By Brandie Hanson, 18, North HS (Torrance)
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Brandie wants to try out sweet shops in other parts of LA too.

I love angel food cake, peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss on top, cupcakes and so many more sweet things. So when I came across an article in my local newspaper, the Daily Breeze, about good bakeries in Los Angeles County you can’t imagine my excitement. I’m always looking for things to do, since my hometown of Torrance is so boring, so this article gave me an idea. My boyfriend as well as some friends set out to go on a bakery mission, one bakery every weekend. Our schedules were so hectic that we couldn’t go every weekend but we did go as often as possible.
We started with a bakery called BabyCakes in Torrance that specializes in cupcakes. I had never been there before but my boyfriend had. It was a gloomy Friday after school and the cupcakes were amazing. I tried a vanilla cupcake for $2.50. I’m not a big fan of tons of frosting so I had to scrape some off but besides that, the cupcake was spongy and moist. The frosting had just enough sugar even though there was too much frosting on top.
We’ve been back more than a few times. I have to say that the other things they bake may be better than the cupcakes, like the whoopie pie (cream in between two oatmeal cookies) that was a-mazing, and a peanut butter cookie jam sandwich, which is just what the name says: strawberry jam in between two peanut butter cookies. The crumbly cookie made it so good.
Then came J.J. Bakery in Torrance, a completely different kind of bakery. It’s an Asian-inspired bakery where you grab a tray and choose bread items with different things baked inside. After going along the wall with all the bread, there are baked goods behind you at the counter. I had a bread roll with beef curry baked inside. It may sound like a pot pie but it looks nothing like one. It looks like a soft roll from the outside but there’s yummy beef curry on the inside. That was tasty but a little too big of a portion. After that I had melon bread as well, which is a roll with a melon glaze that was light and sweet—a nice way to end the meal. Both cost less than $3 together.
Next came Giuliano’s, a local deli and bakery chain that I’ve been going to for years. The sandwiches were what I was familiar with because after eating a sandwich I was always too full to try anything else. My friend Cindy and I went after working on a school project just to get a snack. Cindy was astonished by the huge selection: to the left of the cash register is a display case with about 30 different kinds of cookies. And then to the right of the cash register there is another display case with all kinds of Italian desserts in regular and mini sizes. I tried a mini napoleon, mini chocolate covered cream puffs and linzer tarts, a type of cookie. That all totaled about $5. Everything tasted so perfect that I don’t think I’ve gotten a sandwich in awhile. Oh so yummy.
Next there was King’s Hawaiian, another eatery that I was already familiar with. King’s Hawaiian is an amazing restaurant because it is not Americanized like many restaurants are; it’s authentic island food. On your way in and out of the restaurant you pass a bakery and the smell of freshly baked sweet bread. Instead of just walking out after dinner with my parents I decided to try something from the bakery. I picked out an almond pinwheel—a flaky puff pastry with some kind of almond filling as well as a light almond glaze drizzled over the top. I’m still not sure what exactly is in it (I don’t want to know because it’s probably not good for my high cholesterol), but it is so light and a completely different taste that I keep going back for more (they’re only $2). I also get muffins for my mom, who loves their pumpkin muffins.
Most of these bakeries were ones my friends and I just came across or already knew about. None are in that article I found in the Daily Breeze, mostly because the ones that sound good are all kind of far, like in the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena and Pacific Palisades, but I am still on my mission to go to more bakeries. There are a few in the article, like Stan’s Doughnuts in Thousand Oaks and Famous Cupcakes in North Hollywood, that I WILL go to and I’ve noticed a few bakeries in surrounding cities. I’m always on the lookout for new bakeries to visit when I’m driving around or a passenger listening to friends’ conversations because I haven’t tasted anything I didn’t like yet and each bakery was a different experience.

Bakery locations:

BabyCakes Baking Company
24205 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 373-2500

J.J. Bakery
2370 Crenshaw Blvd # K-L
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 328-6668

Giuliano’s Delicatessen & Bakery
3849 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 540-2500

King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant
2808 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 530-005