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Quest for LA's best croissants

snackwrangler May 13, 2009 10:42 AM

I'm a bit of a croissant snob, and hate the idea of wasting calories on adequate or even above-average croissants. Most are bland twisted versions of bread with a ton of butter. I don't mind discarding the dense doughy inside that sometimes lurks within, but isn't there a place that has a perfect croissant? Let's postpone the chocolate, almond and cheese croissant quest for another time. So far, my favorites are Anissette and Pain du Jour. Any other suggestions?

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  1. Servorg RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 11:04 AM

    Give Amandine a try.

    Amandine Patissiere
    12225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    5 Replies
    1. re: Servorg
      Queequeg RE: Servorg May 13, 2009 03:35 PM

      Second Amandine - especially their chocolate croissants!

      1. re: Queequeg
        nosh RE: Queequeg Jun 1, 2013 02:48 PM

        Don't know how I missed this old thread --

        +3 for Amandine, great plain croissant, and only $1.95 (still) if ordered to go.

        1. re: nosh
          ilysla RE: nosh Jul 21, 2013 11:49 AM

          Finally made it to Maison Giraud (and the wonderful farmer's market there). My partner and I had the plain croissant and croissant + ham/gruyere. I think both are significantly better than the plain at Amandine. Not quite as light, but rich, flaky, wonderful. Too oily, though.

          1. re: ilysla
            nosh RE: ilysla Jul 21, 2013 01:11 PM

            How much more expensive than the plain at Amandine, $1.95 to go? (you can order to go and eat there -- just no plate and maybe butter or jelly)
            And parking around Maison Giraud requires luck for street meter parking, if I'm not mistaken, and in Pac Palisades that is a real problem.

            1. re: nosh
              ilysla RE: nosh Jul 21, 2013 09:09 PM

              Plain was $3.00. At least, that's what's listed on their website menu. Our box of 2 plain, 2 ham+gruyere, 1 pain au chocolat was over a little over $20.... Hmmm.... Curious. I'm adding it up, and it shouldn't have been that much.

              We got lucky w/ street parking. =) There did appear to be a parking lot for that group of shops, but I don't know how big the lot is b/c I didn't go into it....

    2. s
      sel RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 11:46 AM

      I enjoy the croissants (and everything else) from master baker Sumi Chang at EuroPane Bakery in Pasadena. Also Amandine Patisserie as Sevorg already mentioned.

      Euro Pane Bakery
      950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

      4 Replies
      1. re: sel
        maxzook RE: sel May 13, 2009 02:39 PM

        Sumi's croissants are the best I've ever had in California, no contest (although I've got to try Amandine one of these days).

        Get there early on weekends or you'll miss out on the croissants and other popular items.

        1. re: maxzook
          snackwrangler RE: maxzook May 13, 2009 03:41 PM

          I had a very strange side effect after eating a Europane croissant. This sounds ridiculous, but I smelled like butter afterwards. Sort of like if you eat too much garlic, it comes out your pores? I swear it happened with the butter croissant. I washed my hands and my face, and I doubt I got croissant in my nose... Perhaps just collateral damage when eating a good croissant?

          1. re: snackwrangler
            foodiemahoodie RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2009 07:51 PM

            Maybe you got butter in your moustache?

        2. re: sel
          Robert Thornton RE: sel May 14, 2009 12:56 PM

          I'm a fan of the Europane croissants too.

        3. c
          Clyde RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 11:52 AM

          susina bakery on beverly is a good one.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Clyde
            schrutefarms RE: Clyde May 15, 2009 11:59 AM

            2nd Susina...esp. the tomato, feta and carmelized onion one.

          2. t
            TimToyGeek RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 02:51 PM

            I love Europane, especially their croissant filled with sweet cream cheese.

            However, there is a stand at the Studio City Farmer's Market on Sundays (at Ventura and Laurel Canyon) called Traditions of Provence that has amazing croissants, big and inexpensive. He has a lot of different flavors, breads, brioches, the whole deal, but we always get at least a couple of his big, delicious butter croissants!

            So far that is my favorite croissant in the city...


            1 Reply
            1. re: TimToyGeek
              snackwrangler RE: TimToyGeek May 13, 2009 04:25 PM

              Oh, I'll have to swing by that market. Thank you.

            2. Maxmillion RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 04:29 PM

              I really love the organic croissants you get freshly baked at Le Pain Quotidien.

              BTW -- the frozen Trader Joes ones are surprisingly good, too. You just need to remember to proof them overnight and they plump up beautifully and cook nicely.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Maxmillion
                lrhr RE: Maxmillion May 13, 2009 06:03 PM

                I second the Trader Joes recommendation...plus you can eat them in your pjs, which is a marvelous thing.

