It’s been my dream for years to open up a Mexican bakery. It would be filled with light and beautiful pastries. And it would be inspired by the breads I lived on the summer I spent in Guadalajara.
I wasn’t the only one with this dream. Santa Monica is now home to its first Mexican bakery, La Monarca. It’s full of light and beautiful pastries and it’s better than I could have imagined.
My blogger friend, Maria, and I were guests of La Monarca for a tasting of the natural products crafted by owner Ricardo Cervantes and his business partner, Alfredo Livas. None of the pastries are fried and they have 1/3 of the sugar than those from other bakeries, Cervantes said.
|La Monarca Bakery co-owner Ricardo Cervantes
This tasting was right in the middle of my Whole Foods 28-day Challenge where I go without meat, dairy, oil, and refined sugar. Going without sugar is the most challenging part of the challenge for me. I was cheating a bit (I was working), but I didn’t feel like I was eating too much sugar, which is what I love about the pastries there.
The conchas, a pan dulce with a sugared shell topping, were light and airy with a slightly sweet flavor. And I also appreciated how moist and delicious the corn bread was. Made with real corn, not cornmeal, it tasted very fresh and delicious.
We also tried soy chorizo that I would never have known wasn’t the real thing and went nicely with my month-long diet. My favorite was the mollette, one of my all time comfort foods made with soft bread, beans, and cheese. And the shredded pork was very good as well.
The bakery, which has locations in Huntington Park and City of Commerce, was named after the Monarch Butterfly. The inspiration is so great that LA Monarca is donating 20 percent of cake sales through June to the Ecolife Foundation and its Monarch Butterfly program that protects butterfly habitat in Central Mexico.
There’s even more reason to visit this delightful spot. Between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily anyone who orders a coffee gets a free pastry. I would recommend the Cafe de Olla and a chocolate croissant.
I was not compensated for this post, but I did get to try delicious pastries.