Note: First Looks give previews of new dishes, drinks, and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
The SoBeCa District in Cosa Mesa, short for "South on Bristol, Entertainment, Culture and Arts," is comprised of a duo of quirky retail projects—The LAB and The CAMP—intersected by Bristol Street. To be a retailer in this arts-inspired space is to have a unique vibe.
Behold Blackmarket Bakery. Originally of Irvine, the bakery recently opened its second location in The CAMP. Upon a recent visit to SoBeCA, it was our noses which first noticed its arrival. The charming aroma of butter and sugar wafts in the air and persuades you to drop in. To deny yourself from doing so would be an example of willpower at its finest.
The baking gets going at 2:00 a.m. every day and doors open at 7:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. on Sundays). Once the morning's buttery scones and muffins sell out, freshly baked cookies follow. A glass display case filled with mesmerizing tarts commands your attention. Their biggest seller, the Black Widow Tart ($4.85), is a decadent layering of 72% dark chocolate ganache and caramel in a chocolate tart shell. Another popular choice are the "Open Wide Ice Cream Sandwiches" ($4.15 + $0.80/topping). The portions are Hungry-Man-sized. Served open-faced, a fork and knife are more than welcome. You get to choose the cookie and ice cream combinations.
As an added bonus, if you have the desire to pick up a few of Blackmarket Bakery's tips and tricks, Owner Rachel Klemek offers classes on Saturdays. Click through the slideshow to see more of what's baking at Blackmarket Bakery.
About the author: Rachel Leeson is the biggest fan of Nutella and Peanut Butter & Co.'s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter. She lived in New York City for four years and learned one thing: L.A.'s year round sunshine cannot be beat; In-N-Out doesn't hurt either. You can follow her on Twitter @RachelDLeeson.