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The Actor's Diet is the daily food blog of Lynn Chen (www.lynnchen.com), a spokesperson for The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). The Actor's Diet is also a podcast! Listen here: http://bit.ly/1345JIP

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lynn - Bricks & Scones

We got home late last night and our next-door neighbors were being obnoxious, as usual, by drunkenly screaming until 3 in the morning. We've been having issues with them for over a year now - both we and our other neighbors have talked to them, written them notes, spoken to their landlord, and even called the cops - but their behavior hasn't changed. I didn't sleep fantastically and woke up at my usual 6 am time, groggy. I journaled, caught up on blogs, and felt brain dead by the time Abe woke up at 10:30. I needed food.

A welcome addition to the neighborhood:

Bricks & Scones opened down the street last weekend; I was excited to give them a try.

The baked goods looked amazing, but it was too early in the day for sugar, especially since I was already Ms. Cranky Pants.

I ordered a decaf coffee for Abe and a cup of herbal tea for myself ($1.65 each) plus some sandwiches.

The space is very cozy and clean, with free wi-fi! Just ask the counter person for the password.

They have a shelf where you can exchange books - I have a bunch I plan to donate/swap.

We sat in the outdoor patio...

...because of this guy (who got his own bowl!)

My tea was delicious and came in an eco-friendly paper cup.

The Turkey Pesto Panini (I ordered it without Mozzarella) was terrific - I got it on multi-grain ciabatta with fruit for $6.00. It was very flavorful and interesting, even without the cheese.

I also tried a bite of Abe's Caprese on Baguette ($5.00) which was tasty as well.

After taking my supplements...

...I headed inside to interview Jinah, the owner.

Tell me about yourself and why you started this business. I’m 2 years out of college – I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to grad school; I’m also a musician. I’ve always loved coffee shop culture. My parents own this building - there was a cafĂ© here before about a year ago, and they left, and the space has just been empty here since…I just thought, “What a waste.”

Who does the cooking and what are some of the specialties? My mother is an incredible baker. She cooks all of the food and bakes all of the pastries – everything is homemade. She went to baking school in the past and is just great in the kitchen. Her chestnut corn muffin cake is pretty awesome – and also the red velvet, which we frost to order. She also makes an amazing cranberry walnut bran muffin, and of course our scones – which actually is modified from an old British recipe from a tea house in England – I try to make it as authentic as possible. We have an afternoon tea special – all day, for $5 you get a pot of tea and 2 scones, served with clotted cream, jam, and lemon curd. You can also special order any of our baked goods.

Do you have any vegan options? We don’t at the moment, but we’re definitely looking into it – the vegan, the gluten-free, the sugar-free option. We’re starting off kind of small because right now it’s only my mom in the kitchen; once we get our footing, we’ll definitely be expanding, with a weekend brunch menu, more pastries, etc.

Where do you get your ingredients – are they local? Organic? All our barista milk we get from an organic family dairy. We get our Intelligentsia coffee from a roasting factory just past Silverlake. We use a ceramic dripper to brew each cup – with each order, we take the whole beans and grind them per order, so it’s not just sitting there in the grinder getting stale.

I noticed your cups and eco-friendly. We try to be as environmentally-friendly as possible – our sleeves are made from recycled paper, our cups and clamshell/to go containers are all biodegradable/compostable, our plastic forks are made from potato starch. All our napkins and to-go bags are made from recycled craft paper. We’re really trying to keep it eco-friendly.

How do you envision this space being used? I’ve lived around here for over a decade now and as a resident, I’ve always felt the neighborhood could always use another hangout/community/local spot and just wanted to provide a good place for people to relax and study. Hopefully we’ll be starting live music nights once a week. Next week we’re opening up the second level – a little corner room that will seat about 5-6 people that we’re planning on calling “The Study.” Each person will get their own desk; it’s going to be our only no-talking section, for those who really want to just hunker down with their coffee (we have bottomless coffee/tea options).

I'm so happy this place opened - it's a great space to just sit, read, and get work done. It's further up on the Larchmont strip (north of Beverly) so it doesn't get as much foot traffic but I think once people discover it, they'll love it. I plan on coming back often to blog there, and maybe perform in their music night?! Yeah, we'll see....but I'll definitely be back for Jinah's mother's Sweet Potato Cake, which has my name written all over it. Hmm...maybe they'll name a future sugar-free, fig-filled dessert after me!

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  1. This place sounds wonderful..perfect for you guys and how nice that there is a bowl for Julius! The interview was really interesting. Thanks.

  2. What a nice way to spend a Sunday morning! :) The place sounds absolutely wonderful. I loved reading the interview.

  3. That place looks so great, and the interview proved that there was more behind the looks. Thank you for that.

  4. That place sounds amazing. Actually, I would love to own a little coffee shop, just like that. A place where people could eat delicious food, drink good coffee, relax, study, blog (:P), I'd maybe have exhibitions too.. it's always been a dream. :)

  5. What a great little find! Wonderful food and great prices too. And how fortune that you were able to interview the owner. Looks like you've gained a perfect lunch/coffee stop in your neighborhood.

  6. I think it's fabulous that you interviewed the owner-- you get to experience the inspiration behind the masterpiece!

    Have a good evening, lovely lady!

  7. What a cute place! I love how they're opening a quiet study room. Coffee shops around here are usually way too loud to get work done!

    And I've never had sweet potato cake (or pie). It sounds amazing!

  8. That place looks adorable! What a great find:)

  9. I love cozy little coffee shops :) looks like the perfect blogging spot!

  10. This sounds like a great place and great questions! It's always good to ask questions because that also gives the owners some insight on things they can consider :)

  11. Yes!! Please report back on the SP cake! This place sounds so relaxing/unique, and everything sounds great! Now I want to open a coffee shop/bakery!! Haha

  12. What a cool place! And reasonable!

  13. I love the settings of this place, very cozy and comfortable ! that book exchange corner is really a great idea:-)
    opening a small cafe is always my dream !!

  14. Such a huge fan of those ginger chews!

  15. What a great coffee shop! I love finding new weekend haunts!

  16. Wow, that's a really cool place! I'd love to visit...but NO CHEESE?!!!! WWWWHHHHY?!!!!!!!

  17. What a great place! And I love the story behind it. It must be a special thing to work with her mom like that.

    It must have been a noisy weekend everywhere because we were also awakened by stomping and screaming and swearing above us. Not fun!

  18. That places looks so cool, there nearest one to me is two towns away. I wish we could have a place like that in walking distance!

  19. That is so annoying about your neighbors! That would drive me insane. I'm sorry!

    That coffee shop looks great though. So awesome that you interviewed the owner!

  20. this place looks ADORABLE! anything having to do with scones is okay in my book ;)

    i hope you get the neighbor thing figured out - that is uber-annoying!

  21. Great review! That place looks so fun. I didn't know you could order a panini without cheese...I have always want to do that but I've been afraid the waiter or whoever will tell me that it won't work without the cheese to hold the innards together...so I just never order them when I go out. I guess that's a little silly :-)

  22. The afternoon tea at Bricks & Scones is a great deal, especially if they serve scones and all the fixings with a pot of tea. Sounds like a great place to hang out and relax!

  23. Wow that sounds like such a cool place! The owner sounds pretty cool too.

    Sorry about your neighbor probs, that's terrible.

  24. This place looks really nice. Warm and cozy and the owner sounds so nice and genuine. Looks great for a "study spot."

    Neighbor problems reminds me of collage all over again. Sorry you have to deal with that.