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Beignets in Los Angeles

ttriche Mar 7, 2007 04:48 PM

OK, this is really just a ripoff of the Crabulous thread. There was spawned a sub-thread on beignets in Los Angeles, so deep that it became flattened, and thus I felt the need to re-parent it. So without further ado...

1) Are there good beignets in or near Los Angeles?
2) If so, where?

Someone suggested the Disney concert hall, which intrigues me. If I'd known, I'd have gone and checked out this theory a few hours ago -- I was right down the street!

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  1. s
    slacker RE: ttriche Mar 7, 2007 04:52 PM

    To plagiarize myself from the other thread, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. They fry them up very fresh.

    Edit: just saw your other post, ttriche, sorry, wish it were in downtown L.A.
    I actually think I prefer the beignets at the Jazz Kitchen to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans (!). Anyway it's my breakfast of choice for any Disneyland trips, no mouse ears waffles for me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: slacker
      Das Ubergeek RE: slacker Mar 9, 2007 12:39 PM

      I'll second that -- and if you don't want the whole restaurant thing, the downstairs of that building is a cafe with quite good chicory coffee and the same beignets.

      If you have a Disney annual pass, bring it -- you get 10% off.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        ttriche RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 9, 2007 04:31 PM

        Innuresting. My wife works for Disney. Maybe I can dispatch her to this Ralph Brennan's thingy in the park next time she has a meeting down there.

    2. p
      Paliman RE: ttriche Mar 7, 2007 05:02 PM

      The donut place at the Farmers Market has them, usually by 9 am

      1. s
        sel RE: ttriche Mar 7, 2007 05:38 PM

        The Gumbo Pot has them, made to order, sometimes good - sometimes just ok. $2.50/4 Beignets. When good they go well with the Cafe au Lait (unlimited refills).


        1. j
          jackkirby RE: ttriche Mar 7, 2007 06:05 PM

          Try the Terrace at the Huntington Ritz Carlton. I was there about 6 months ago and they served excellent made to order beignets during Sunday brunch. Not sure if they have them during lunch or dinner though. You can also get some fancy ones at Grace during donut Wednesdays. I had a cinnamon beignet with cinnamon ice cream last time but I heard they also serve one with bananas foster. Heard that Grand Lux Cafe at the Beverly Center serves fantastic beignets too. Call ahead of time to check for availability and if they don't have it on the menu that day, request it to be made for you.

          1401 South Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, 626-568-3900

          7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-934-4400

          Grand Lux Cafe
          121 N La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-855-1122

          1 Reply
          1. re: jackkirby
            sunnygordy RE: jackkirby Aug 20, 2007 11:15 AM

            The beignets are a standard menu item @ the Grand Lux. They are made to order, so it does take about 15 mintues, but they're well worth the wait!

          2. chica RE: ttriche Mar 7, 2007 07:49 PM

            Yes! Grand Luxe Cafe, it comes with three flavors to dip in..

            I also like the ones at that jazz restaurant in downtown disney, but I'd really go for the bananas foster flambeed tableside.

            1. e
              esculent RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 09:08 AM

              the vegan beignets (yes, i said it) at Madeline Bistro in Tarzana are astoundingly good. very very fresh and sinfully delicious.

              1. r
                revets2 RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 09:14 AM

                hungry cat for sunday brunch with homemade compote with fruit in season

                7 Replies
                1. re: revets2
                  ttriche RE: revets2 Mar 9, 2007 12:34 PM

                  Finally! An excuse to go to the Hungry Cat!

                  I will report back with impressions ;-)

                  thanks! (also thanks to everyone else for the other suggestions to follow up on.)

                  1. re: ttriche
                    ttriche RE: ttriche Mar 11, 2007 04:53 PM

                    Alas, they stopped serving beignets for Sunday brunch as of... TODAY.

                    The menu pinned up in the window still shows beignets as an item for Sunday brunch, as does their web site. I am seriously considering parenting a new thread solely for the purposes of flaming the Hungry Cat. To say I was pissed off by this false advertising on their part would be an understatement of British proportions.

                    To their credit, our waitress was very nice and understanding, and the busboy (!) one of the best that I have ever seen. It was difficult to see all of this happening through the fog of bile that occluded my field of vision.

                    I cracked open John Folse's Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cooking and realized that I could have just made the dough, fried it in my stock pot, and had beignets for about $125 less than the tab at Hungry Cat (for 5 people -- I'm not that much of a wastrel, my wife and I split a BLAT). However, my wife was extremely pleased with the BLAT, which is what their famed lobster roll seems to have morphed into. The bacon was the good stuff and the lobster dominated the sandwich.

                    I just wish they'd had the goddamn beignets that they advertised!

