Pot Cafe, the bakery annex of Roy Choi’s Pot lobby bar and still-to-come Pot restaurant in Koreatown’s Line Hotel, is now open. Tucked into a corner of the main floor of the hotel, it’s Choi’s version of a Korean bakery.
“It’s set up like any bakery but instead of Danish and croissants and morning buns [there are] red bean buns, cream buns, French bread pizza,” Choi said. “If you walk into a Korean bakery, you’ll know what I’m talking about -- like 85C, Paris Baguette. We want to take that whole culture and put our twist on it.”
So in the pastry cases are rows of Asian cream buns with fillings such as red bean, custard and cream; toasted bread-and-butter buns such as Bun B the G topped with honey butter, candied ginger and sea salt and the Kimchi Squat with kochujang chile butter and topped with nori; Hawaiian pull-apart bread; mocha chip cookies (including a gluten-free version); Ritz candy bars; and French bread pizza, including a sloppy joe pizza topped with beefy sauce and melted American cheese.
Butter mochi bars are slabs of mochi butter cake topped with black sesame or red bean cream and streusel topping. There also is shaved bingsu; congee with toppings; and chocolates and confections such as sea salt caramel and “pillow” chocolates.
The pastry chef is Marian Mar, who worked at Momofuku in New York and helped Christina Tosi open Milk Bar.
There also is a case of whole cakes, or Super Cakes, in quarter sheets, half sheets or by the slice: chocolate cake, tiramisu cake, “army cake” (salted caramel buttercream yellow cake with vanilla pastry cream, fresh strawberries and “our version of Cool Whip -- but better than Cool Whip,” said Mar) and Hello Kitty cake (raspberry cake with a thin layer of raspberry jam, lemon mascarpone cream and “Cool Whip” whipped cream.
“They are supposed to be like supermarket cakes,” Choi said.
What’s a Korean bakery without coffee and specialty drinks? Besides the usual espresso drinks (with coffee from LA Mill), there is cafe con leche, horchata latte, habanero mocha, misugaru latte and dabang coffee -- the coffee that became affiliated with retro Korean cafes -- with nearly equal amounts of coffee, sugar and half and half.
On the wall menu is a small drawing of Tupac Shakur, and his photos appear on the front of the cafe’s paper menus. “They’re like collectors items,” Choi said.
Added Mar: “He’s kind of become our mascot.”
Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. this week durings it soft opening.
Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 368-3030, www.eatatpot.com