Dominique Ansel isn’t just showing up and bringing his greatest pastry hits to Los Angeles once he opens 189 by Dominique Ansel inside The Grove starting November 10. The Cronut inventor specializes in whimsical, unexpected desserts, working at Daniel in New York City for years before opening his own bakery in SoHo. Now that he’s about to open his first full-service restaurant at the mid-city tourist haven, he’s starting to give sneak peeks on Instagram (as LAist first pointed out).
No surprise to anyone who first moves to LA, there’s an initial dose of Hollywood influence, especially from the ruby tart, which painstakingly takes pomegranate seeds and surrounds a lychee ganache, cherry jam, and almond frangipane in a vanilla sable tart. Ansel says on Instagram that he sees the color in Dorothy’s (of The Wizard of Oz) ruby red slippers.
In general the pastry scene in LA leans toward classic American (think blueberry muffins), with a hint of Asian touch, or a straight up European approach. Ansel’s unique pastry isn’t something that’s very common in Los Angeles. They’ll end up as destination-worthy treats for tourists who go through The Grove or diehard sugar fiends who’ve already visited Ansel’s bakeries in New York City, London or Tokyo.
While Ansel’s creations do tend to seems to skirt on the edge of being over the top, the chef insists pastries and dishes come from an emotional inspiration or basis. In the age of Instagram-ready, or perhaps Instagram-pandering, dishes, Ansel wants to make pastries and savory dishes that resonate with some kind of memory or place. Or he wants it to evoke a certain kind of emotional feel, like the opening of the marshmallow flower for his hot chocolate.
For LA, he’s going right for Angeleno heartstrings with an ice cream avocado toast sandwich and a street corn elote. Heck, even the Paris LA, a take on the classic Paris-Brest, comes in the shape of a golden poppy, the California state flower. The pastry case boasts a sweet “California roll” with avocado mousse and honey gelee while a gooseberry elderflower pavlova might be one of the few desserts in LA to feature the bright orange fruit.
Finally, Ansel will debut an LA-inspired Cronut for November, with white peach amaretto and muscavado sugar ganache. In case anyone didn’t get to try the Cronut the last time Ansel was in town.
189 by Dominique Ansel opens the bakery on Friday, November 9 at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, brunch service starts November 4, a week prior to the bakery’s debut, while dinner commences November 11.