                    1. re: ttriche
                      hch_nguyen RE: ttriche Mar 11, 2007 05:00 PM

                      Sorry to hear that! That would make my blood boil and my ears steam. And I was looking forward to your review of beignets in L.A....For what it's worth, Cafe du Monde does sell boxes of their beignet mix. We used to make them when I was a kid. Don't know where you would find boxes of it here, but I'm sure perusal of the web will do the trick...

                      1. re: hch_nguyen
                        Das Ubergeek RE: hch_nguyen Mar 11, 2007 05:45 PM

                        They actually are a very, very close facsimile to the "real deal" in NOLA... just follow the directions exactly, even if it seems "weird".

                        1. re: hch_nguyen
                          Normal Garciaparra RE: hch_nguyen Jun 5, 2007 10:29 PM

                          I bought a box of Beignet mix from Cafe du Monde when I went to NOLA in '05 (5 months before you-know-what). After studying the ingredients, I realized it was pretty much the same thing as pancake mix! So I learned to make my own...it's REAL easy. At my last employer, I made Beignets for everyone for Mardi Gras. Just remember they're only good for like 20 minutes after you fry them.

                          1. re: Normal Garciaparra
                            ttriche RE: Normal Garciaparra Jun 6, 2007 09:29 AM

                            Yeah, I decided the shipping was not worth it, and did the same...


                            Results attached. I wouldn't recommend doing this often, lest a person become morbidly obese, but god damn are they good when they're hot and puffy.

                            Under no circumstances would I pay Hungry Cat prices for beignets after doing this at home. You could train a monkey to do it, and they can never be as hot as they are fresh out of the fryer at home.

                            1. re: Normal Garciaparra
                              kevin RE: Normal Garciaparra Jun 6, 2007 11:41 AM

                              more like 10 seconds after they're fried.

                    2. m
                      mistertoast RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 09:25 AM

                      I second Bob's donuts in Farmers Market. Great Raspberry bismarks too.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mistertoast
                        sel RE: mistertoast Mar 8, 2007 09:55 AM

                        I like Bob's too but do they really make beignets? I haven't seen them on the menu board.

                        1. re: sel
                          mistertoast RE: sel Mar 8, 2007 10:28 AM

                          yep - they sure do! I've dunked them many times in Bob's rather good coffee.

                        2. re: mistertoast
                          DoctorQuality RE: mistertoast Jun 9, 2007 01:45 PM

                          i was extremely excited when i saw beignets at bob's since i had heard so many great things about their doughnuts, but had never tried them. being disapointed was an understatement. they were not only cold, but dry and tasteless. i took 1 bite, couldn't believe it, took another, and tossed it in the trashcan. my advise is if you go, make sure they're fresh.

                        3. e
                          elainew RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 10:08 AM

                          I've seen beignets on the menu at Uncle Darrow's, but I haven't tried them myself.

                          Uncle Darrow's
                          2560 South Lincoln Blvd.
                          Marina Del Rey

                          1. h
                            hungrygirl106 RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 10:09 AM

                            Hatfield's makes fabulous beignets. Here's how they're described on the menu:

                            Sugar and spiced beignets, Venezuelan chocolate fondue, sassafras milkshake shot

                            The accompaniments are great, but the beignets are so terrific, they stand on their own.


                            1. a
                              andu71 RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 10:29 AM

                              the grove at the farmers market! yum yum!!

                              1. mollyomormon RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 10:30 AM

                                I saw savory beignets on the bar menu at Blue Velvet that I'm dying to try.

                                1. k
                                  Kishari RE: ttriche Mar 8, 2007 12:18 PM

                                  Chowfriend and I had sweet potato beignets served with homemade Cracker Jack (that used pecans instead of peanuts) and a caramel rum sauce the other evening at Lucques. The beignets were light and hot, with a crunchy cinnamon sugar coating. And the unique combination of textures of all caramelly goodness was outstanding! Yum!

                                  1. the capers RE: ttriche Mar 11, 2007 02:00 PM

                                    we second the beignets at lucques!
                                    and also the ones at hatfields!

                                    1. t
                                      tonester RE: ttriche Mar 11, 2007 10:24 PM

                                      The Jazz Kitchen's beignets is the most authentic i've tried so far. Their beignets resembles the taste of those found at Cafe du Monde the most (my wife and I had ate at Cafe du Monde everyday for breakfast when we were at Nawlins'). I've also tried the beignets at the Gumble Pot and at Uncle Darrow's. They were both very bland and the dough was not sweet enough. Although I haven't been there yet, but I checked out Hatfield's menu online and couldn't believe they charge $11 for beignets. That's robbery for such simple food.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: tonester
                                        sel RE: tonester Mar 11, 2007 10:47 PM

                                        I intend no disrespect to anyone on this board. I should probably try the L.A. upscale Beignets. But for me, Beignets are a low key and casual breakfest or late night treat. I've been to Cafe du Monde which is good but my gold standard for both Beignets and Cafe au Lait (and Chocolate Milk for kids) is at Morning Call in Meterie, LA. The food, the ambiance and the great staff! I haven't been since well before Katrina, hope it's still there so my lads can enjoy it sometime.

