I’ve heard great things about Proof Bakery but never the pleasure, so when a friend suggested lunch there, I said “Oooh! Sure.” I don’t get to see Atwater Village on weekdays or by sunlight too often, but since I started working from home (no more east-to-west commute!), I’ve been trying to squeeze in local lunch spots.
Proof Bakery doesn’t bowl you over on first sight. The small, unassuming space is all clean lines, modern airiness and marble tables. The dessert case/counter doesn’t have Marie Antoinette-esque decadence of many bakeries these days, so there aren’t the stacks and piles of cakes and cobblers of, say, Huckleberry in Santa Monica. That said, the restrained set of offerings does hit the right sweet and savory notes—think chocolate chip cookies, cheese and chive biscuits, croissants, tarts and morning buns.
There are piles of sandwiches, however, because that’s the way Proof showcases their daily options. When I was there, there were three plates of as many varieties: prosciutto, bacon and beet. If I had it my way, I would have had the prosciutto, but pregnancy rules make it a no-no, especially since it had been sitting around at room temperature. I played it safe with the beet sandwich, but don’t feel sad for me.
It was actually quite good.
The beets were cut thin and offset by crispy potato skins, arugula and pesto. And the bread? My goodness! Proof’s thin, sea salt flecked baguettes are of the mouth-watering variety, making for a delicious sandwich. The only problem is that they’re very slim and light. So light, in fact, that I had half a mind to get another one, but then I said to myself, “Valentina, just get some cake like a normal person.”
So, I had a luscious slice of Toasted Lemon Chiffon Cake. Lemon curd and creme fraiche cream lay between light-as-air cake, which is “frosted” with pillowy, burnt-in-spots sticky meringue—I’m a sucker for that fancy toasted marshmallow flavor. Pomegranate seeds were sprinkled on top, giving it seasonal flair. Quite the study in subtlety. And it went perfectly with my Cognoscenti Americano.
Valentina Silva is a regular contributor writing about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her new blog, Eastside Food Bites.