Misto Cafe & Bakery
24558 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Misto Cafe & Bakery is tucked away in a retail plaza near the intersection of Newton and Hawthorne Blvd. Misto is not visible from the street or the plaza parking lot so you’ll have to wander around a bit to find the restaurant. The plaza hosts a variety of businesses ranging from medical suites to retail in addition to a couple of restaurants. Seating is mostly small tables and mixed between inside and a covered patio outside. Parking is somewhat limited in the front lot but there is a multi-level parking structure adjacent to the plaza with additional parking.
If it weren’t for a coupon I wouldn’t know this place existed. I regularly drive by this plaza and I assumed it was all medical suites or boutique shops and I never really had the desire to look any closer. Funny how some buildings just don’t seem to invite the curious yet others seem open to exploration – I can’t quite put my finger on it. Anyway, the Valpak coupons arrived and Misto was in the stack, looked close by, and offered a “buy one get one free” lunch deal so I made the pitch to Oliver. I’m on a solid winning streak with regard to picking new places and I could tell Oliver was looking forward to my streak being over with this odd selection. A bistro style cafe? Located in a doctor’s office? Near Newton and Hawthorne? The odds of another winner were slim but I prevailed and we hit the road for Misto.
We turned into the plaza parking lot where Google Maps pointed us but we didn’t see Misto. We could see a small sign out front but no big sign reassuring us we were in the right place. We circled the parking lot a bit, checked addresses and eventually decided the only way to look further was to park and wander around. We managed to find an open space near the parking lot entrance despite 3 other cars circling for a space. We walked to ward the center of the complex, found a map of the shops and realized Miso was dead ahead – yet we still couldn’t see it. We forged ahead and eventually saw a sign indicating that we were indeed in the right place. Turns out that Misto is subterranean and well hidden in the back of the plaza.
The restaurant had a cozy yet sophisticated feel to it and the overall appearance was quite pleasant. A good sized lunch crowd was already well into their meals when we arrived toward the end of the lunch hour. We were invited to sit anywhere so we selected a table toward the front of the inside with windows that opened to the patio. We were promptly greeted, our drink orders taken and bread was brought to the table with a relish-like topping. The menu had a number of soup, salad, fish and sandwich choices but I opted for the Cajun Chicken Sandwich ($9.95). The Cajun Chicken Sandwich features a blackened chicken breast, bacon, chili cilantro mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onions and a chili cheddar bread bun. The sandwich was served with French Fries, a pickle and a small cole slaw salad. The food was fresh and tasty, not too spicy and about the right portion size for lunch. The highlight of the sandwich was the very unique and fresh chili cheddar bread. Misto was a tad pricey but our coupon brought the total meal price to $18 with the drinks. Aside from the tough location, it was a fun place and an enjoyable lunch. Recommended – 4 Pigs.
OLIVER: If you were not looking for this place you would never notice it. We were literally on top of it and did not know it. That being said, it is a very nice place to get a unique Italian Bistro. The bakery really adds to the great atmosphere and smell, giving you the feeling that you have left the hum drum of the South Bay and stepped out to a different land. Once seated you are brought a basket of bread and some very tasty spread that has a hint of spiciness to it. Very tasty.
I ordered the Salmon Club Sandwich that was at $9.95 on the lunch menu. I will always go for salmon when I have the option and this time was no exception. Along with the generous portions of salmon on your sandwich it also comes with a great salad and a fruit salad. This meal was really great, excellent healthy foods, fresh tasting with a european flair. This place is great.