                                        There is a place called Powderface in Oakland that I have forgotten to try the last 1/2 dozen times that I've been in the area.


                                        As far as L.A. is concerned, the Gumbo Pots Beignets are not great, but usually ok to good and along with the bottomless Cafe au Lait and Farmer's Market scene, ie. the people watching and the browsing of shops at the 'Market' and The Grove - hey it's tasty and fun sometimes. L.A. ain't LA!!!

                                        1. re: sel
                                          ttriche RE: sel Mar 11, 2007 11:48 PM

                                          At least on my part, no disrespect taken. I love beignets for brunch because they're such a simple experience -- warm, puffy fried pieces of dough, with powdered sugar, and something to smear on them if you're lucky.

                                          Bardia's New Orleans Cafe in DC has lines out the door and down the block every Sunday, because their beignets and crab omelettes and po'boys are, in fact, simple food excellently executed. I think that's a great test of a kitchen -- can you still wow them when there's no froufrou foams and glazes to hide beneath? Not so easy to pull off!

                                          One good point that the waitress did make today at the Hungry Cat is that the beignets are relatively simple -- the attraction was the handmade fresh strawberry compote which they served alongside the beignets. Perhaps that's why the beignets were rotated off.

                                          Needless to say, this got me thinking, and I see a jam pan in my future, along with a box of the Cafe du Monde mix. (Maybe some coffee & chicory for completeness' sake) My mom noted that, at the very least, Surfas stocks the mix; I am hopeful that Bristol Farms or perhaps a cheaper local source will turn up, as well. Folse's dough recipe is pretty simple, so I can pull that off if I have to, but I'm lazy, so I'd rather not!

                                          Next time I visit my friends in the Bay Area I will have to try Powderface, too.

                                          1. re: sel
                                            slacker RE: sel Mar 12, 2007 12:14 PM

                                            Yeah, I like them simply well fried and powdered. Don't need the L.A. glam versions.

                                        2. a
                                          AquaW RE: ttriche Mar 12, 2007 01:36 PM

                                          I, too, liked Grand Lux's beignets (I know, the shame of liking a chain) - and also Grace Restaurant's on their Wednesday doughnut nights.

                                          As for savory beignet, I can only un-recommend the lobster beignets at French 75 (and probably also served at its Culinary Adventure siblings) - tasteless duds.


                                          1. g
                                            GreenEyeStan RE: ttriche Mar 12, 2007 04:55 PM

                                            I really like Grand Lux Cafe's beignets since the portion is big enough for several people. You also get three dipping sauces (Red Raspberry, chocolate, and this delicious liquory vanilla one). It's a delicious way to end a meal.

                                            1. notmartha RE: ttriche Jun 5, 2007 08:21 PM

                                              Happy to report that the beignets at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen express is definitely worth getting. Better than Gumbo Pot (pricier though).

                                              I was a little bit worried since it wasn't made to order, but the batch I got was still very tasty.

                                              One guy prep and fried up an entire batch, and they put them in individual paper bags with powdered sugar on the bottom, and the whole lot under a heatlamp. You have to shake up the bag to get the sugar coated on the beignets.

                                              1. Woolsey RE: ttriche Jun 5, 2007 09:04 PM

                                                Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen's beignets at Downtown Disney are the most like the Café du Monde's in New Orleans because they're using the Café du Monde's mix, I do believe. (Boxes of the mix and cans of the coffee-and-chicory blend were prominently displayed at the walk-up counter when I was there, which was a dog's age ago.)

                                                Of course, one can also buy the mix. It's sold at Surfas, I believe, and it also seems to pop up in stores catering to Southeast Asians, I've found. It's rarely more than three dollars a box and dead simple to make. Just add water, I think. The Café du Monde mix really makes the definitive beignet, not very sweet, nice and chewy...

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: Woolsey
                                                  Beignets RE: Woolsey Jun 7, 2007 10:44 PM

                                                  I can confirm the Du Monde beignet mix is sold at Surfas. I think it's $6 or $7/package

                                                  1. re: Beignets
                                                    QualityMart RE: Beignets Jun 9, 2007 02:18 AM

                                                    FYI, Joan's On Third also has the Du Monde mix for sale.

                                                  2. re: Woolsey
                                                    Oh Robin RE: Woolsey Jun 8, 2007 08:19 AM

                                                    Love the beignets at the Jazz Kitchen! The great part is you don't have to go in Disneyland and they will validate your parking. After stuffing your face you can go to Sephora. Heaven!

