BAKED DELIGHT: PASTRIES AND OTHER GOODIES TO TRY IN LA

By VI NGUYEN
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Though we’ve sung our praises of donuts before, it may be time to move on to a more elegant body of baked goods for your office-bad-habit. Besides, there’s only one month left of summer, and if your summer diet hasn’t worked by now, you might as well wallow in miracle-diet-failure by devouring a warm, flaky croissant.

We kid, but really, who can deny an expertly baked croissant that’s got hours of French lovin’ massaged into its buttery layers? We’ve taken the liberty of eating our way through LA to help you discover your new favorite ways to indulge in sugar, butter and otherwise carb-tastic, diet-cursing goods. See our list below to get started on your own baked delight scavenger hunt.


baconnutellacroissant
Bacon Nutella Croissant | Photo Credit: Aya T.

The Chimney | 1100 N Main St, Ste B, Los Angeles, CA 90012
What to get: Bacon Nutella Croissant

This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop is hidden away in a non-descript Thai plaza which houses a wholesale Thai food market, law offices, and a Thai Dessert shop. While The Chimney makes a great cup of joe, their pastries also delight. The Bacon Nutella Croissant combines a trifecta of sinful pleasures: lard (bacon), chocolate (nutella), and butter (croissant). The results are as expected: divine.

 

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Croissant “au Beurre” | Photo Credit: Lien P.

Maison Giraud 1032 Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
What to get: 
Croissant “au Beurre”

Croissants reign supreme at Maison Giraud, and for good reason. After all, what’s more symbolic of French dominance in baking than the humble croissant? in a world of poor imitations a-la-Costco (overly soft and greasy), a good croissant is often a rare find. An expert croissant is flaky and will have a crunch to its exterior, with a rich and buttery, slightly sweet interior. The folks at Maison Giraud have it down to a science, and pastry lovers across Los Angeles agree–they often run out so come early to cure your butter croissant #FOMO.

 max-falkowitzKouign-Amann | Photo Credit: Serious Eats

Bouchon Bakery 235 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
What to get: 
Kouign-Amann

All hail the celestial process of caramelization! Bouchon Bakery, an outpost of Thomas Keller’s, bakes up a mean Kouign-Amann. This pastry is *gasp* not French, but Breton. A majestic marriage of butter, sugar, salt and flour, the sweet-and-salty Kouign-Amman is filled with layers and layers of salted butter and sugar and finished with a perfectly caramelized crust. If you love butter, we may have found your pastry-soulmate.

 

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Salted Caramel Pecan Babka | Photo Credit: Kristin Guy, Refinery29

The Sycamore Kitchen143 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
What to get: 
Salted Caramel Pecan Babka

Get the babka in our bellies, pronto! The salted caramel pecan babka is the thing to order at Quinn and Karen Hatfield’s Sycamore Kitchen, a more accessible breakfast-lunch offshoot of their higher-end restaurant, Hatfield’s. The babka appears as a moist rendition of a cinnamon roll, except devoid of cloying saccharine excess and instead a perfect balance of moist, sweet, light, and nutty, with a not-overpowering hint of salt.


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St. Honore Pastry | Photo Credit: Discover LA

Gorge | 8917 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
What to get: St. Honore

Yes, the kooky French have a patron saint just for pastries. Which begs the question: do we Americans have one for burgers? We digress. The St. Honore pastry, named after the French patron saint, is made with cream-filled choux puffs, topped with chantilly and set on puff pastry. Paris-trained pastry chef Uyen Nguyen works her magic into five seasonal flavors that are all worth biting into: Classic Vanilla, Chocolate Banana, Lemon Meringue, Pistachio, and Granny Smith Apple. The Granny Smith sounds especially intriguing, with apple compote, vanilla choux, confit apple, and creme fraiche chantilly.

 

Spandauer
Spandauer Pastry | Photo Credit: Copenhagen Pastry

Copenhagen Pastry | 11113 W Washington Blvd  Culver City, CA 90232
What to get: Spandauer Pastry

This Culver City Bakery boasts authentic Danish recipes and traditional baking methods, along with a smorgasbord of light and flaky pastries to choose from. A window offers customers a peek into the baking process, as Copenhagen bakes throughout the day “as demand dictates,” making it a fun field trip of sorts where customers can watch the busy-ness of the work floor. Our favorite pastry here is the Spandauer, a flaky pastry filled with almond paste and creamy custard, topped with a sprinkle of almond flakes.

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