The neon sign is glowing and the Hobart mixers are working overtime at Milk Bar on Melrose. Pastry hero Christina Tosi’s new West Coast flagship is almost ready for its colorful opening, and it’s going to be filled with soft serve ice cream, layer cakes, and lots of crack pie.
Tosi’s bright new strip mall home has been long in the making — years, in fact. “We have been talking about opening in LA for eight years,” says Tosi with a laugh. “The most exciting part now is just that it’s happening.”
Now that’s all (almost) in the rearview, as Tosi and team prepare to open for business on Saturday. The first step through the door will be to face the multi-functional educational workspace, where Milk Bar employees will host baking classes and other fun, interactive nights. Beyond that is the commissary kitchen, lined in horizontal windows for just the right amount of viewing pleasure. This commissary will serve as the company’s home for all West Coast operations, from cookies to wedding cakes, while steel-tabled workspace will double as indoor seating when not being used as a classroom.
Moving towards the far end of the 4,000 square foot operation (in an inevitable line of customers, of course) there are shelves for Milk Bar take home trinkets and prepackaged goods, from lighters to cereal milk mixes. And then the final reveal: a display case of cakes and cookies and truffles and more, all backed by a soft serve setup and espresso machine for Counter Culture Coffee lattes. Sunlight pours in from the tall windows behind as customers peel off with bags full of sweets to the benches and the living green wall outside, and all is right in California. Christina Tosi is here.
“This place already has the heart of Milk Bar,” she says, looking around at the gleaming mixers and the bright pink details. “And we’re not just popping into California. It’s important to build a headquarters, a flagship, a home, a wonderland that reflects every side of us.”
As for the menu, there’s the usual assortment of compost cookies and layer cakes to enjoy, as well as an expanded savory side anchored by filled buns that feel distinctly Los Angeles. Tear into one to find chorizo and egg, or pastrami from world-famous Langer’s. There’s also a tight collection of cooler treats for hot summer days, like milkshakes and the pineapple fo’ sho whip, a play on the famous Disneyland Dole Whip don with pineapple-lime soft serve. And, as these things go, it’s completely vegan. The opening Melrose menu is below.
Milk Bar opens this Saturday on Melrose, keeping hours from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday (closed Mondays), with an extension to 2 a.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There’s also a Milk Bar branded soft serve truck in the works, available for big events and private parties across Los Angeles. And, for those with big preorders, Milk Bar also offers a side quick service window for preorder pickups.
Milk Bar. 7150 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA.