Is it possible to fall in love with a bakery?
In case you were wondering, it is. Most definitely.
Especially so if the establishment in question is Proof, a quirky, mod little jewel box of a bakery located in Los Angeles.
The smallish scale of the actual building belies the plethora of choices here, which may be your only conundrum – what to order? Sweet and savory, Proof has it all going on, simultaneously. Those cases and counters are jammed full of good stuff – quiches, breads, tarts, galettes, cakes, cookies (sandwiches debut at noon each day). The menu varies to take full advantage of seasonal produce. All that plus fresh juice and fantastic coffee, via Handsome Coffee Roasters and Cognoscenti Coffee.
This dizzying bounty temporarily distracted me from my primary purpose, a mission really, to sample their chocolate chip cookies. I’d been referred by a friend who is adamant that the baking wizards at Proof make The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie, Ever. Being a lifelong devotee of chocolate chip cookies (a sort of a unofficial ambassador, really), I decided it fell within the scope of my duties to investigate fully. This kind of claim can’t just be allowed to hang out there in the universe, unsubstantiated.
Although self-appointed to this position, I have my credentials – I’ve tried countless chocolate chip cookies from all over (other continents, even!), and it has been super hard work. Okay, it hasn’t been super hard work, but nevertheless, there it is. So I marched in to Proof and requisitioned their chocolate chip cookie. In reality, I just asked the smiling, friendly guy behind the counter for several cookies and paid my modest sum, but “requisitioning” sounds more in line with my self-bestowed title. We took our treats to one of the little marble-topped window tables, as both of the highly-coveted al fresco spots on the sidewalk were occupied.
I’m not precisely sure if it is the Maldon sea salt, the rich chocolate, the perfect, chewy/crumbly texture, or the fact that they are just the absolutely spot-on amount of sweet, but yes, it was confirmed – these cookies are the best ever. Swoon. Proof also offers these same phenomenal chocolate chip cookies as the magnificent foundation for their version of the perennial summer classic, the ice cream sandwich, which features Straus organic vanilla ice cream in the center. Double swoon.
So now that the whole chocolate chip cookie thing was resolved, we celebrated by eating more stuff, of course. My companion, who is way more into the savory side of life (like, cheese is an acceptable dessert for him), ordered one of the specials for the day, salami and arugula on stecca. Basically, it was a salt-flecked, slender baguette, which I’d imagine would taste fabulous with just about anything on it – truly great bread has that way of elevating good, simple ingredients to lofty heights. He was kind enough to share, then ordered another to go. I tried to convince him to try one of the sandwiches with beets and goat cheese, which sounded amazing, but he was already quite attached to the salami and arugula combo. In the end, I relented, mostly because he bought another half-dozen chocolate chip cookies for me for the road (plus a latte and a coconut macaroon).
With a schedule to keep, we left reluctantly, with our traveling provisions, but not before scooping up a bag of the house-made granola and a jar of preserves from Sqirl, for gifts.
I just knew there was no way those cookies would make it to our next destination intact.
3156 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Proof website (and menu!), here