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Updating the Eater Pastry Map, Spring 2013

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgThe pastry scene in LA continues to grow with new takes on sweet concepts popping up here, there, across LA, everywhere. A new season means an update to the ever-popular Eater Pastry Map. To qualify, shops must give special attention to a wide variety of pastries and excel at a dozen different types. Pastries are tasted for freshness, quality of ingredients and seasonality.



9/17: Added: Bread Lounge

12/10: Added: Maison Giraud, Bittersweet Treats

4/5: Added: Chaumont Bakery, Ramekin

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Proof Bakery

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Pastry Chef Na Young is doing truly great things with butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Her tart crusts are short and just the right amount of sweet. Her custards and creams have clean, vibrant flavors. The croissants still sell out before 10 a.m., but there's much more to taste even after they're all gone.

The Sycamore Kitchen

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It seems criminal that Karen Hatfield, who has been making desserts at Hatfield's for years, kept her salted caramel pecan sticky bobka a secret for as long as she did. When the bakery sells out of these perfect spirals of caramel-coated dough and sweet-salty nuts for the day, a blackberry-hazelnut tart and cup of Stumptown coffee saves the day.

Little Next Door

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People forget that this place has a pastry department. Is it the circus-like decor? The adorable French waiters? Who knows. Next time, pay attention at the Little Next Door because Pastry Chef Romain Drocourt's technique is flawless. From the construction of his tarts (with a surprise interior in each one) to his eclairs and viennoiserie, he's made this one a pastry shop to watch. The macarons here are some of the best in town.

Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery

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Though Zoe Nathan learned many of her recipes from San Francisco's Tartine, she's created a menu of her own at Huckleberry. Nathan's caramel square has half of the city swooning and her kouign amann brought this French treat into LA's pastry consciousness. Our only complaint? Her three-inch, $7 tarts are pastry highway robbery.

Milo and Olive

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Here, Zoe Nathan is making pastry that doesn't sound like it should taste good at all — cheddar-rye biscuits, gluten-free cookies — but, for good reason, it flies off the pastry pedestals each day. In the mood for something savory? Do try the rich, meaty quiche lorraine.

Farm Shop

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Brittainy Turnquist (a Keller graduate) is creating buttermilk biscuits and granola bars that look like they are right out of the pages of Saveur. Meringues the size of a fist; tall, elegantly frosted cakes; and double chocolate cookies make this a quintessentially Californian bakery with European nuance.

Amandine Patisserie

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This is a pastry shop right out of the South of France. Almond cream, preserved cherries and browned butter are used with reckless abandon. Their croissants, apple kouign amann and flourless chocolate cake are must-tastes.

3 Square Café + Bakery

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Hans Röckenwagner makes some of the best loaves of European-style bread in town. But don't stop there: his pastry selection is nothing to sniff at. The holiday-themed butter cookies are right out of grandmother's oven. Also worth a taste are the financiers — buttery almond cakes in miniature.

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

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Jane Lockhart has captured LA's heart and taste buds with her triple layer cakes, large slices and swirls of frosting. This is a traditional American-style bakery. The deep dish cherry pie (not too sweet, with a cookie-like crust) is worth a taste.

Bouchon Bakery

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The French technique here is flawless, especially when applied to items like faux-Oreos, croissants (think: almond with fresh fruit) and even a cake-like blueberry muffin.

Short Cake

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Savory croissants with comté and thyme are sold throughout the day, as are cheddar-chive scones. The ace in the hole is Genvieve's shortbread. There's just enough sea salt to offset the raw sugar and browned butter as it melts on your tongue.

Maison Richard

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Maison Richard is one of LA's oldest French pastry shops. Though Michel Richard is long gone, Huguette Coffyn has directed the shop since 1987. In it's present location, slightly hidden off Melrose, it remains a charming place to brunch. Better yet, the pastry kitchen continues to push out Michel's apricot "sunny-side up" pastries — two apricot halves atop a bed of soft pastry cream, nested into a sugared oval of puff pastry. It's a package of pastry perfection.

Bread Lounge

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Though the bread is top notch, they do much more than bread here. Owner Ran Zimon is also a wizard with butter and sugar; his danish and croissants are some of the flakiest specimens in town.

