Thursday, January 03, 2008

What's closing: Silver Lake's Backdoor Bakery

I'm not shedding too many tears for the imminent demise of Back Door Bakery on Silver Lake Blvd. I know some people love this place, but the dogfights at your feet, undercooked or rotten fruit in the pastries, lack of ability to make an iced tea (at least a few years ago) and general griminess have always turned me off. They did have their good sides -- they used to give tours of the bakery to school groups, which the kids enjoyed, and my daughter's nursery school class painted one of the tables there. And I had a few breakfasts there which were fine as long as you avoided the pastry products.
But the departure of the Back Door and Eat Well mean there's two spaces available where someone with actual hygiene standards and good food can move in, which can only be a good thing. I'll get an update later today on the plans for the space.
Update: The commenters below referring to non-payment of salaries, etc., are referring to Eat Well, not the Backdoor Bakery. I have no knowledge of the financial particulars of the BackDoor Bakery, or of Eat Well, for that matter.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

How it's stayed open all these years remains a mystery. Perhaps without the Back Door Bakery gone, the dog park will go next. One can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to disagree with you on this one. Loved the mushroom and cheese croissant. And the cookies. And the apple ugly muffins. Liked the dogs outside, don't think I ever saw a dog fight there. Dogs are part of this neighborhood, so it's something that has to be lived with - there are way worse things to put up with. Like snotty westsiders. But what do you do? *sigh*


Esther

quartzcity said...

I disagree a lot here. Back Door has been part of my morning commute since the mid-90s and I'm going to miss them (and their wonderful ginger pear muffins) a lot!

xie said...

i used to go to backdoor all the time for their amazing fried-egg sandwiches when i first moved to L.A. (they were best when ordered on a croissant), but eventually the dingy interior, rude people working there, and "hipper-than-thou"clientèle drove me away. i just hope that something cute, delicious, and privately owned replaces them.

Xander said...

I will actually be pretty disappointed that it's closed- even though I don't live in LA right now, and I did have some pretty nasty pastries right there. I always enjoyed the atmosphere on that sidewalk- the perfect place to take a book and enjoy a cup of coffee. Though I suppose if a new cafe opens there, I could still enjoy the atmosphere of the neighborhood, and perhaps get a decent muffin... -X

stardis said...

I am so going to miss this place. They had amazing pastries - the best croissants in LA, period. I will miss their hash browns and fried egg sandwiches. I will miss the penne vodka that I think was among the best I've ever had. I will miss their studious avoidance of all things trendy - they were their own vision and it was a vision enjoyed by a huge line of people every morning and afternoon.

Most of all I miss the sense of family this place gave me. The staff and the owners made me feel like I was going home for lunch or breakfast or dropping in for a coffee or snack. They knew my name and where I worked (not in Silver Lake) and they cared. And I know some of the other regulars - and there are a lot of us! I bet whatever goes in next will never be able to say that.

I am going to miss them very much and I hope thety find a new and better location, as they posted on their blog (www.backdoorbakery.com).

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the ones who will be disappointed. It's gonna be hard for me to find a new place to go.

dean said...

i've never been to Backdoor Bakery, but am i the only one who'd be bummed about Eat Well closing? so far they're the only place that this Southern girl has been able to find good biscuits and gravy...

Miles said...

Apparently -- and I only heard this from nearby business owners, so take with grain of salt -- the owners hadn't paid salaries for their employees or state taxes in quite some time...both in Silver Lake and WeHo.

Anonymous said...

...that would be Eat Well, not Back Door Bakery...

Dirtbagballerina said...

The coffee may be inconsistent and the food may not be the best ever but this place is part of the neighborhood and the owners and employees are like family. There are very few places left in Los Angeles like Backdoor Bakery. In my opinion, anybody that puts forth a "good riddance" attitude toward the closing is new to the neighborhood and should probably take their nasty attitude back to hollywood or the westside. Why would someone move into a neighborhood and then try to change it so that it loses all of the charm that probably brought them here in the first place?

Pat said...

Well, as many of my readers know, I'm certainly not a newcomer to the neighborhood, I lived here way before the Backdoor Bakery was there when the only places to eat in the neighborhood were Cafe Tropical, Seafood Bay and the Onyx. I'm sure the neighborhood feel is great, but it's not too neighborly to run out and throw a fit at someone taking a picture of the bakery, like the owner did to me one time. I don't really care whether places are old or new -- I like old places that run a clean shop with good food, and ditto for new places.

communicatrix said...

Joining the chorus of dissenters, here. Yes, there's some hipster-posing, with and without canine accessories. But, hard fruit aside (cuz I will grant you that) Backdoor consistently served up the best eggs and Americanos in the neighborhood.

RE: non-payment, I'd take that with an enormous-sized hunk of salt. The BF and I were discussing it this morning (over to-go Americanos while walking the mutt) and he pointed out that this closing is coming in suspiciously tight proximity to the opening of LA Mill, down the street.

