Mani’s Bakery

Santa Monica, California

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mani’s was all the things the cogs argue that los angeles is, too big, too many disparate functions, too many pretty empty faces. it is true, mani’s in santa monica was a big open room with little character, they did try to sell womens clothing in one corner and on the other side that kind of los angeles handcrafted tubesteel furniture where the ‘craft’ is the use of an angle grinder to smooth down the welds your boss did whilst sniffing coke out of a drawer, and yes the baristas were more often than not pretty boys and girls, ciphers in black shirts waiting to be plucked from obscurity, or as in one instance, snapping free from their affectations just long enough to look into a roomful of despondent westsiders, to empathize with those empty eyes, those empty balmy nights, and to put out a full plate of vegan carrot raisin cupcakes as free ‘samples’.

if there were any other people there it was probably the bohemian santa monican (an oxymoron i believe) whose pick-up acoustic folk set had packed up and left him staring wistfully into space with his overly wet lips slightly pursed and his head cocked like art garfunkel. he didn’t go for the cakes. i did, and helping myself to a bit more soymilk from the carafe on the counter to temper my mediocre beverage, i polished off at least two of the massive things. because it was so atypical, so positive, it is not a night i look back on in my catalogue of los angeles memories as somehow formative. it is one where for a moment there was a looseness, a giving spirit, there was no landlord trying to sell me the refrigerator he had taken out of my apartment just before i moved in, no oafs in sweatpants posturing at the post office, no people at the beach, no people in the hills, no cold baristas absently cleaning out the pastry cooler or standing with their fingers arched on the counter, there was me with loads of frosting caking my intestines.

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Mani’s Bakery

2507 Main Street
Santa Monica, California 90405

soymilk: no extra charge
wifi: paid access

2 Responses to “Mani’s Bakery”

  1. saul

    For those of us who are laptop-battery compromised, Mani’s in Sta Monica offers no convenient options for plugging in.

  2. j.h. trefry


    In 2000 Mäni’s on Fairfax, the original Mäni’s, owned and operated by its co-founder, sold the Main Street business to a gentleman who wanted to operate that location as a Mäni’s licensee. He was a qualified food service operator. However since that time the business was sold two more times. The current owners are contractually bound to purchase our bakery goods and not sell any other bakery’s products in order to use our trade name, Mäni’s. All the food they prepare in their kitchen for their restuarant[sic] is un-guided by us.

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