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Updating the Eater Pastry Map: Winter 2012

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgThe holiday season is in full swing, and that means it is perfectly acceptable to eat as many sweet treats as the heart desires. With new bakeries opening up left and right, an update to the Eater Pastry Map seemed in order. 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: Bottega Louie is out; added Bread Lounge
12/10: Added Maison Giraud, Bittersweet Treats

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Proof Bakery

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3156 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-8633
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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. Lately, the croissants have been selling out before 10 a.m.

2. Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery

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1014 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-2311
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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.

3. Milo and Olive

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2723 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 453-6776

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. The rustic hand tarts are always great. The quiche lorraine is a conversation stopper.

4. The Sycamore Kitchen

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143 S. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-0151

t 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 fluffy dough and sweet-salty nuts for the day, a buttercup (AKA kouign amann) and cup of Stumptown coffee will suffice.

5. Little Next Door

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8142 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-1010
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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.

6. Farm Shop

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225 26th St
Santa Monica, CA 90402
(310) 566-2400

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 while tall, elegantly frosted cakes and double chocolate cookies make this a quintessentially Californian bakery.

7. Amandine Patisserie

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12225 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 979-3211
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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.

8. 3 Square Café + Bakery

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1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-6504
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Hans Rockenwagner 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. It's Stollen season, and Rockenwagner's is one of the best in town.

9. Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

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8360 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 653-7145

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.

10. Bouchon Bakery

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235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 281-5699
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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 the standard blueberry muffin.

11. Short Cake

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6333 W 3rd St Stall 316
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 761-7976
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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 that hits your tongue all at once.

12. Maison Richard

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707 Stanley Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 655-7777
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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. A package of pastry perfection.

13. Bread Lounge

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700 S Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 327-0782

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.

14. Maison Giraud Bakery

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1032 Swarthmore Ave.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 459-7562
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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.

15. Bittersweet Treats

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1731 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

Pastry Chef Danielle Keene landed her own bakeshop recently, and the results are a sweet success. 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.)

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1. Proof Bakery

3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

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. Lately, the croissants have been selling out before 10 a.m.

3156 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

2. Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery

1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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.

1014 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

3. Milo and Olive

2723 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

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. The rustic hand tarts are always great. The quiche lorraine is a conversation stopper.

2723 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403

4. The Sycamore Kitchen

143 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036

t 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 fluffy dough and sweet-salty nuts for the day, a buttercup (AKA kouign amann) and cup of Stumptown coffee will suffice.

143 S. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036

5. Little Next Door

8142 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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.

8142 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

6. Farm Shop

225 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

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 while tall, elegantly frosted cakes and double chocolate cookies make this a quintessentially Californian bakery.

225 26th St
Santa Monica, CA 90402

7. Amandine Patisserie

12225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

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.

12225 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

8. 3 Square Café + Bakery

1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Hans Rockenwagner 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. It's Stollen season, and Rockenwagner's is one of the best in town.

1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

9. Sweet Lady Jane Bakery

8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069

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.

8360 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

10. Bouchon Bakery

235 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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

235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

11. Short Cake

6333 W 3rd St Stall 316, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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 that hits your tongue all at once.

6333 W 3rd St Stall 316
Los Angeles, CA 90048

12. Maison Richard

707 Stanley Ave, Los Angeles, CA

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. A package of pastry perfection.

707 Stanley Ave
Los Angeles, CA

13. Bread Lounge

700 S Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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.

700 S Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021

14. Maison Giraud Bakery

1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

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.

1032 Swarthmore Ave.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

15. Bittersweet Treats

1731 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

Pastry Chef Danielle Keene landed her own bakeshop recently, and the results are a sweet success. 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.)

1731 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106

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