mentioned this morning we’re in L.A. right now, catching up on family time. One of our favorite foodie places to visit is the original La Brea bakery Nancy Silverton opened in 1989, next door to her then husband’s restaurant Campanile. Occasionally on weekends I used to stand in an early morning line of customers that straggled down the block to buy what was probably the best bread in L.A. Chef Mark Peel still owns and runs the restaurant, but Silverton sold her interests in Campanile and La Brea. The news media reported she lost that nest egg in 2008 to Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme. But that girl (now approaching her 60’s) has energy, determination and a passion for all things pastry and bread that just won’t quit. She’s teamed up with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich (Lydia’s son) to form the Mozza restaurant group which includes a high-end Italian restaurant, pizzeria, to-go-and-delivery operation and an event venue. Tuesdays with Dorie’s sticky bun challenge was the catalyst for an afternoon’s drive through Hollywood to visit her old and new food stomping grounds–fun, delicious and expensive!

I feel like a tourist on our drive through Hollywood past the palm tree studded streets and hillsides. Must be a Marilyn Monroe look alike in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

I always shopped in the morning after making the long drive one day and the bakery had closed early because they sold out of bread! The loaves I got today looked beautiful, but were a little dry. Sigh…

Mozza2Go is only a few blocks away on our way back. Silverton’s focaccia has an open stretchy crumb and a generous dousing of olive oil pools in all the crevices. The bread is fragrant and salty, more about texture than flavor, beautiful and delicious. The antipasti and salads are very fresh and flavorful, making the perfect warm spring evening al fresco dinner. For dessert, we nibble on La Brea’s chocolate sour cherry bread and share Mozza’s butterscotch budino (Italian pudding), both signature Silverton creations. You can learn about Mozza Cookbook here and enjoy a few recipes from the book here.

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