Silver Lake’s Back Door Bakery getting kicked out


Our last day will Sunday, January 13th, 2008.

We’ve been at 1710 Silver Lake Blvd since 2001 [they mean 1991 -CKB]– going on seventeen years! We’ve been in business since 1989 – almost twenty years! Feels like twenty minutes. Whoosh!

I wish I could say we are leaving happily, but the snarky fact is that our landlady, Myrna Marin, owner of Modem Salon, kicked us out with only thirty days notice in December. I guess this was her Christmas present to us and our staff. Well, at least that’s how we’re taking it.

We’ve far outgrown our current space and now we get to do business in a bigger location. As we finalize those arrangements we will post new info. I wish I could say how long that will take, but over the years I have learned that nothing happens as quickly or as slowly as we need it.

What we do know is that our staff will stay with us until this last day and will follow us to our new location and we hope our beloved customers will do the same. We have had a rare privilege in getting to know and serve all of our wonderful neighbors over the years. We hope to be able to do this for another twenty years. At least.

Much love,
Deborah and Reno.

P.S. We will happily accept letters from any and all of you who would like wish us well, tell us what we’ve meant to you, or tell our new landlord how happy you’d be to have us in a new location.

OK so upfront, I’m somewhat neutral on rent raise/gentrification issues (yeah, blight is generally bad but be careful what you wish for), but this kicks me in the teeth. Back Door’s coffee, buttermilk scones, and ginger pear muffins have been a fundamental part of my Los Angeles commuting life since 1994. Their baked stuff is consistently outstanding and I’m going to be extra irritated by their absence. I hope they have a new place lined up soon.

It appears some irony lights are burning out there because landlady Marin’s web page has this quote:

A native Angeleno, Myrna earned her license before she even graduated high school. At 25, she opened her own salon on a sleepy stretch of Silver Lake Boulevard. Now the area is ground zero for the progressive Silver Lake scene, something that was established by artists like Myrna who saw the potential of the neighborhood and built it from the ground up.

So apparently it’s now time to purge out those artists. I can’t help but think that this takes a sawed-off shotgun to the entire middle section of Silver Lake Blvd. Back Door caters to a lot of folks: commuters, dog parkers, shambling musicians all of whom wouldn’t have any reason to pay attention to that strip of Silver Lake Blvd. during the day. It’s going to be a ghost town down there.

Meanwhile, the replacement restaurant for the still-missed Netty’s was supposed to open a year ago. It hasn’t yet. If memory serves, this leaves only Leela Thai, Michelangelo and the 7-11 as the only evening eating options. Sigh.

McConnell’s Turkish Coffee

We interrupt our participation in Anti-NaBloPoMo (a negative space to counter the posting NaBloPoMo hordes) for the following announcement: Scientists working feverishly in the Quartz City labs have reached a critical objective proof. This is The Best Ice Cream in the Known World…

McConnell's Turkish Coffee ice cream

Fosselman’s makes a damn fine ice cream, and to be honest – any of their ice creams handily trounce most available options. Three out of four times I’m ready to make that drive out to Alhambra, but sometimes you want something that is so over-the-top ridiculous that it’ll make Coldstone cower in fear and give fever dreams to Red Bull drinkers. Enter McConnell’s Turkish Coffee. Pull off the lid and you’re confronted with, well, something that looks like a soiled ash tray.

McConnell's Turkish Coffee inside

Yes those are ground espresso beans in there.

This is not an attempt to generate some nerdfury. McConnell’s Turkish Coffee is the Best Ice Cream in the Known World. Full stop. I challenge some of the other worlds out there to come up with something better.

Feed a cold, feed a fever, feed whatever ails you

I’m not much of a hamburger eater these days, but when I have a cold all I want to eat are hamburgers. Full-on king hell gravity-well craving. Specifically I’m looking for a burger from an extra hot grill that has a nice crispy char to the outside of the beef with a thick zone of medium rare inside. The bun only needs to be sufficient enough to sop up the juice. Anything else is unnecessary (cheese, bacon, and onions are OK. Pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and dressing are not). As much as I love the Apple Pan, Pie And Burger, and Tommy’s (which really belongs in its own category) they don’t really satisfy the I’m-sick-want-burger crave. Sorry In-N-Out fans, but you’re just not on the radar.

If I was anywhere near Portland I’d be on my way to Burgerville right now as it’s dead on what I want. The bacon burger at Sidewalk Cafe on Glenoaks gets about 70% of the way there. Still looking…


I was just finishing up this post about Montrose when I noticed Atwater Village Newbie posting about it today too. And yeah – unlike the morass of dubious “Old Town [name of city]” downtown revitalizations around LA county, Montrose has gone directly from 1975 to 2007 completely unscathed. The signage, the store fronts, and even the businesses themselves haven’t changed at all.

The Montrose bowling alley is total Charles Phoenix bait:

Montrose Bowl

I love the fonts, the glass bricks, and the two tone green but the detail that makes it is the bowling pins on the front of the planter box. I doubt that this building has changed at all in fifty years. Certainly the inside of it hasn’t.

Pho 21 MontroseIf you go for the architecture make sure you stay for the food. Tbe “Vietnamese Fusion” sign outside Pho 21 might scare off some purists, but their pho is yummy with a strong broth and noodles that can stand up to it. Perhaps more to the point, Pho 21 is the only pho place in this part of town and I’m glad that it’s a good one.

Mole EnchiladasIf you need no other reason to go to Montrose, then at least go for La Cabinita. It’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles and the best mole this side of Guelaguetza.