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Almond Croissants with MAXIMUM almod paste; where in town

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silverlakebodhisattva Aug 24, 2006 09:44 PM

Saw a post in regard to the Wien whatever-its-called bakery in K-Town, in which reviewer said she was OK with almond croissants without a lot of almond paste.

NOT ME!

So, if I don't want to go further west than Western, or further East than the river, or further north than the 134, what's the best source for an almond croissant which is, say, 90% almond paste and 10% bread, or as close to it as I can get?

r gould-saltman

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  1. Das Ubergeek RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 24, 2006 11:25 PM

    La Spaghettata (formerly TOP Bakery, formerly Traditions of Provence Bakery) sells such things at most farmers' markets. That said, the croissants either aren't very good to begin with or don't travel well -- they're always kind of, well, mushy. Flaky, sure, but greasy and mushy.

    They do scratch an itch, though, and I can crisp them up a bit in the toaster oven which does wonders for them.

    1. TechGirl RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 25, 2006 12:37 AM

      How about the almond croissants at Back Door Bakery. It is NOT 90% almond paste but it is a VERY good flaky croissant.

      You could always see if they can make mini ones for you with more almond paste.

      1. PseudoNerd RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 25, 2006 12:45 AM

        I remember having posted that a few weeks ago...

        For croissants that actually have a discernible almond flavor, do NOT go to any of the following:

        Wien Konditorei und Cafe (Ktown)
        Susina (Mid-Wilshire)
        La Maison du Pain (umm...south of Mid-Wilshire?)
        hmm...yeah, probably not Figaro Cafe either-- they probably use almond meal without adding any extract or something. Whatever it is, the croissants don't actually TASTE of almonds. (Los Feliz)
        La Provence (BH)

        All I have to say about it is that I miss La Duree. *sigh*

        Let me know if you find anything. If nothing comes up, you could always just get a tube of Odense almond paste and smear it on the croissant before sticking it in a toaster/oven...?

        1. f
          flour power RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 29, 2006 05:28 PM

          I recommend La Dijonaise in Culver City. They have terrific almond croissants. They are flaky with just the right amount of paste.

          1. o
            ostudio RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 29, 2006 05:45 PM

            the almond croissant at Bread Bar on Third Street (w. of La Cienega.across from Cedar Sinai hospital makes a fantastic almond croissant. It does not meet your 90/10 ration, but it is delicious. It is the "flattened" type, like in Paris.

            1. r
              revets2 RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 29, 2006 06:09 PM

              i agree with ostudio...and if you don't want to cross western, you can get it at tao organic coffee on bunker hill downtown, next door to MOCA below the omni hotel. fyi, they sell out by about 10am. you may want to call and reserve one. i don't know how the coffee is there anymore after their key barista left.

              tao organic coffee
              300 s. grand ave.

              5 Replies
              1. re: revets2
                PseudoNerd RE: revets2 Aug 29, 2006 08:47 PM

                The coffee and espresso drinks aren't *as* good anymore, but they're pretty good, considering. The almond croissants follow (but with the "anymore" dropped). The almond croissants, while really popular, fail for the following reasons: they're too sweet and are filled with something akin to almond paste. The paste-like substance has the right texture, but it lacks flavor; it's just an overly sweetened, bland THING found all over a croissant. To add insult to injury, the croissant itself lacks freshness and crispness-- yes, it's buttery, but it's also so butter-laden that it's SOGGY and weighed down.

                1. re: PseudoNerd
                  r
                  revets2 RE: PseudoNerd Aug 29, 2006 09:29 PM

                  pseudonerd...we'll just have to agree to disagree. it's breadbar's almond croissant. they get a shipment everyday. there's rarely a leftover, so although it's possible you ate yesterday's croissant, it's not likely. they also use the french almond paste rather than the blander american blue diamond paste. it's as close to the croissant as you can get from poilane in paris. i work down there, so i have one just about every other day. my husband and i also order them up in advance from mario, vacuum-pack them, and freeze them. they're handy for the lazy saturday morn when we can't bear to drag ourselve to europane. and although, they're not quite as good as when they are fresh, it's still better than any other almond croissant i've had in l.a. the best in the u.s. are made by michael london at mrs. london's in saratoga springs, ny. you can order them at www.mrslondons.com.

                  i do agree that lauderee makes a very good croissant.

                  1. re: revets2
                    PseudoNerd RE: revets2 Aug 29, 2006 11:38 PM

                    La Duree (usually) makes an excellent croissant, as do a small number of Parisian bakeries. Not all traditional French bakeries are going to be great; the same goes for American bakeries.

                    That said, the croissants at Tao, which, according to you, are from BreadBar, are no where NEAR those I've had in osme of the better French and American bakeries in terms of quality of flavor. I got mine around noon, by which time they would've sold through any older croissants, so I doubt age would've accounted for my not-very-good almond croissant. It was sweet, bland, and buttery in that soggy-not-crisp way. I've always associated almond croissants with the almost-citrusy, almost-almond-extract flavor that proper almond pastes (not marzipan pastes) have. Maybe you're used to a more marzipan-like flavor, but I prefer my things less sweet.

                    Thus far, the only really excellent croissants (and palmiers) I've had (almond and natural) in the US were in a French-family-run bakery in the Portland-area (hm, Lake Oswego? maybe Beaverton). I can't even remember the name, but it's one of the few places my ex and his parents (gourmet restaurant and merchant suppliers) would frequent. But then again, I'm notoriously picky...

                    I'm also not a fan of bready things in general, so it takes a LOT for me to get excited about anything with flour.

                    1. re: PseudoNerd
                      r
                      revets2 RE: PseudoNerd Aug 30, 2006 04:36 AM

                      i used to be a pastry chef so i'm all about the bready, but at least we agree on laduree.

                      okay, to clarify, i think we're both wrong on the spelling here: it's LADUREE (accent aigu over the first e), no U, no space. have you seen their website? i just looked. it's adorable.

                      1. re: PseudoNerd
                        PseudoNerd RE: PseudoNerd Aug 30, 2006 11:57 AM

                        Really? My aunt's a pretty well-known pastry chef, and I grew up with her baking, which is why...most others' bready desserts just don't interest me. I'm also just really picky about how I choose to "spend" my caloric intake and get frustrated when it seems to have been a waste of money and space in my stomach.

                        And for some reason, I always figured the store had an article, you know? That's why I split it into two...

                        For someone who often gets teased for having a sweet tooth, I actually don't like overly sweet things, and I've found that most bakeries seem to compensate for a less defined flavor with added sweetness. *sigh* I remember thinking that Boule had a decent almond croissant-- I mean, it was ok, and worth eating once or twic, but definitely not worth the $4 or so that they were charging.

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