Father’s Office – Previewing Helm’s Bakery Desserts

1 Aug

While Sang Yoon has fallen for the Top Chef bug, we’ll see if he starts hawking his newest venture, resurrecting the Helm’s Bakery. Yoon has already started (since February) previewing HB’s creations at Father’s Office in Culver City.

This is a take on the strawberry shortcake ice cream bar you buy at gas stations and liquor stores. The plus is that it tastes like fresh strawberries. It promises cream cheese flavor but falls short, only having a hint of it. The crumb on the outside was pretty good, but I wanted more of it, not just splotches.

Yoon is partnering with Sherry Yard, the former pastry chef of the Wolfgang Puck empire. Yard has garnered gushing praise as one of the best pastry chefs in the country and has the LA foodarati in a lather about the pending reopening of the Helms Bakery. For now, FO is offerings small selection of Yard’s treats. Hopefully, they are still tweaking.

This stone fruit crumble was $6 and came out warm. It was pretty good, but not particularly special. The nectarines were fine but non-descript. It reminded me of David Karp’s advice that you shouldn’t buy peaches and nectarines from a place that doesn’t know what varietal they are.

It was all topped with a scoop of ice cream that was just fine. If you told me they just bought a half-gallon at Ralph’s I wouldn’t be surprised.

My takeaway impression was that these desserts were OK, but not at the level of the best stuff in the city. I’ll come back to try a couple other things, but I’ll withhold final judgment for now.

Of course, we also got burgers.

Not much to say. Best burger anywhere. Even on the rare occasion when the kitchen is a little off, this burger is still a superstar.

We were also there during DineLA, so we took the opportunity to try a couple other dishes.

The duck confit salad is great. First of all, it’s duck confit. It’s paired with a side of greens in a balsamic vinaigrette and toasted hazelnuts. It’s not exactly a well-composed salad, but it’s nice to have the side salad along with the rich duck.

The first course was prosciutto wrapped figs grilled (or broiled?). I think they served it with a light balsamic glaze. Delicious.

You go to FO for the burger, realize the fries are great, and always think, huh, interesting that they offer all this other food. I would never dissuade anyone from getting Yoon’s incredible blue cheese and caramelized onion masterpiece, but I’ve always had a great experience with Yoon’s other plated food. It certainly goes better with Yoon’s small selection of tap-poured wines.

Father’s Office
3229 Helms Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034


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