Europane croissants... slightly disappointed
I have to admit, I am mildly disappointed. I went to Europane this morning to try a butter croissant, chocolate croissant, and coffee, after reading the rave reviews by the hounds.
Butter: First of all, not the right shape. Most of the croissants I've had in France have the characteristic crescent shape. There is a reason for this... It is easier to separate the arms from the body for dipping into coffee or hot chocolate (probably not the official reason, but reason enough for me). This also adds a unique quality: The arms of the croissant get slightly more cooked than the body, and add different textures to the overall "meal". Also note, when separating the arms from the body, the moister inside, if done right, tends to unravel away from the body slightly, leaving the body slightly more hollow. Crunchy on the outside, delectable and tender on the inside. The flavor at Europane was more like a costco croissant, close to, but still not comparable to, French ones. Still kind of too "bready/yeasty". I can't believe I am going to write this, and I'm sure I will get "hounded", but Oprah was actually right about something. You can order croissants from Williams Sonoma that are the closest to authentic if cooked correctly. Right shape, flavor, and texture. This will give you an idea of a more worthy croissant... I found a place in Santa Barbara that was closer to the real thing, still haven't found one in LA.
Chocolate croissant: never really like them anyway, so can't really say I was blown away, or not. Just ok is basically how I always feel.
Small coffee: delicious.
Overall: just okay. Not blown away. Any suggestions for a croissant more like I describe here?
Hopefully the egg salad sandwich, which I will have some other day, can redeem them for me.
Their turkey sandwich is one of the best I've ever had, they roast their turkeys right there. Plus their lemonade is a perfect sweet/tart combo. But the counter girls have big attitude, and that always turns good food bad, no matter how good the food.
The thing is, Europane croissants are slightly different every day, sometimes a little doughy (usually when the weather is wet) and sometimes crunchy (when it's dry). They are never the bready, dry, blown-out things that you tend to find at, say, Maison de Pain, or the damp horrors at Amandine. Susina's I like, but they might as well be deep-fried in creamery butter; they are not everyday croissants. Today's chocolate croissant - I was at Europane this morning - was delicate, very buttery, with a deeply flavored, subtly flaky exterior, and an interior that was mostly air, because the dough had basically migrated towards the wall of the croissant. Delicious, I say. Bravo Sumi.
And I think the counter girls (and token dude) are great.
Haven't tried Europane, but I am looking for the same type as you do. Most I had was way too bready. I think the closest is Pain du Monde - which is a chain in Orange County. I remembered the one I got at Balboa Island as particularly good.
I'm not a fan of this place. It's drab and dreary, and the service is run with a "whatever" sort of attitude. Same goes with Aunti Ems while I'm at it. If I'm going to indulge in sweets (which is a treat for me), I want a cute, comfortable (and comforting) place.