I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Red Bread, the new Culver City bakery and café from Rose Lawrence and husband David that grew from their efforts at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. Luckily, the couple is happy to clear up any confusion. The Lawrences wrap customers in a cocoon of blackboards that deliver handwritten messages about farmers and their philosophy, which all emanates from their mission statement: “Red Bread is a Local Sustainable Bicycle-Powered Social Justice Organic Kitchen & E-Grocer.” Transparency extends to the open kitchen and bordering counter, which showcases creations inspired by the seasons. If Red Bread is touting a BLT Tartine ($9), grab one.
The Lawrences start with pork belly from a woolly Mangalitsa pig, which they cure with salt, maple syrup and chilies to form firm, meaty slabs of bacon. They grace a thick slice of their house-made sourdough bread with dry farmed Early Girl tomato, slightly bitter Italian greens and cultured butter. Simple, but oh so effective. To balance the bacon’s richness, they present a ramekin of tart asparagus pickles, house-made, of course.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.