As the school bell gets ready to ring, you’re in need of a coffee fix in the morning as well as an after-school nosh of substance. There’s a new hot shot on the snack scene and it’s toast. Yes, toasted bread and toppings will hit the spot both am and pm. And Pasadena’s new Lavender & Honey not only serves up this hip and tasty treat, it also boldly goes where boutique cafes had not yet gone before. They included a children’s menu.
Has anyone figured out why kids love to pull things apart before consuming them? But L&H beautifully beats them to the punch. Toasts are basically open-faced invitations to enjoy a sandwich in-side-up. The L&H Toast (Goat Cheese, Honey, and a generous lavender dusting atop toasted walnut) is bit like biting into the French countryside. That one is for you. Little monkeys will go nuts for the PB Honey Banana Toast, which is pretty much feel good food all grown up, yet not grown up at all.
Save my spot in line, is that a Hot Chocolate bar?
It is. In fact the whole “bar” theme here is carried throughout, in a way that caters to the underaged, while also serving up enough caffeine to keep parents functional. How does a bar do that? Options! Campfire Hot Chocolate. Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate. We love options, but not as much as the company we keep, i.e.: the ones tugging on our pants asking if the writing on the chalkboard says “Kids Bar”.
And such well-chosen selections. Gone are the shrink-wrapped “how long has that been there” mass produced treats. A little milk and cookies here (they get to pick the cookie – a boon for young dessert aficionados, or those harboring distinct chocolate chip vs. oatmeal raisin hankerings), a PB & Seasonal Jam there, it’s all prepared per order and of exceptional quality. Little Italianos (salami and provolone) and Little Parisians (ham and Swiss) are offered up for the junior globetrotters. And they all go bananas for the namesakes Nutella toast. Ok, it’s the tail end of a steamy summer right now, but come winter? You’ll want to exhaustively investigating the hot chocolate bar. One cupcake, white coconut, or peppermint option at a time.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Bee Holder
What a space. Lending charm to a boulevard that was begging for it, this new spot gives the corner some serious respect. Subway tiled, exposed brick, café lights tricking out the top, and a casual, almost cozy elegance: the sum of all parts still welcoming the young ones. Mastering marketplace grace, it is daintily designed to delight the full-fledged foodie and the pint sized protégé. And the lavender theme is lusciously woven throughout. Sip it through a French Lavender Breve. You’ll see.
So what’s the klatch?
Ok, so the kids are all set up with their cookies and milk and their Nutella and banana toast, time to focus on the espresso based libations (aka, back to school time and mama needs caffeine). Here Klatch Coffee is king, (thank you Upland, CA), and in the shadows of Intelligentsia and Jones Coffee Roasters who planted their Pasadena flags before them, L&H had its java junkies looping the corner, ready to get their mitts around the new Joe on the block. And not for naught, Klatch baristas are taught by two-time US Barista Champion (it’s a thing!) Heather Perry, and they came to class prepared. The proof is in the pour over.
These Are The People In Your Neighborhood
Husband and wife team Charlie and Melanie Porter are as refreshing as the French lavender lemonade they serve (a must, btw – South of France through a straw). Following through on a collaborative dream to open a café, one where pre-packaged preparations were shunned, and the sandwiches and snacks were on par with the beverages, they infuse their digs with a warmth and a welcome that simmers in the cocoa and shows the kids the kind of genuine delight that results from making the dream come true. What better pursuit to drink to.
Toast of the Town
The baked goods come from Berolina Bakery, Poppy Cake Co., and Rising Hearts gluten-free Bakery (read that right, GF friends), but the real showstopper here are the toasts, delightfully priced at $3 each. Sandwiches (to the tune of Sriracha Roast Beef) and salads (Chopped Italian! Veggie Taco!) round out the menu as a reflection of the worldwide research these two did before welcoming the masses. And because the kiddos get their own “bar,” they won’t feel like this is one of those fabulous grown-up finds that are famously dis-interesting to kids. Not while Nutella Banana Toast is headlining. Not while there’s a hot chocolate bar involving words like cupcake and campfire (campfire!) and tuxedo. Well done, Melanie and Charlie. Here here, and toast to that.
-Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb
Pair a sating of your new toast craving with an afternoon of belting out tunes at our fave new kid-karaoke find, which is also in Pasadena. This two-fer of activities that delight parents and kids equally is worth the drive from any area code.