Godzilla helps display bread samples and shrimp salad from Bread Bar
I didn't rush over to Bread Bar when it opened, because I try not to go out of my way to stuff myself with dough. But after a trip to get glasses in Beverly Hills, it was right on the way back to work, and miraculously, there was a parking place in front. Bread Bar has a modern, bamboo-and-glass look, about as far from a baroque Parisian-style bakery as it's possible to get.With several tables on the sidewalk and inside, it's a good spot for lunch. I ordered a shrimp salad to go ($9.95), since the sandwiches didn't look that imaginative. It comes with a slice or two of bread, so I figured I'd get to try the bread anyway. It took 10 or 15 minutes for them to make the salad and I was hungry, so I managed to down a mini raisin croissant while I waited --good, but I prefer the croissant-type pastries at Boule. Imagine my surprise when my salad was finally ready and the counter girl presented me with an entire bag full of bread slices to try! Now that's service, because all the flavors, especially the nut, the buckwheat and the country bread were really good, and I would go back to buy bread based on all the samples I tried. The shrimp were kind of flavorless, but I liked the combination of arugula, tabbouli, avocado and shrimp, and the chicken and tofu salads sounded good too.
Verdict: Bring lots of dough to buy your dough -- it's pricey, and perhaps slightly pretentious, but the bread is really flavorful and I was sure happy with my big bag o' samples. There's some parking in back, but otherwise, it's pretty gruesome on that stretch of Third.
8718 W. Third St.