Maison Giraud Bakery

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Though the selection of pastries is small, the chocolate croissants here are perhaps the best in town. Caneles, madeleines and brioche are also worth trying.

Bittersweet Treats

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Pastry Chef Danielle Keene's newish bakeshop has successfully sweetened up the neighborhood. The cakes are moist and light, the tarts are dense and buttery and everything is even better a la mode (with Keene's house-made ice cream, of course).

Chaumont Café and Bakery

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Chaumont opened on Beverly Drive just a couple of months ago and it's already giving other bakeries in the area some stiff competition. The pastries and bread are made on premises, daily, and the freshness is clear. The raspberry religieuse is, as its name suggests, divine.

ramekin

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While ramekin doesn't make pastry so much as dessert, that they serve everything à la minute (made to order) makes ramekin a must-taste. Jason Park (Maru) is behind the menu, which changes daily and includes house-made ice cream.

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Proof Bakery

Pastry Chef Na Young is doing truly great things with butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Her tart crusts are short and just the right amount of sweet. Her custards and creams have clean, vibrant flavors. The croissants still sell out before 10 a.m., but there's much more to taste even after they're all gone.

The Sycamore Kitchen

It seems criminal that Karen Hatfield, who has been making desserts at Hatfield's for years, kept her salted caramel pecan sticky bobka a secret for as long as she did. When the bakery sells out of these perfect spirals of caramel-coated dough and sweet-salty nuts for the day, a blackberry-hazelnut tart and cup of Stumptown coffee saves the day.

Little Next Door

People forget that this place has a pastry department. Is it the circus-like decor? The adorable French waiters? Who knows. Next time, pay attention at the Little Next Door because Pastry Chef Romain Drocourt's technique is flawless. From the construction of his tarts (with a surprise interior in each one) to his eclairs and viennoiserie, he's made this one a pastry shop to watch. The macarons here are some of the best in town.

Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery

Though Zoe Nathan learned many of her recipes from San Francisco's Tartine, she's created a menu of her own at Huckleberry. Nathan's caramel square has half of the city swooning and her kouign amann brought this French treat into LA's pastry consciousness. Our only complaint? Her three-inch, $7 tarts are pastry highway robbery.

Milo and Olive

Here, Zoe Nathan is making pastry that doesn't sound like it should taste good at all — cheddar-rye biscuits, gluten-free cookies — but, for good reason, it flies off the pastry pedestals each day. In the mood for something savory? Do try the rich, meaty quiche lorraine.

Farm Shop

Brittainy Turnquist (a Keller graduate) is creating buttermilk biscuits and granola bars that look like they are right out of the pages of Saveur. Meringues the size of a fist; tall, elegantly frosted cakes; and double chocolate cookies make this a quintessentially Californian bakery with European nuance.

Amandine Patisserie

This is a pastry shop right out of the South of France. Almond cream, preserved cherries and browned butter are used with reckless abandon. Their croissants, apple kouign amann and flourless chocolate cake are must-tastes.

3 Square Café + Bakery

Hans Röckenwagner makes some of the best loaves of European-style bread in town. But don't stop there: his pastry selection is nothing to sniff at. The holiday-themed butter cookies are right out of grandmother's oven. Also worth a taste are the financiers — buttery almond cakes in miniature.

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

Jane Lockhart has captured LA's heart and taste buds with her triple layer cakes, large slices and swirls of frosting. This is a traditional American-style bakery. The deep dish cherry pie (not too sweet, with a cookie-like crust) is worth a taste.

Bouchon Bakery

The French technique here is flawless, especially when applied to items like faux-Oreos, croissants (think: almond with fresh fruit) and even a cake-like blueberry muffin.

Short Cake

Savory croissants with comté and thyme are sold throughout the day, as are cheddar-chive scones. The ace in the hole is Genvieve's shortbread. There's just enough sea salt to offset the raw sugar and browned butter as it melts on your tongue.

Maison Richard

Maison Richard is one of LA's oldest French pastry shops. Though Michel Richard is long gone, Huguette Coffyn has directed the shop since 1987. In it's present location, slightly hidden off Melrose, it remains a charming place to brunch. Better yet, the pastry kitchen continues to push out Michel's apricot "sunny-side up" pastries — two apricot halves atop a bed of soft pastry cream, nested into a sugared oval of puff pastry. It's a package of pastry perfection.

Bread Lounge