Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dolce Isola...even the simple things from The Ivy are to die for!


2869 S. Robertson Blvd
Culver City, CA 90034.
(310)776-7070
Mon-Sat 7:30AM-6PM
Sun closed

A recent addition to the Culver City empire of restaurants is the Ivy's Bakery store front by the name of Dolce Isola. Being that The Ivy is such a place of note and that just the mention of it conjures up pictures of celebrities hob nobbing on the front patio. It's no wonder that this place shouldn't become a hit amongst common folk such as myself, as well as the rich and famous.

The focus of Dolce Isola is first and foremost as a bakery so you'll find fresh breads and cakes to delight the eyes as well as your taste buds. But don't be fooled, their sandwich selection is something very special... and be sure to check if they have a special sandwich of the day!

Both our sandwiches are what I've always imagined the perfect picnic sandwiches to be. The Dolce club consisted of fresh roasted free range turkey, baby lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and their mayo must have infused with a HINT of horseradish. All items were very fresh and the bread was a firm, toasty crispness on the outside and soft on the inside. In short AMAZING. I would grab this in a heart beat if I ever couldn't decide what to get. It was simple, but even perfection can be simple.

Celeste enjoyed their caprese sandwich, made up of fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella di bufala(aka-REAL mozarella which is made from water buffalo milk), basil, light dijon mustard and a little olive oil. With the crunchy softness of the bread, the flavors of each item came together beautifully. Also, it was refreshing to taste fresh soft mozzarella from water buffalo milk, such a difference...if only more people knew.

Here are just SOME of their baked items, additionally there were several more platters out in the open to tempt you. Celeste got a Latte to go with our selections, and I wouldn't normally mention her coffee (sorry no picture) , but she and I found it to be pretty spactacular, and she LOVED the foam (which is really saying something, cause normally she finds it tasteless and an annoying barrier between her and her drink) .

We chose the carrot cake, which if I remember correctly was the Capri cupcake of the day, a dense, double cupcake sized bit of goodness. I myself am always hard pressed when it comes to cake as I'm not such a cake guy, but this was exceptional. The cream cheese frosting was SUUUPER creamy..."like buttah". As for Mitzi's Earthquake cookie, I barely have a clue about what's inside of it. I know that eartquake cookies are made from the same basic dry ingredients as Devil's food cake, and they have a sugar coating that when they're done cracks and reminds you of the ground after an earthquake. What Mitzi's recipe calls for I don't know, but these things were killer. It seemed like a little bit of toffee as well as walnuts were tossed in but don't quote me on it instead just buy one figure it out...they're only 75 cents a cookie.

Here's their array of gelato and sorbet which makes for a great finish for any meal here.

We got a small cup of their Pecan praline and while not the best in town it's most certainly up there for smoothness and creaminess. This was very nice in that it wasn't too rich and the pralines were crushed very small, and the base vanilla flavor it was mixed into was just perfect. Indeed a perfect way to cap off this great Saturday afternoon kick back meal.

With their hours, this is a great way to bring something special home to a loved one or yourself on a weeknight, a means to arrange a perfect picnic, or have a nice low key meal on location. A big plus is that you can order many baked goods including bread, cakes that can serve intimate or huge parties (this screams weddings) as well as their to-die-for jams, chutneys and sauces. My one sadness with them is that they're not open on Sundays and they close at 6PM on the other days. I mean Sundays would be ideal for this place as they'd make a killing. Other than that, I find this place to be a new hotspot for me whenever we can make it. And make sure to hop on in because, for many, this could be the closest you will ever get The Ivy!

Free Refills: No
Menu: I'll do better than give you a range. Here's the menu from the day we went.

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