                If you are near South Pasadena, Nicole's also sells small frozen croissants, which are a cut above TJs. AND, if you get lucky they sometimes sell the large ones which are usually only for their business customers. Neither of these need to be thawed overnight. So you can satisfy a craving with a half hours notice.

                1. re: Maxmillion
                  ns1 RE: Maxmillion Jul 21, 2013 05:41 PM

                  somewhat related:

                  does anyone know FOR SURE if TJ's frozen croissants are the same suppliers of William Sonoma's frozen croissants?

                2. keepon RE: snackwrangler May 13, 2009 07:14 PM

                  I've been on a quest for the best croissant for quite a while, this is my list..

                  For French style, crusty on the outside but more "chewy" on the inside,
                  - Le Pain Du Jour
                  - Dijonaise, Culver City

                  For "Japanese" style, very crusty all the way through (ie you will have croissant flakes all over you afterwards)
                  - Amandine
                  - Paris Bakery in Koreatown

                  Other places that I thought are quite good
                  - Delice Bakery on Pico
                  - Le Maison du Pain on Pico

                  I was just ok with Anisette's, maybe I didn't catch that at the right time. But Pain du Jour's croissant tastes the closet to the croissant from one of David Lebowitz's favorite bakery in Paris.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: keepon
                    HappyYummyDay RE: keepon May 13, 2009 11:00 PM

                    Second the selection by keepon :-) I could be the only one around here, but I have not had much luck with baked items @ Europane... For "Japanese" style, there are Hamada-ya in Torrance and Mammoth Bakery in Gardena.

                  2. JAB RE: snackwrangler May 14, 2009 10:56 AM

                    Are Urth's any good?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JAB
                      JAB RE: JAB Jun 1, 2009 06:13 PM

                      I tried Urth today and was not impressed for $2.50. No buttery flavor and too done on the outside.

                    2. a
                      azibo RE: snackwrangler May 14, 2009 01:01 PM

                      Order them from Williams Sonoma... have them at home with your coffee in the morning. Better than the Trader Joe's ones, but I agree Trader Joe's are pretty spectacular for the price! Was never impressed with Europane croissants, I find them quite over rated.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: azibo
                        trolley RE: azibo May 15, 2009 10:33 AM

                        Europane can be a hit or a miss. my first one was pretty stale and didn't understand the big fuss. I tried it again the other day and it was very good. Nothing compared to one's from Tartine in SF but flaky and buttery and not at all stale like the first time. I did get the good croissant at 8 am and the stale one after lunch so perhaps the sitting around makes the difference?

                        1. re: trolley
                          keepon RE: trolley May 15, 2009 12:04 PM

                          Sitting around def makes a difference. I go to Amandine a lot, there 3pm croissant is good but it pales to eating that at 10a.

                          I think that also explains why Pain Du Jour is always good: they ran out of croissant early, and so you are probably always eating on really fresh croissants.

                        2. re: azibo
                          emily RE: azibo Jun 2, 2009 10:42 AM

                          The WS and TJs croissants are the same product -- both made by Galaxy Desserts. One just costs a lot more.

                          1. re: emily
                            ns1 RE: emily May 18, 2013 12:37 PM

                            Can someone actually verify that these are the same product (not just made by the same manufacturer)

                            WS frozen croissants are like 350% more expensive than TJ's frozen croissants!

                        3. b
                          budlit RE: snackwrangler May 15, 2009 10:05 AM

                          pain du jour on pico east of lincoln are the best I've had

                          1. l
                            lexi976 RE: snackwrangler May 15, 2009 03:21 PM

                            Salades de Provence on La Cienga. amazing, reminds me of Paris

                            1. s
                              snackwrangler RE: snackwrangler May 24, 2009 11:57 AM

                              I'm keeping this quest alive with an on-going, unofficial survey of LA's croissants. I'm only trying plain croissants, because chocolate and cheese mask a lot of problems.

                              This week's samplings: Anisette, Bread Bar, La Petit Boulangerie, and La Boulangerie (via farmer's market).
                              Anisette: great flavor, great flakiness, greasy, weird dense inner core.
                              Bread Bar: decent flavor, good flakiness, light and not greasy. Not exceptional but good.
                              La Petite Boulangerie: (I had low expectations, but I figure it had to be included some day) flavorless, decent flakiness, bready.
                              La Boulangerie: terrible; no butter flavor, no flakiness. I had to throw this one away.

