Lior and Lily have been baking Israeli-style pastries in Scottsdale for the last few years. Last fall, they changed the name of their shop to Lior the Baker. Since then, the shop has been kosher. The lineup of challah, almond challah, chocolate croissants, almond croissants, rugelach (many flavors), cookies (in flavors like almond), and other pastries and breads triggers chaos in the mind of the buyer.
So much to look at! So much to eat!
But which ones do I want?
You can't get them all. The prices aren't cheap. A single almond croissant costs $5.13 after tax. But if you have that almond croissant with coffee, the flakes shattering, the sweet fragrant almond paste filling your soul, you'll be happy you skipped the $8 pancakes and had this for breakfast instead. If you come from a culture known for almond-flavored desserts, or otherwise have a history with them, this croissant might destroy you.
The chocolate croissant is smaller and less dramatic, but really nice, too. It might call to mind the cobblestone streets, potent coffee, and howling gas-powered scooters of European cities.
If you go on Friday, there will also be a Moroccan flatbread rained with za'atar. The bread is like an uneven pizza with more fluff and buttery heft, the surface lunar with pocks and bumps. Za'atar covers all but the rounded ends in thick green drifts that form a sort of crust, giving the flatbread the look of a spice rack that somebody smashed with a baseball bat, and the wild aroma of a garden.
The Moroccan flatbread is easily one of the best things I've tasted in Arizona. Lior and Lily know baking. We're lucky to have them in the Valley.
Lior the Baker. 10953 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard #105, Scottsdale; 480-451-0011.
Wednesday to Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Saturday to Tuesday.