Demitasse Pastry Update — Sugarbloom

29 Jul

It has been a very long time since I’ve done a Demitasse pastry update. I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight the fact that they carry Sugarbloom pastries now, which are pretty great, and reflect back on Demitasse briefly.

The picture above is of Sugarbloom’s Beehive bun, a croissant coated with bee pollen and orange blossom honey and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. It’s not my favorite of her pastries, but it highlights her light touch and amazing creativity. Other gems include her signature miso butterscotch cookie, a white miso kouign aman, a pretty great PB&J cookie, and excellent examples of straight-forward croissants and pain au chocolat.

Sugarbloom is a pretty great operation. Sharon Wang worked in Thomas Keller’s restaurants, including our local Bouchon. She brings that classic French experience to her perfect pastries, but adds an unmistakable Asian-American twist to them. Not in a Roy Choi/hit-you-over-the-head way (except maybe that Kimchi Spam croissant). But using subtle flavors to bring something new but familiar to old classics.

It’s wholesale only, so no storefront. I’ve seen them at Demitasse, Stumptown, and Blacktop, but there are a few other places around town that carry her stuff.

I’m glad to see Demitasse seems to have settled on Sugarbloom. They have run through at least half a dozen pastry providers in their few years in business, starting with Farmshop (where Bobby, the owner, would personally drive over every morning) and going through Allen Bakery (whom I’ve never seen a trace of since) and Cake Monkey and Bread Lounge.

Demitasse also changed up their coffee sourcing. They started as a multi-roaster in the Cognoscenti/G&B model. That was my favorite time, as they introduced me to Augie’s and Trystero, a couple great local roasters, and had stuff from some of the more established brands, like Ritual. They then moved to sort-of roasting their beans themselves by having Trystero do the roasting with their consultation. Now all their coffee is Demitasse roasted, although it is not clear to me where they do it or even if they really do it themselves.

Demitasse has always been the best coffee provider in Little Tokyo since it opened three years ago. Their commitment to excellent coffee has always been top-shelf, with the best techniques (siphon, Kyoto cold brew drip, excellent pourovers) and the nerdiest coffeedouches. Before the heavy hitters started invading the area (Stumptown and Handsome/Blue Bottle in the Arts District; G&B and the impending Blue Bottle in/near Grand Central Market), Demitasse was what started the Third Wave coffee explosion here. Even with those other options nearby, Demitasse is still worth a stop.

** I think their business does pretty well, but it is always a wonder to me that people will complain about having to wait five minutes for their pourover coffee and then go walk 100 yards to wait in a ten minute line at Starbucks.

*** And a few more updates from Sugarbloom.

Here’s the Auntie Ivy’s PB&J Cookie:

A little disappointing because it is just a peanut butter cookie with a thumbprint of jam in the middle.

Blueberry lemon cornmeal biscuit:

This was pretty great. Perfect level of sweetness. Homier than the Viennoiserie stuff Sugarbloom specializes in. The lemon tartness really comes through.

Carrot cake muffin:

This thing is a triumph. Full of shreds of carrots, perfectly moist, with an incredible cream cheese frosting on top.

Sugarbloom Bakery

135 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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