By Cassandra Landry | Illustration by Daniel Krall 

In the beginning, baker Zack Hall’s humble set-up maxed out at 25 loaves. But no matter: those loaves were deeply coveted by those in the know. Chefs hailing from restaurants like Trois Mec and Lindy & Grundy knew good product when they saw it and they snapped up Hall’s hearth-baked bread when and where they could.

Clark Street Bread began in 2014, in a small kitchen in a small apartment on—you guessed it—Clark Street in West Hollywood. By the end of the year, Hall had moved on
from an apartment oven and set up shop at the Grand Central Market. These days, he’s cranking out loaves from 3,000 square feet of commissary space in Echo Park.
 
It’s been a steady, rapid ascent from a relative newcomer, especially one who once dreamed of a life as a guitarist. The parallels between baking and music were always apparent to Hall, right from the beginning. The interplay between the physical and intellectual aspects of understanding bread echoed a lifetime of calloused fingertips and songwriting. “I was never worried about transitioning from music to food, because bread fulfilled both of those [aspects] for me,” he says. “There’s different qualities of wood for guitar necks—some are good, some are bad—and it’s the same thing with dough.
 
“Instead of writing songs, I was writing recipes. It’s the same process,” he continues. “You have an idea in your head and it’s all about getting it out into real life.”