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By Steven Li on 2007-04-08

April 08, 2007

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I’ve taken it upon myself to sample every item single item that Some Crust Bakery in Claremont offers. If this were the ideal world, I’d focus on one type of pastry and go to every bakery in the world that offered it and sample just that one kind. But there is but one bakery in Claremont. So we must make do. Some Crust is located in the Claremont Village, which happens to be right next to my dance classes at Pomona. Every Monday and Wednesday I dance. Burn calories. Eat cookies. (This is very similar to my Bert & Rocky’s Ice Cream plan). Then I go back and write my senior thesis (I graduate in one month, finally!)

We’ll begin with the Mocha Cookie ($1.50). This is the cookie Some Crust owners are most proud of, primarily because it was featured in the LA Times. It’s a memorable cookie with a thin crispy dark chocolately shell holding capture to near fudge-like innards. However, it finds itself in great competition with Jacque Torres’ Mudslide Cookies, which holds an extra edge with walnuts. The mocha cookie is best when popped in the toaster for a minute or two till it gets warm and fudgey, just a bit crispy on the outside and purely decadent. Even better with a whoompsh of freshly whipped cream and a swirl of honey.

Someone on Chowhound once claimed that the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie ($1.30), “tastes like sunshine.” I don’t really agree, but then again, food is perhaps the most controversial subject in the world. It’s a bendy cookie. It’s not crunchy, not soft and chewy, not thick, not thin but somewhere in between and very, very pliable. You could say that it is an okay, boring cookie you’d eat but never crave. One notable highlight though, is the generous inclusion of golden, as opposed to “normal” raisins, which I find to be less sweet and more often juicy.

Bonus points for using a traditional waffle stamp as opposed to fork tines to make the mark of a classic peanut butter cookie. It’s not too sweet, very true to the peanutty flavor and has a good balance of crushed peanuts in the cookie. But like the Oatmeal Raisin above, it has issues deciding whether it wants to be thick or thin, chewy or crunchy. It lies somewhere in between, and that bugs me.

But the best pastry at Some Crust is without a doubt their BEAR CLAW. The magic comes about when the sweet icing melts effortlessly into the buttery layers, and then just a second later, onto your tongue, asking for nothing more than for you to savor it. If you choose to eat the pastry in layers, first break though the buttery shell, akin to a toasted croissant with the top dusted in sliced almonds and swaggles of icing. Fluffy innards tell you that this bear claw does not deserve the respect of a croissant because it is too big and too heavy – to American in fact. But that’s exactly what they are aiming for, so there is no shame in the matter. As you head towards the middle half, the buttery laden innards start to wrap in on itself and there you see it, hugging a long nutty, gritty, and devilish pipe of ground almonds and sugar. There is no denying that this is a large calorie bomb of a pastry, but so long as you have it before 12 noon, you have the whole day to digest it so savor away! Cavities on the other hand, are a completely different matter…

The oatmeal raisin scone is a little on the strange side. I like it for what it is, but this is definitely not normal scone dough, it’s like doughy cookie dough with the crumble of a biscuit. It’s good because it’s not too sweet and has a somewhat nutty flavor. Never had anything quite like it, very filling and lots and lots of oatmeal!

The currant scones much better fit the definition and my understanding of a scone. Dense and buttery like you wouldn’t believe, the tart niblets of currants popping in your mouth is the perfect contrast to soft rich dough.

Once in a while they’ll turn out a seasonal danishes, my favorite of which are the pumpkin danish. It reminds me a lot of Zippy’s Apple Napples back home in Hawaii, only with insanely buttery rich dough. I wish it could be more flaky and perhaps half the size so I don’t feel like my heart will explode after I finish one, but the whipped pumpkin filling is rather fantastic, a deep orange whipped pudding-like concoction, heavy on the nutmeg.

I had the hot cross bun this morning while attempting to write my senior thesis amidst the smells of baked goods. I surprisingly made a good deal of progress on thesis, considering my recent state of senior slump-ing, but the hot cross bun was a terrible mistake. It wasn’t even a bun. They lied. It was like a biscuit stingily studded with raisins. Or something akin to a raisin scone. But whatever it was, it was most certainly not raised with yeast! All I wanted was a fluffy bun rich with dried fruits, but instead I got a hard crusted biscuit with a thick layer of frosting, sweet enough to choke you to death. Why does it need to be frosted anyways? Check out this post here. We have it all wrong.

On a colder day I had a weak cup of hot chocolate. They blend their own chocolate syrup mix, so while I was not expecting the joys of a thick frothy cup from City Bakery, I was looking more for than a mess of muddy water. However, the whipped cream saved the day, cold, heavy whipped and barely sweet, it could easily serve as my permanent replacement for marshmallows.

About once a week I buy a loaf of bread to tide me though long accounting classes. Some people snack on chips and beer, I prefer bread. Fridays is challah day, and with the option of plain, sesame or poppy seed, I always end up opting for the poppy seed. I try to tell myself that it is because I really like the flavors of poppy seed, but more so than that, I just like the visual appeal of black specks on a golden loaf. It’s truly a great day if you get it still warm from the over, wonderful crusty top and innards, light and yeasty. I’ve never done anything other than eating it plain, but one day I’ll make challah french toast.

My second favorite sandwiches in the world are tuna melts (coming in after caprese), and there’s no better bread in Claremont for such a sandwich than Some Crusts’s Jalapeno-Cheddar loaf. The use of cheddar is generous and dotted throughout in abundance, and there’s enough jalapenos in here to set your mouth on fire and turn your lips turn ruby red. Though when toasted, it melds beautifully with a tuna salad rich in chopped celery and lots of black pepper.

…and then when I have no more bread, and the bakery is closed because today is Easter Sunday (Happy Easter!), I have no more excuses to avoid working on senior thesis…sigh. off to work I go! ;)

Some Crust
119 Yale Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-9772



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