With a full line of bakery treats, classroom, kitchen, catering, and ice cream truck, Milk Bar’s flagship eatery has arrived in LA., and how sweet it is for Melrose shoppers. Where else would a hip, happening, ultra-coveted cookie and soft serve ice cream empire choose to set up shop but Melrose Ave.
Milk Bar was founded by Chef Christina Tosi in 2008; the tasty cool dessert and bakery chain is part of the New York City-based Momofuku restaurant group. Its Melrose outpost is the first on the West Coast. Tosi is a two-time James Beard award winner who began by creating the dessert program at Momofuku and went on to build her own dessert-focused chain. And in doing so, she created indulgent and unique sweets like Cereal Milk ice cream, Compost Cookies, and Crack Pie®; desserts that inspired ravenous fan followings, ready for flavor and fun.
Tosi has been looking for an LA home for eight years, and now she’s got one: an approximately 4000 square foot shiny and pink-walled location in the heart of Melrose. Cakes, cookies, breads, soft-serve ice cream, and Counter Culture Coffee – it’s all here now, even a coffee version of the venue’s renowned Crack Pie, featuring butter and toasted oat sweetness reshaped into a latte.
The menu is a bit different than at the other 14 branches of the sugary hot spot. There are Milk Bar’s famous favorites, but there are also savory treats such as breads filled with Langer’s pastrami with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and topped with caraway seeds; or chorizo and egg. Beautifully textured elote corn bread seems particularly suited to LA tastes, with jalapeno cream cheese, pickled red onions, fresh corn, scallions, micro-cilantro and cotija cheese. And of course, there are cool treats that fit the LA aesthetic too: milk shakes, soft serve ice cream, and to serve that soft-serve on the go, a retrofitted, ‘60s era ice cream truck that is available for parties and events around town.
And as a flagship store, the former Baskin Robbins/laundromat location has lots of kitchen space plus an ample classroom for baking courses, making the Melrose venue the largest in the chain. It’s one of only three – NYC and Washington, D.C. being the others – to offer classes. Just in time for Halloween, you can sign up to make Pumpkin Dulce de Leche cake and truffles. In case you’re wondering, that pumpkin cake is made with vanilla spice cake, milk crumbs, roasted pumpkin ganache, dulce de leche, and roasted pepitas.
In the classroom, the sweet-studious can sign up to learn how to assemble many popular layer cake combos, Crack Pie, and more, with every student chef taking home all items they create, plus recipes. The classroom is also designed as a great spot for birthday parties and corporate events.
But, if you’re like most of us mere salivating mortals, you might be more interested in bringing home what the pros bake than learning to bake yourself. From Vanilla Rainbow Cake that’s guaranteed to make even a unicorn smile to the toasted oat crust, and oozingly rich butter filling of the wonderfully addicting Crack Pie, there’s something to suit any sweet tooth in town.
Look for Birthday Sprinkle sugar cookies, Compost Cookies made with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. Cornflake Marshmallow cookies, rich Chocolate-Chocolate cookies, Blueberry & Cream cookies, even gluten-free cookies with fudgy chocolate and dark chocolate chips, sweetened with coconut and pineapple are among the offerings. And of course, there’s a wide selection of truffles, too.
On the ice cream side, find soft serves in Cereal Milk flavor – reported to taste just like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of corn flakes or a pineapple Fo’Sho Whip that riffs on Disneyland’s renowned Dole Whip with vegan style. And don’t miss the cake-y Milkquakes, or milk shakes, like Chocolate Malt and Birthday Cake flavors.
Want more than delicious treats? You can also take home cookbooks, scarves and pins, and coming soon, piñatas!