Owner of the building in cahoots with owner of LA Mill? No proof, of course, but I'm just sayin'...

Terry J. Colberg said...

I can't say I'm relieved that Back Door is gone because my relief had already arrived with the announcement of LA Mill, but I am definitely not sad about the news of closure. Even when new, BDB underwhelmed me and increasingly became scuzzier on the inside each time I checked back.

Speaking of sanitation, Brite Spot got cleaned up a bit with some mild furniture refreshment.

Greg said...

kind of sad to see it go. i always enjoyed their homemade salsa and ketchup. and the hashbrowns were one of my favorites in the eastside.

the weird people who owned the place always gave me the willies, the $0.50 coffee refills were annoying, and HOW MANY YEARS does it take to find a ladle that doesn't dump water all over the counter and your clothes when you're trying to fill up your glass???

mrcommuter said...

I got their orange almond croissants every work day. I'm unhappy. Can you freeze these things?

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure can hold a grudge! I've never gotten hard/rotten fruit and, in fact, i think the apple croissants are close to heaven. Plus the owners have always been nice to me and when I mentioned my dislike of all the dogs (never saw a dogfight, either) they put up a Dog Rules sign.

I'm going to be very sad when they leave and I hope they move somewhere close.

Clare said...

I agree 100%. Backdoor Bakery has been a waste of space for years. Their pasteries are greasy, gummy and flavorless and even their sandwiches need work. I hope it's replaced with a real bakery.

Christina said...

I gotta disagree, too, Pat. Back Door Bakery was yummy goodness. A little on the gritty side, sure -- but the decadent baked goods and omelettes made up for it.

PS - Fie on you people who wish for the demise of the dog park! (Or should I say, Fido on you people?)

Anonymous said...

Backdoor Bakery was booted out of their space so the landlord could put a more upscale (and presumeably higher rent paying) restaurant into that space. Michaelangelo will also be leaving in May because of problems with their landlords, and apparently their Eagle Rock space fell through, so they are without a place to go. It's a good thing that LA Mill and Resevoir (when it ever finishes construction) are opening in the neighborhood or there would be no restaurants there for quite a while.

Anonymous said...

sure the backdoor bakery was not perfect, but come on, the good far out weighed the bad.
I loved it's funkiness, the dog's, the collection of young and old people, the muffins, the greasy egg sandwiches, the snail roll's, the kugel hof and of course the great coffee.
I'v been going there since the beginning can you tell, I'v even made complaints to there complaint box.
Im sad to see it go.

Anonymous said...

I just made an intensely good pan seared filet mignon with garlic and I am SOOOO bummed I can't sop up the juice with a backdoor bakery baguette!!!!!! Anyone have news on their new location?

james said...

I live near the BDB. I didn't go there much at all for years. Then, I started getting into having fresh bread. Walking over there and getting fresh, often still warm, bread in the morning was truly one of the great things about life! Sometimes, I ate the croissants, and they were fine.

Ultimately, it's very saddening to me personally, because, yes, the bread really was great when fresh, and generally I want places like them to survive. LA Mill holds no interest for me as a substitute. I'm not relieved by their opening at all! In fact, though I'm probably wrong to feel this way, I resent the accident (?) of their opening the same time BDB closed. I think of them as interlopers with a mission to change the neighborhood to their liking rather than settling because they like it as it is. I doubt I will ever EVER be their patron.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you all know that the comments about snootiness again 'hollywood and or the westside' makes you all just sound awful and conceited. Everyone in Los Angeles KNOWS that all the snotties live on teh Eastside, especially in Silver Lake and Los Feliz! I mean, seriously, give me a break and just stop writing shit like that. This is a blog about food, for people. All people. Doesn't matter where you live. These comments are nothing but rascist and classist comments. If by Westside or Hollywood you mean, rich people, say it. If you mean white people, say it. If you mean, the entertainment business, say it. If you mean young people, say it. Becuase what the hell do you mean? Keep on breeding discontent with your ignorant, hateful comments. I have a better idea--go back to NEW YORK and take your 9/11 payoff money and your trust fund. I hope this remark gets you all riled up and gives you something to really write about, because what does it even mean? Nothing. But its the same amount of stupid rude as those remarks above. And it makes as much sense and is as giant of an assumption. BDB was awesome by the way, the new trend-heavy luxury gentrified coffee shop taking its place will change the whole rent scale of the block and nothing will be able to stop it. The next step is chain restaurants in 5 years, mark my word. You don't even know what a monster a move like this starts.

Anonymous said...

David.....
Have you ever tried the baguettes at LA BREAD on Los Feliz they are the best in town and the food is great also.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Silver Lake in the early 90s and will always remember the good times at BDB. The owners would often bring out a dog biscuit for my spoiled pup. He'd promptly spit it out and resume begging for a piece of my croissant! I hope they find a new (dog-friendly) location.

Anonymous said...

Backdoor bakery re-opened up in Sunland near the equestrian community there. Check it! http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Back-Door-Bakery/130598946960984?ref=ts