Melting pot. Salad bowl. There are a variety of culinary terms used to describe the cultural make-up of Los Angeles. I'd like to add another theory to the mix: smorgasboard. This is what happens when two cultures form an unlikely marriage on the dinner table.
I've had and greatly enjoyed French-Japanese, French-Vietnamese, Indo-French, and others (those French get around, eh?). But Austrian-Korean is a new one for me.
Wien Bakery & Cake House (aka Wien Konditorei Und Cafe) looks like a charming and authentic Austrian lodge from the outside; inside, the food is traditional European bakery fare with a Korean twist.
Wien is the German word for Vienna... as in, Vienna, Austria. Although I only spent two days in Vienna on my vacation last year, I did have a chance to sample some of the delicious bakery treats there. When I passed Wien on Olympic, I was excited for the chance to relive those treats - streudel, sachertorte, palatschinken, etc. Although it should be noted that Wien has less of the truly Austrian desserts and more of the type you'd find in an upscale grocer's bakery: eclairs, cakes, tortes, and the like. The display case is beautiful with some truly mouthwatering creations in all sizes and flavours.
Most of the cakes are available in full cake form and by the slice, which gives a great opportunity to try before you commit to the full monty. The cakes are so beautiful though, I'd be proud to bring one to a dinner party without even tasting it first.
Wien also has a large selection of freshly baked breads, which were soft and fluffy. Like a misbehaved child, I squeezed and hugged and fondled a large majority of the breads, working my way down the line from fresh cream bread to baguettes to croissants and danishes.
And though I did buy a loaf of the cream bread, I unfortunately put it up in a cabinet and forgot about it until it had molded.
One thing I did try was the "green tea creamcake."
In all fairness, I probably chose something that wasn't in my normal range of favourite foods. I'm not a big cake person, and though this was creamy and fluffy, the flavour was very light, so it just tasted like whipped cream to me. Good graham cracker crust though.
Wien is definitely a place I need to explore further. They had some interesting bakery twists like red bean doughnuts, sweet potato danishes, and black sesame cookies.
As I learned online, the Euro-Korean bakery theme isn't unique to Wien... it's actually a trend that has been popping up all over L.A. recently. For more, check out this LA Times article from a few weeks ago. It always makes me mad when I try a place thinking it's fairly undiscovered (I went to Wien back in May), and then a major publication writes about it before I get a chance to. Arrrgh!
Wien Bakery & Cake House
3035 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Hours: Daily 7:00AM-10:00PM