A good loaf is not too hard to find these days, especially if you live around Silver Lake or Malibu. Because several days out of the week, K&V Bake pops up in those neighborhoods with terrific toasts and beautiful batards in tow.
The K here stands for Kai Borson-Paine, the V for Venti Hristova. Both have a background in film: Borson-Paine is a digital imaging technician and Hristova worked on several Marvel films and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1," among others, as a visual effects supervisor at Cantina Creative.
Three years ago, the couple fell into bread baking the same way many of us fall into bread baking. After a revelatory trip to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, they picked up a copy of "Tartine Bread" and began growing their starter, which they named Bubbles, because that’s not only what a starter does, but also because Bubbles was one of the best characters on "The Wire."
The starter essentially kickstarted their idea to start baking on a larger scale. “I want to feed people for the rest of my life,” Hristova says.
Sourdoughs were just the beginning. Hristova and Borson-Paine now fill their bannetons with all sorts of dough, including whole wheats, ancient grain loaves, seeded breads and olive oil brioches. Every once in a while, the team also bakes up a special treat, like a country loaf studded with Bulgarian white chocolate.
Currently, you can find K&V Bake’s breads mostly in toast form at their pop-ups at Dinosaur Coffee in Silver Lake on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at Cafecito Organico's Hoover and Malibu shops on the weekends.
Their seasonal menu is put together by chef Cael Kirkland.
Recently at Dinosaur, you could have found them slicing thick slabs of toasted sourdough and slathering them simply with “extra-salty” butter, and topping whole wheat toasts with harissa and vegetables. The pair also supply the sourdough croissants and other baked goods you see in the case at Cafecito Organico. All of the above are good on their own, but particularly so alongside a cortado or cappuccino.
If you’d like a loaf to take home, K&V Bake has beautiful sourdough and ancient grains batards for sale at their Dinosaur pop-ups. Loaves are not available at the moment at Cafecito.
Beyond the two coffee shops, you’ll also find K&V Bake’s olive oil brioche at Bestia, which the restaurant serves with foie gras.
Up until now, Borson-Paine and Hristova have been baking their breads in their home kitchen (translation: “six loaves an hour,” Hristova says, not without a sigh of exhaustion). In a few weeks, K&V Bake will move into a commercial space as one of the first tenants at L.A. Prep. With the move comes more real estate for a bigger oven. And with the bigger oven, a considerable increase in production.
A good loaf, soon to be even easier to find.
K&V Bake pop-ups at Dinosaur Coffee (4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake) on Wednesdays and Thursdays and at Cafecito Organico in Silver Lake (534 N. Hoover St.) and Malibu (9169 Heathercliff Road) on Saturdays and Sundays. Check Instagram for exact schedule.