fiona bakery

Fiona Bakery was a cute little cafe in West Hollywood serving up seasonal dishes and baked goods that truly allow California’s bounty to shine. I say was, because unfortunately I just got word that they closed their doors for good this past Sunday! Such sad news, to be honest. But with crazy high rent costs and never-ending competition, the restaurant industry is a super difficult place to find success. Ever since I first spotted their sesame butter toast on Instagram, I knew I had to check it out. So when I stopped by for lunch with a good friend recently, the aforementioned bread was obviously ordered. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything involving sesame or tahini, and this did not disappoint. I loved the sweet and savory vibes going on- the sea salt honey was the perfect complement to the creamy sesame butters and chewy, yet fluffy brioche! After ogling over the beautifully impressive pastry case (and vowing to return to try more items soon), we decided to balance things out with a couple of their fresh salads. I loved the Vietnamese-meets-Cali-influenced menu- both the shredded cabbage & chicken salad and little gem salad were bright and flavorful. The menu also featured rice noodle salads and savory sweet potato pancakes- not to mention classic banh mi sandwiches that my husband absolutely adores! Those cookies stacked high in the pastry case (and the carrot cake!) continue to call my name to this day as well. Although I’m super bummed Fiona has since closed its doors, I remain hopeful the team will open another spot soon!

the mill

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One of the best things about getting to travel so often for work is that I get to dine at amazing places all around the world. The Mill in San Francisco has a cult following (as seen on social media), and for good reason. True, it's just bread and coffee, but it's Josey Baker Bread and Four Barrel Coffee, which is some of the best around. All their bread is freshly baked each day, so get a loaf to take home and enjoy later. While there, however, you should indulge in their specialty item- toasts. Thick slabs of bread, toasted, and topped with various spreads and toppings. Think almond butter & cinnamon sugar on whole wheat sesame bread, or dark mountain rye with cream cheese, salt & pepper. The menu changes seasonally, and there's always a weekly special too. My choice was whole wheat sesame bread with almond butter, apple butter, and sea salt! Toasted to perefection, with a crisp and crusty exterior and chewy crumb in the center. Be sure to go early so you can snag a table!