Sweet Lady Jane (Encino)

One of my first memories of CH was reading (or trying to read) the GIGANTIC thread on Sweet Lady Jane’s. My vague recollection is that the threads were basically, “It’s fantastic!” or “The woman behind Sweet Lady Jane is a totall b*tch, and I hate her baked goods.”

I’ve never been to the one in Hollywood, but they’ve opened a branch in Encino across the street from my office. I thought it might make a good lunch rotation, so I tried it yesterday.

It’s okay, I guess, but I can’t say I wish to return. The croissant had a nice shatter-y exterior but was super greasy (as in, I-can’t-use-my-phone-w/o-grease-marks-marring-the-screen greasy). It was kind of sweet, too. They warmed it up before serving it to me, which was a nice touch.

The chicken curry salad sandwich was noticeably more sweet. The bread (olive) was sweet, as was the salad itself. It wasn’t cloying but, after finishing one half, I was dying for some salt or a squeeze of lemon or… SOMETHING. The ingredients seem high-quality and the salad was moist, but it was pretty bland overall. The sandwich is deceptive filling… So much so that I was uncomfortably full several hrs later.

Including a tiny tip, my sandwich + croissant was $18 (!).

Can’t say I have a desire to try the cakes, given how oddly sweet the other items I tried were.

Their cakes are cloyingly sweet, esp the marzipan ones.

I’ve only had their cakes but never thought it was all that fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than your grocery cakes, but it’s also not swoon worthy.

I recall that a lot of the recipes were handed down from the mother of Jane’s husband - both who were/are Brits. It seems Brits tend to lean harder on/favor flavors on the sweet side.

I think when SLJ and Susina were part of a handful of LA bakeries that offered goods that were noticeably better than the typical supermarket fare, these better bakeries were worth seeking out. But the past five to seven years have been great for consumers wishing for better stuff. It seems just about every part of LA now has at least a few noteworthy bakeries of one kind or another, and those that were the standard bearers are for the most part now being relegated to second string. It’s so competitive now and we are benefiting from it.