Best Bakery

Rachel Klemek's outstanding bakery is not a place anyone is going to accidentally happen upon. Situated in an anonymous corporate park just off the eastern end of John Wayne Airport's entry, the bakery is tucked far enough back that patrons have learned to look for the delivery van parked nearer the street. Once found, though, the harder part is leaving. Klemek is famous for her Cabernet wine flour, which, when turned into brownies, imparts a very faint, appealing wine taste to the rich, dark chocolate. Blackmarket's brioche cinnamon rolls with vanilla- and lemon-scented cream-cheese frosting are so unbelievably rich they ought to be eaten under a napkin, like ortolans' less-endangered cousins. Focaccia pockets—all vegetarian, stuffed with eggplant and feta, or roasted red bell pepper, or mushrooms—should be standard issue for picnic baskets and lunch boxes. The bakery turns out occasion cakes that hit the sweet spot of being both beautifully decorated and delicious. That Klemek has an ironic sense of humor, as evidenced by her Soviet-propaganda-style T-shirts that proclaim, “The people WILL have bread!” is only the icing on the cake. (Sorry.)

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