                                                    1. re: Oh Robin
                                                      kevin RE: Oh Robin Jun 8, 2007 09:49 AM

                                                      how much are the beignets at the jazz kitchen? is it casual, meaning can i swing by for some of the beginets only and maybe a cup of chicory cafe au lait if they actually have it. thanks.

                                                      the gumbo pot beignets which i had recently are poor versions of the ones at cafe du monde in new orleans (even though they still use the du monde mix).

                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                        notmartha RE: kevin Jun 8, 2007 10:16 AM

                                                        It's around $4.5 for a bag of 4, and there's also a bag of 6. It's at the take out place ("express") so it's extremely casual. Sometimes hard to find a seat.


                                                        You can get it at the restaurant too, but it's $1 more.

                                                        They have the chicory coffee too. I can definitely say that the beignets are better than Gumbo Pot. They actually are soft and pillowly. The last batch at Gumbo Pot was overfried, not proofed enough and was chewy as hell.

                                                        1. re: notmartha
                                                          kevin RE: notmartha Jun 8, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                          exactly the gumbo pot's were chewy and not puffy (same as proofed???).

                                                          anyways, they didn't give off the right impression at all.

                                                          4.5 for 4 b's, is of course cafe du monde (where it's 1.60 for three) but that'll have to do for now. thanks.

                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                            notmartha RE: kevin Jun 8, 2007 12:09 PM

                                                            Yup. Puffy. I suspected the dough at Gumbo Pot wasn't leavened (proof) enough or let out to dry for too long. It used to be decent.

                                                            It is on the pricier side, but the beignets are also bigger than the Gumbo Pot. I think the Gumbo Pot is 2-2.5 inches square, the Jazz Kitchen is more like 3.5 inches square. Also downtown disney is not cheap. If you are in the area it's worth stopping by.

                                                            Also in the vincity (10-15 minutes drive) in that area is Thai Nakorn, Zankou and Sarkis Pastry.

                                                            1. re: notmartha
                                                              Woolsey RE: notmartha Jun 8, 2007 08:08 PM

                                                              The Gumbo Pot is the absolute worst excuse for Louisiana cooking I've ever tasted. (My mother and her side of the family are from Baton Rouge, so I know true Louisiana cooking.) Their étouffée is dark brown and watery, like a soup, where it should be thick and reddish thick and served over rice. The jambalaya is the reddish color and of a wet consistency, like an étouffée. A true Cajun jambalaya would never have tomato in it, though. (An étouffée, being a Creole dish, would have tomato, but their version is totally lacking it.) And all the food is massively overspiced to hide how bad it all is. It tastes like those bad spice blends they sell tourists. I'm surprised the po' boys aren't served on Wonder bread, so it's no shock to read their beignets are flat and rubbery. No one should ever think The Gumbo Pot resembles real Louisiana cooking any more than Taco Bell resembles true Mexican cuisine.

                                                          2. re: notmartha
                                                            Das Ubergeek RE: notmartha Aug 19, 2007 08:51 PM

                                                            You know, I don't know if the casual place serves the cafe au lait, but if they have the same as in the sit-down restaurant upstairs, it is absolutely fantastic.

                                                            Expensive, yes, but you ARE at Disneyland... and you can park for three hours free, or five hours if you get your ticket validated. (Technically only the sit-down places are supposed to validate, but that's a rule that is widely flouted.)

                                                    2. SauceSupreme RE: ttriche Jun 5, 2007 11:10 PM

                                                      Hungry Cat just changed their menu to include not only soft shell crabs, but also beignets. Haven't tried them yet, but will soon.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                        ttriche RE: SauceSupreme Jun 6, 2007 09:32 AM

                                                        Soft shell crabs: awesome!

                                                        Beignets: see above. Once you've made them yourself, you'll realize that they're easier to make than doughnuts, and it's hard to justify paying more than a buck or two for three of them.

                                                        1. re: ttriche
                                                          notmartha RE: ttriche Jun 7, 2007 07:07 PM

                                                          Thanks for the recipe in the link.

                                                          Yes the ingredients are cheap, but there's the convenice factor of not having to have a mess making the mix, kneading, rolling and frying them up. Plus for those with dietary concerns it's best not to have a big batch! ;)

                                                        2. re: SauceSupreme
                                                          SauceSupreme RE: SauceSupreme Jun 8, 2007 01:28 AM

                                                          Just adding, the beignets are only available on the lunch menu.

                                                        3. c
                                                          cimero RE: ttriche Aug 20, 2007 01:02 PM

                                                          Michael's Bar & Grill in Burbank has fresh beignets and their honey butter is excellent! In addition to a regular bar menu they have a cajun menu as well. The cajun food is o.k., not great, but the beginets are wonderful.

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