An Eagle Rock favorite and purveyor of red velvet cupcakes for more than a decade, Auntie Em’s Kitchen now has a sister restaurant Downtown. Located in the Historic Core, the new Auntie Em’s Kitchenette opened Thursday morning with scones and muffins on the ready. The new spot is a smaller affair than the original (as the name suggests), but the homey, welcoming vibe—the only seating here is at a giant communal table—is as present as ever.
Owner Terri Wahl had never even planned to expand until partner Brandi Lozano Miller, who owns Two Bits Market nearby, brought up the idea. An admirer of Lozano Miller’s business sense, Wahl decided to give it a try.
“It was just a really good match,” Wahl says. “Brandi works with a woman who curates her produce. It’s all organic and local, so we’re going to play off that a little bit.”
The new menu, listed on a chalkboard wall when you walk in, features breakfast and lunch dishes, all of which are available all day. There’s a smoked salmon tartine, avocado toast, and a very gooey Humboldt Fog Melt with preserved lemons and chopped marcona almonds. Lucky for Downtowners, Wahl’s delicious house-made granola parfait is also on the menu. Daily seasonal specials will eventually be available too.
While the glass dessert platters are still empty, Wahl says they’ll soon be filled with her famous cakes sold by the slice, a departure from the Eagle Rock store, which only offers whole cakes. And, of course, the red velvet cupcakes will be here as well. In the meantime, sweet tooths can be satisfied with a nice variety of pastries and giant cookies—we like the crispy chocolate chip.
Wahl is excited to acclimate herself and her restaurant into the neighborhood. She expects that the abundance of sidewalk traffic (also a big difference from the original restaurant, which customers tend to drive to) will bring in curious passersby who will hopefully become regulars. She looks forward to meeting new people Downtown.
“I think the difference here is that it’s so city, so urban. You’re in the thick of it. The Auntie Em’s in Eagle Rock is more homespun, but we’re going to have the same style of food here—real homemade food brought to Downtown,” Wahl says.