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Breakfast at Akasha

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Anyone who thinks that vegan pastry is a contradiction in terms should try breakfast at Akasha, the new Culver City restaurant that opened last Tuesday. Dinner is up and running, lunch is coming in two weeks; in the meantime, Akasha’s bakery opens at 7 a.m. every day except Sunday. Chef-owner Akasha Richmond creates the Asian-style shortribs and wild pepper scallops with black rice risotto on the dinner menu, but the bakery is pastry chef Verite Mazzola’s domaine.

Culver City is familiar territory for Mazzola -- before a stint at the Huntley, she did the desserts at Ford’s Filling Station, which is only a scone’s throw (sorry) down the street. Akasha is in the historic Hull Building; after a lengthy redesign, the space now sports high ceilings, exposed brick-and-iron walls and enormous arched windows that provide the generous lighting for Mazzola’s trays of goodies: vegan rustic apple tarts made with spelt, goji-mango-granola cookies, lavender shortbread cookies, vegan Meyer lemon scones, house-made poppyseed bagels, individual pumpkin-seed tea cakes. Everything is organic; many pastries are vegan and some are even gluten-free. And if you’re not a morning person, you can always order Mazzola’s crème brûlée with confit kumquats for dessert.

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Akasha Restaurant Bar and Bakery, 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 845-1700.

-- Amy Scattergood


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