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HELP! Just moved DOWNTOWN...Croissants??

Hi Hounds,

Just relocated downtown... very happy... am looking for the best place to buy croissants, especially chocolate ones (pain au chocolat).

Many thanks!!

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  1. Frances Bakery. Hands down. The chocolate and the plain ones. To try them fresh out of the oven and at their peak, be there at 8:30 AM with the regulars.

    Frances Bakery
    404 E. Second Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    (Located in Little Tokyo's Honda Plaza)

    2 Replies
    1. re: weebie

      Thanks, weebie!

      1. re: weebie

        Weebie: I finally made it over to Frances Bakery today. They only had one chocolate croissant left... so I snagged it. Thanks for the rec.

      2. It has been a few years since I was downtown, but we used to get pastries from a place in the bottom of the Wells Fargo Building, across from Nick & Stef's...sorry the name escapes me now. I used to get the chocolate ones and they were tasty.

        1. Thanks to you both! Where is the Wells Fargo Building?

          1. Wells Fargo is 333 South Grand. I thought it was just a Ms. Field's Cookies in that building. Haven't been there in a while. Personally, I've given up on bakeries in LA. Too hard to locate, I'm just used to having good bakeries in every neighborhood.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gtring

              Yeah, that's Mrs. Field's, esp if it was a few years ago.
              The Wells Fargo Center is on Bunker Hill, it takes up the block between Grand and Hope, at 3rd st. They're the two copper colored triangular-ish shaped buildings. It's those buildings where if you look at them from a certain angle, they look 2 dimensional instead of 3D.

              oh, also, I did enjoy those Mrs. Fields choc croissants a lot when I worked there.

            2. Hmm. It wasn't Mrs. Beasleys when I was there, but maybe it has changed. It was on the Hope side of the street. I think there are a row of shops, including a FedEx there. But, maybe Mrs. Beasleys is a good option as well!

              1. Mrs. Beasley's is a bakery? Is that where Mrs. Field's used to be? I remember Mrs. Field's in NYC made chocolate croissants that were REALLY SWEET. Even too sweet for me, which is something!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Liquid Sky

                  I'm not big on overly sweet desserts and I thought those Mrs. Fields ones were fine. Mrs. Fields is (was?) in the atrium between the two wells fargo towers (one bldg has Wells Fargo signage, the other has KPMG). In that atrium, if you go down the escalators next to mcdonald's you'll get to the Hope side of the buildings, apparently that's where Mrs. Beasley's is or was. yes, they sell their baked goods, I've never tried it because they LOOK too sweet to me.
                  Yikes, someone who currently works there needs to post.

                  1. re: slacker

                    Ok, thanks, slacker. Maybe the Mrs. Field's here makes them less deadly than on the east coast. Hope they're open on weekends too... although certain atriums look pretty dead on weekends. Cheers!

                    1. re: Liquid Sky

                      That McDonald's is open on the weekends. Bad memories.

                2. ok..I tried a little harder, and after cleaning up some cobwebs and moving some crap around in my head...and with a little help from google...the place I am referring to is:

                  La Petite Boulangerie
                  330 S Hope St
                  Los Angeles, CA 90071
                  (213) 613-1525

                  And they answered their phone, so I'd guess they are still there.

                  Cheers.

                  1. I can recommend to you:

                    The Bishop Coffee & Gourmet
                    816 S Grand Ave
                    Los Angeles, CA 90017
                    (213) 239-0411

                    7:00 AM - 10:00 PM Monday – Saturday
                    8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Sunday

                    South of 8th on East side of street at the bottom of South Park Lofts

                    * Susina Bakery pastries (sweet & savory) including the pain au chocolat you’re looking for.
                    * Pasquini coffee & espresso
                    * Harney & Sons teas
                    * House made sandwiches on La Brea Bakery Bread
                    * House made salads
                    * one table inside and a few sidewalk tables

                    Reviews:
                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/EqYU5R8NV6iqK...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yinyangdi

                      yingyang: Just checked out Bishop. The people working there were really friendly, and I'm happy that they're open late... unlike many places downtown.

                      I'd say their chocolate croissant is pretty good. The outer layer is just okay, not very flakey though. I'm going to compare NAZO'S croissants to them next. Not easy to find a great croissant these days...

                    2. Try LA Grand Event on 7th. www.lagrandevent.

                      Pretty good chocolate filled croissants.

                      1. You guys are the GREATEST!!! Thank you!

                        P.S. I have to say, I've tried SUSINA on Beverly Blvd and did not like their croissant. The best one I have had in LA so far was at this upscale deli/market on Abbott Kinney in Venice. The name escapes me. Great stuff. Will search for Bishop and La Petite because I'm exploring my new nabe. Cheers, Everyone.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Liquid Sky

                          yeah, actually, I’ve only had Susina’s chocolate croissant once. I’m a big fan, however, of Susina’s savory croissants, especially the tomato/onion. Yum!