                              This week's winner: Anisette wins for flavor, but Bread Bar wins in the overall performance category.

                              The quest continues...

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: snackwrangler
                                Cinemaverite1 RE: snackwrangler May 24, 2009 09:35 PM

                                Thank you for embarking on this quest and all your caloric sacrifices from horrible croissants. I'm moving back to LA tomorrow after living in SF and I've been stressing about how life will ever be as good without croissants from Tartine, Della Fattoria, and La Boulangerie. Once I get back, I will surely partner up with you and not rest until we find and conquer this buttery grail. It would be great if I can find a good scone along the way as well!

                                1. re: Cinemaverite1
                                  trolley RE: Cinemaverite1 May 24, 2009 09:54 PM

                                  i still think about those croissants from tartine and i moved back to LA in 2003 after moving back and forth!

                                  1. re: Cinemaverite1
                                    Kalivs RE: Cinemaverite1 Jul 24, 2013 12:20 AM

                                    Please don't mention Tartine. Just hearing the name makes me want to cry

                                  2. re: snackwrangler
                                    JudiAU RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2009 07:13 PM

                                    What size did you select at Bread Bar? I think the small size is better. Most American croissants are too big and that screws up the interior. (And yes, I do prefer their pain au chocolat but think the regular is often excellent.) We go to the Third street branch and I only eat them at 8 a.m. on Sundays.

                                  3. echoparkdirt RE: snackwrangler May 31, 2009 11:27 PM

                                    I'm an enormous croissant fan as well, and it's one of my favorite carb treats.
                                    The best I've found are at Cafe Los Feliz on Hillhurst north of Franklin. The place is a perfect little patisserie -- small, charming, european. The croissants are buttery, flakey, with lovely mouth feel. They have secret cinnamon croissants that they don't have a sign for, but they're often there. Amazing.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: echoparkdirt
                                      1newyorkguy RE: echoparkdirt Jun 1, 2009 12:34 AM

                                      that's a very cute shop, but the one croissant I had there was a let down. pain du jour's was nice.

                                    2. j
                                      jaykayen RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2009 06:21 PM

                                      This is my list: Anisette, Amandine, Breadbar, and the almond croissants at The Conservatory for Coffee (does anyone know where The Conservatory gets these?)

                                      1. s
                                        snackwrangler RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2009 06:53 PM

                                        Apparently Chowhound doesn't want me to post a link to my t-w-i-t-t-e-r blog about my CroissantQuest. If you'd like to follow it, look it up under croissantquest.

                                        But I digress. I just ended Week 2 of my mission and I am sad to report that I was only able to try 3 croissants.

                                        Bottega Louie: the first croissant of the week and it's a good thing I took notes bc it was kinda forgettable. Taste and flakiness was good, but not great. Nice and light though.

                                        Amandine: I love the almond croissants at this place. and the banana chocolate tart. and that raspberry thing. I've been coming here for years, yet I never tried a plain croissant. Turns out it does not hold up on its own without the glorious almond, chocolate or chocolate almond fillings. In fact, it was flavorless. Good flakiness and texture though. I'm still not sure if the "Japanese" style croissant should have it's own category for consideration.

                                        Susina: the croissant is probably the ugliest thing in the case. But it had nice butter flavor and flakiness. Kinda dense in the middle.

                                        This week's winner is a tough call, and I'd have to say it's a tie between Amandine and Susina.

                                        1. k
                                          kavatee RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2009 07:43 PM

                                          Le Pain Quotidian for plain croissants
                                          Susina on Beverly for filled (sundried tomato- yum!)

                                          1. Michelly RE: snackwrangler Jun 17, 2009 09:19 AM

                                            I agree that Le Pain du Jour has GREAT croissants, but being a spoiled American, I automatically assumed that they would have an espresso machine. Plain coffee only.

                                            And every time I get to Anisette, they've run out of croissants.

                                            1. n
                                              ns1 RE: snackwrangler May 18, 2013 12:38 PM

                                              Any leads for a good croissant closer to Burbank/SFV not named Proof Bakery?

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: ns1
                                                Servorg RE: ns1 May 18, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                Have you tried the Village French Bakery? http://www.gogobot.com/village-french... I had an almond one and thought it was really good.

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  ns1 RE: Servorg May 18, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                  A bit far of a drive (it's going the opposite direction of where I need to go), but looks very promising. Thanks for the link.

                                                  1. re: ns1
                                                    Servorg RE: ns1 May 18, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                    I've not had the one from Porto's http://www.portosbakery.com/content/b... in Burbank but I would guess it would be worth the time and money.

