I had planned on taking myself on some hikes around some of LA’s most iconic landmarks (including the Hollywood sign), but the recent storms in the SoCal area had put that on hold for me. I changed my direction and decided to scroll through Instagram and visit the sources of some of LA’s most popular social media food subjects. No sponsors, just hungry and hooked on Instagram. And bored. The boredom helped. First up — Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Read on …
Yes Bay Area residents, there is a Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in equally-congested San Francisco, but I didn’t know that until recently. The shop in the LA area is located in the area known as Highland Park, which I think I can best describe as a hipster-ish area between the hilly area of northern Los Angeles and Pasadena city limits. By the way, if you decide to drive yourself up here, be aware that the nearest freeway has narrow lanes and stop signs for their onramps. This is not the place to practice your driving. Anyways, to the food …
I usually feel pretty stupid taking pictures of my food like this, but Mr. Holmes Bakehouse seems to welcome Instagrammers and social media lovers alike. They seem to be famous for their Cruffins (croissant dough molded into cupcake form) and donuts, the flavors of both change daily. The day I went, the donuts were mocha/coffee and calamansi flavored. It surprised me to find calamansi flavor in a donut as I have only seen it in use as the Filipino lemon, so I of course had to try it. Calamansi is a bit sweeter than the traditional lemon, and the cream of the donut definitely tasted like calamansi, but I will admit that calamansi isn’t my favorite. But this donut delivered as promised. The mocha/coffee donut was delicious. Both donuts had soft, spongy dough even after waiting in my rental car for about 3 hours as I continued to explore LA.
I thought the Cruffin was great. I believe it was a German chocolate flavor the day I went. On first bite, I noticed that the inside was soft, very rich chocolate flavor, and the outer layer was flaky, but in a good way. I might have had more to say about it, but my four-year-old niece polished it off before I got another bite.
My 12-year-old nephew enjoyed the matcha croissant, but was considerate enough to give me a piece. It was sweet, but also had that un-sweet matcha taste (I don’t know how else to describe it). Again, flaky exterior and soft inside. My eight-year-old nephew had the Ferrero Rocher croissant, and said it tasted like the candy. I didn’t get a chance to taste this one, as I had stuffed myself full from my other food expeditions on the same day. My only complaint about the croissants would be that only half is coated, and gluttonous me would prefer the whole top to be coated, or maybe a flavored cream inside. Actually, I believe I have just described the Cruffin. I think I just wanted more Cruffins.
One item not pictured, because I was chowing down on it while taking my pictures, is the cookie dough bear claw. I love cookie dough anything, so I naturally had to pick this up. It also conveniently didn’t fit into the box, so I decided “I have to eat it now.” It was delicious — flaky, warm (because I ate it fresh), and filled with cookie flavor. The only possibly negative thing I could say about it was that it’s not really cookie dough inside, more like a cookie flavored-cream. But it’s still delicious.
If you don’t mind extra carbs in your diet, I would recommend trying out Mr. Homes Bakehouse. I had a great experience here. Be aware that the parking sucks, and the area is half residential and half commercial, but because I came at such a random time, I was able to find plentiful street parking around the block. The staff that work here patiently helped me pick out items that I might like and even were nice enough to describe the ingredients of everything that they had on display (it might have also helped that I was there at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning, and there were only three other customers besides myself). They have interesting flavors and everything I was able to try was delicious.
Check their website here, but know that you have to visit the actual brick-and-mortar stores to get Cruffins. They also have savory goods, but as I am a sugar fiend, I didn’t look at those during my first visit. Check them out on Instagram @mrholmesbakehouse (or @mrholmesbakehouse_kr for their location in Korea) to find a schedule of their daily Cruffin flavors and gorgeous photos from customers. I’ll probably check out their SF location over Spring Break.
If you’ve been here, what are your favorites? Any recommendations of what other items I should try? Let me know.