                          I have heard good things about but have not yet tried:

                          Nazo's Croissant
                          801 S Flower St
                          Los Angeles, CA 90017
                          (213) 689-4833

                          http://www.yelp.com/biz/u7VwAmJcoyi7T...

                          1. re: yinyangdi

                            I haven't had any baked goods at Nazo's, but gotten sandwhiches there a few times and they are right on.

                        2. Banquette Cafe (next to Pete's) has pretty good pastries. And decent coffee, too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mc michael

                            mc: Just stopped at Banquette Cafe because it's not far from us. They had a pretty limited selection and were out of croissants quite early.

                            Looks like I will have to check out some of the other places more far away like Nazo's, La Petite, LA Grand, Bishop and Frances as some of the other Hounds mentioned earlier. Thanks.

                          2. I should have told you to go early or to go when Monica (the owner/chef) is there--she's a kick!

                            1. MENDECINO FARMS at the bottom of Cal Plaza I on grand ave. carries fresh croissants daily from BREAD BAR. the pain au chocolat and the almond are amazing, although some posters have vehemently begged to differ. putting it this way, if you're benchmark is POILâNE in paris, this is your croissant. fyi, they run out about mid-morning. call to reserve if you're going late.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: revets2

                                Ah, we've already discussed my feelings on the almond croissant that Bread Bar purportedly makes. Oif.

                                1. re: revets2

                                  Is the Cal Plaza you're talking about on Grand? I thought it was around 4th & Hill. Or was it 4th & Olive?

                                  Sorry. A little confused...

                                  1. re: Liquid Sky

                                    Cal Plaza is technically on Grand-- all those office buildings have addresses that indicate they're on Grand, but it's not like the other side of Cal Plaza isn't on Olive, you know? 4th and Olive would be where the stairs/escalator leading to Cal Plaza is, but that side has no businesses, just a wall.

                                    1. re: PseudoNerd

                                      Ok, Pseudo. Thanks!

                                  2. re: revets2

                                    Oh my goodness, we LOVE Poilane's! Sounds like I'll have to make a trip downtown to check this out. Thanks revets2!

                                    1. re: Reeter1

                                      or better yet, just go to BREAD BAR on 3rd street for croissant or get one of sumi's at EURO PANE on colorado. it's not exclusive to DT.

                                    2. re: revets2

                                      revets: Okay, I know I'm clueless... but where exactly is Mendecino Farms? I was in Cal Plaza today, but could not find it. Was I suppose to take stairs all the way down?

                                      I saw McD's, Starbucks, City Market, etc., but no Mendecino. I probably missed the lower level, right? I ended up getting a stale croissant at City Market... Yuck!!

                                      1. re: Liquid Sky

                                        It's next to the entrance of the Omni Hotel

                                        1. re: PseudoNerd

                                          Thanks, Pseudo.

                                        2. re: Liquid Sky

                                          Liquid Sky: McDs, Starbucks, and Market Cafe are in the Wells Fargo Building, not Cal Plaza. Cross the street to the other side of Grand and that is Cal Plaza :)

                                          1. re: lileor

                                            Okee-dokee. I had asked someone coming out of the building if it was Cal Plaza, and they said "Yes." So they must have been confused.

                                            None of the places in the Wells Fargo building makes a good croissant -- just a warning to Chowhounders! Whole Foods on Fairfax & 3d has some yummy ones, though (chocolate and almond)!

                                      2. revets2: A million thanks!

                                        I recently tried Nazo's Bakery downtown, and it was way too sweet. They added some weird custard cream inside, and the whole thing was so heavy. I will most definitely try Mendecino Farms.

                                        1. Yes, Frances Bakery in Little Tokyo is good, and there is another bakery in the shopping center at 3rd and Alameda, ground floor. Also, there is a gourmet coffee operation on Traction Ave, two blocks east of Alameda. All three good.

                                          1. And what goes well with a croissant...why, GroundWork coffee, of course! You can experience the Clover machine at 2nd and Main.

                                            I am not sure if they sell croissants or any baked goods; I was way too mesmerized by the Clover. But you can always bring your croissant to your coffee.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: liu

                                              liu: What kind of coffee do you get at GroundWorks?

                                              1. re: Liquid Sky

                                                I was there only once and had their special Panama ($150/lb. and $3.50/cup), but other trusted hounds have raved about their Sumatra. Specifically, ours was Panama Esmeralda Especial 2006 Lot. If you go to the GroundWork website and look under "Limited Lot Offerings," you will find it there -- if they still have it: http://lacoffee.com/limitedlotofferin...

                                                I would converse with the server about your preferences and go with anything they recommend. If they have the Panama (it was not on their regular menu, but you can ask for it; it just happened to be their "feature" the morning we were there), then I would try it; if not, I am sure they will steer you to something great!

                                                I am not a coffee drinker, but my entire cup was a "Kodak Moment!" My next visit isn't coming soon enough.

                                                Here is a previous post about the Clover coffee: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381168