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      ns1 RE: Servorg May 18, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                      Funny you said that. I'm standing in line at Portos right now.

                                                      1. re: ns1
                                                        Servorg RE: ns1 May 19, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                        Did you try one at Porto's after the line standing was completed? If so how was it?

                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                          ns1 RE: Servorg May 19, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                          sure did. tasty croissant, but most certainly not an artisan croissant.

                                                          but for a dollar and change, definitely the best in the area. way better than the $4 croisssant @ studio cafe magazzino.

                                                          the power of portos is that i also left with some potato balls, meat pies, cheese rolls, a tiramisu, and a mango smoothie.

                                                          1. re: ns1
                                                            Servorg RE: ns1 May 19, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                            So, it sounds like the proof is still in the Proof when it comes to the Croissant? Where did Porto's little vehicle for delivering copious quantities of butter directly into the innocent blood vessels of LA Chowhounds fall short of the Proof version?

                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                              ns1 RE: Servorg May 19, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                              portos croissant reminded me of a really good costco croissant (i have a soft spot for costco croissants, so this is not a bad thing)

                                                              proof is smaller, more buttery, more "french" - actually reminded me of the croissants I got in india. I still hate Proof's almond croissant though. give me the uncultured american-style almond croissant plz.

                                                      2. re: Servorg
                                                        mucho gordo RE: Servorg May 18, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                        It sure is worth it. Their chocolate croissant is superb.

                                                  2. re: ns1
                                                    trolley RE: ns1 May 18, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                    Why not Proof?

                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                      ns1 RE: trolley May 19, 2013 01:20 AM

                                                      They didn't work out for me, esp. at 3.50 a pop.

                                                  3. SilverlakeGirl RE: snackwrangler May 18, 2013 01:17 PM

                                                    Proof Bakery

                                                    1. J.L. RE: snackwrangler May 18, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                      An newer reply to an older original post:

                                                      I believe the current titleholder is Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: J.L.
                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: J.L. May 18, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                        I would agree with that.....

                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                          ilysla RE: Dirtywextraolives May 18, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                          Will be testing that assertion in a few wks' time! Just got back from Paris ~1.5 wks ago and think that Amandine's croissants are quite good (but seems technically very good but "cold," if that makes any sense, which I'm sure it doesn't....).

                                                        2. re: J.L.
                                                          budlit RE: J.L. May 19, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                          + 1 for maison giraud

                                                        3. y
                                                          young_chower RE: snackwrangler May 18, 2013 02:30 PM

                                                          l'amande bakery in torrance (and soon Beverly hills) has absurd, perhaps life altering almond croissants. They are pricey and on the smaller side, but they are very tasty and made with a lot of passion.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: young_chower
                                                            megwalsh RE: young_chower May 21, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                            I second l'amande in torrance. warm or room temperature, the ham and gruyere can be transcendent.

                                                          2. p
                                                            pnutbuddah RE: snackwrangler May 18, 2013 11:17 PM

                                                            Cafe Chaumont in Beverly HIlls have excellent croissant, bread and pastries. A young french couple runs the place and everything including breakfast and tart tartine has been delicious.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: pnutbuddah
                                                              maudies5 RE: pnutbuddah May 19, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                              Zoe Nathan makes great croissants for Huckleberry and Milo and Olive.

                                                            2. echoparkdirt RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2013 08:29 AM

                                                              love the croissants at Cafe Los Feliz on Hillhurst

                                                              1. JBroida RE: snackwrangler Jun 1, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                tarte tatin in beverly hills should get some love too

                                                                1. y
                                                                  yoyo RE: snackwrangler Jul 21, 2013 05:27 PM

                                                                  Surfa's cafe has really good croissants. Better than Amandine.

                                                                  1. f
                                                                    foodiemahoodie RE: snackwrangler Jul 21, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                    The best croissants I've had in L.A. are from Maison Giraud. All the pastries, including the bread is great.

                                                                    Also, at the Farmshop - great croissants. Great pain au chocolat. Their chocolate chip cookie is a winner too. I can't seem to resist it when I'm there.

                                                                    At Rockenwagners Bakery - their pretzel croissant is pretty great (ask them to heat it up - so it gets a little crispy).

                                                                    1. p
                                                                      Pritis RE: snackwrangler Jul 24, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                      Market in Pasadena

                                                                      1. circe0723 RE: snackwrangler Jul 24, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                        Luca's in Toluca Lake

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: circe0723
                                                                          ns1 RE: circe0723 Jul 24, 2013 05:38 PM

                                                                          Which Luca's is this?

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