LA BREA AVENUE CHIC CAFÉ WITH A TWIST
I have to admit, the recent changes along La Brea Avenue in the Mid-Wilshire/Hancock Park area are impressive. For years it wasn’t anything to look at, maybe a place to buy overpriced second hand clothes, but now La Brea is an area to shop, dine and stroll about. The latest tasty addition to the mix is TWIST Eatery, a chic urban cafe with a comforting…wait for it…twist.
From owner Joelle Bercovitch, who spent the last 25 years building the Charles David shoe empire, comes TWIST Eatery, a stylish shop that’s a natural fit among the block’s trendy hotspots, which include yoga studios, a yogurt shop, a juice bar, wine shop, and cool cafes.
"There could be no greater honor than working with my family for all of these years, but now it's time for me to follow my own dream," says Bercovitch, "and I always wanted to open a little bake shop, with a twist of course."
That “twist” features tasty treats that have delighted the Moroccan-born, Montreal-raised and California inspired shop owner. Specializing in organic, healthy food, Joelle's "little shop with a twist" is a mix of big ideas, global flavors, and a genuine personal touch.
Think of TWIST Eatery as Sycamore Kitchen but with better prices. Indeed, it’s a great alternative to the neighborhood’s beloved shop, also on La Brea Avenue, only at TWIST you don’t have to spend $20 for a meal, albeit a wonderfully tasting meal. Now La Brea has Tinga, a place for great tacos and other Mexican delights; Sycamore Kitchen, headquarters for amazing baked goods, delicious coffee, and savory sandwiches; Café Midi for French and other wonderful cuisine; Café Verona for killer frittatas and Panini’s; and Ca Brea for dynamite happy hour. And a welcome newcomer is TWIST Eatery.
Teaming up with chef Anna Statman, who owned Towne & Country Cafe in Silver Lake for five years, the duo of Bercovitch and Statman spent two years testing, honing and polishing their favorite recipes to create the light breakfast, extensive lunch, and the soon to be offered weekend brunch menu items at TWIST. Not to mention an array of delectable desserts.
Presenting straight-forward comfort food, light breakfast options include The Granola Parfait with house-made granola, fresh berries, Greek yogurt and a drizzle of orange honey, and the Biscuit Sandwich with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheddar, served on a homemade biscuit.
A nod to mom’s traditional Moroccan dishes come to life with the Chicken Couscous Bowl, which features organic chicken dusted with Ras Al Hanout (a blend of spices used in Morocco and North Africa), served with vegetable couscous cooked in a turmeric-cinnamon broth. Another crowd pleaser is the Salmon Bowl, which includes Moroccan spiced oven-roasted salmon and a lentil-quinoa salad, tossed in pomegranate vinaigrette, topped with a citrus salsa.
The Romaine Caesar Salad is a clever twist on my favorite salad, using preserved lemon Caesar dressing, topped with house-made brioche croutons and sprinkled Asiago cheese. A variety of fresh salads, like the Greek Orzo Salad, Tropical Quinoa, and Lentil Walnut, served from the deli case daily, come in single, duo, and trioserving sizes.
Looking for a filling sandwich? The Pulled Brisket Sandwich gets a twist with roasted tomatoes and a dollop of horseradish Crème Fraîche served on house-made brioche. Joelle pays homage to her North African family roots with the Tunisian Tuna Sandwich, made with black olives, pickled onions, preserved lemons, and presented on a baguette with Harissa mayo. A good healthy option is the Mediterranean influenced Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, composed of grilled eggplant, zucchini, roasted red peppers and tapenade on house-made focaccia.
A popular item is the mustard-tarragon marinated Organic Grilled Chicken Pressed Sandwich, made with Havarti, onion jam and arugula, served on a ciabatta roll. The Pressed House Roasted Turkey Sandwich, with turkey breast, Brie cheese, apple raisin chutney and served on a ciabatta roll, is another noteworthy twist on a classic. All sandwiches come with a seasonal Kale-Cabbage Slawor Mixed Baby Green Salad.
And don’t forget the burger! Anna’s Classic comes with TWIST blend beef, cheddar, bacon, house-made pickle, served on a brioche bun. This hearty bad-boy gets the job done and can easily be the best burger on La Brea.
Baked items include Joelle's Chocolate Mousse Roulade, a twist on a classic log cake, and Twist Tops, which are small rounded cakes filled with an assortment of delectable flavors like Lemon Curd, Dulce de Leche, and Fudgy Chocolate. TWIST’s comfy, high-ceiling urban space is a great place to nosh on good, healthy items, or indulge in decadent delights.
"Every detail matters to me because I want TWIST to be an extension of my home," says the proud owner, "where people eat well and enjoy a comforting experience, with a twist, of course."
Twist Eatery is located at 344 S. La Brea Ave. Call 323-938-9478. Hours: Monday thru Sunday 9am to 6pm.
Photography Courtesy of: Twist Eatery
Photo above: Anthony Pino
By: Jose Martinez