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Oct 10, 2009 08:28 PM

pastry bakery West L.A.

Great pastry bakery West L.A.? No, I don't mean something like Amandine, nor Breadbar; but like the late lamented Napoléon (Napoleon) on State St. in Sta Barbara, or the long-ago Swen's in Pasadena. Or Mortensen's in Solvang back with its original Danish baker (the last one in Solvang). French- or Danish-style pastries of SUPERLATIVE quality. (I don't even ask for great bread. Los Angeles has a good-bread-repelling field that focuses all the good or great bread on the Bay area!) I have to confess, I have looked and LOOKED in the Pasadena and West LA areas and found . . . nothing. Boo-hoo!

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  1. I personally don't know of any Danish bakeries in the Westside, but I'm scratching my head as to why you seem to give Amandine a vailed diss? La Maison du Pain on Pico in the Fairfax area is also excellent, as well as Le Pain du Jour on Pico in Santa Monica. And the latter two have great bread IMHO. My wife dropped in on Delice (also on Pico, west of La Cienega) and found them to be good.

    Amandine Patissiere
    12225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Delice Bakery
    8583 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

    La Maison Du Pain
    5373 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

    Le Pain Du Jour
    828 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

    7 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      haven't tried the others on your list, but i absolutely second your recommendation of La Maison du Pain.
      in particular, i love their cinnamon/raison snails and their chocolate croissants.
      if they were located closer to my house i'd be carrying an extra twenty pounds.. . .

      1. re: westsidegal

        I think I got those extra twenty that you're missin'...

        1. re: westsidegal

          Ha, I live a few blocks away and I did gain 20 lbs since they opened!

          1. re: westsidegal

            Our church is a block away and it is fortunate for us that they are closed on Sundays except during the holidays, but gives us something to look forward to in a few weeks.

          2. re: bulavinaka

            I guess I third the rec' on La Maison du Pain. Everything I've had has been delectable.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Will check out La Maison du Pain; thanks to all. Re Amandine, no desire to argue; I just haven't found it very good, and not remotely in the league of the place I mentioned. The owner's statement, when asked if they baked with butter, that they use a "special form of butter," also generated some suspicion on my part. By the way, I've learned from experience that the Q to ask is not, "Do you bake with butter?" but rather "Do you bake with butter and ONLY butter?" Lots of places use a touch of butter and that's all, apparently.

              1. re: boyk

                Fair enough on Amandine - not looking for a catfight either - it just seemed that blowing off Amandine without knowing why was unusual. I know everyone has their own preferences on so many aspects as to what makes a great baked good.

                I would urge you to also try Le Pain du Jour in Santa Monica as well. Personally, I find their goods to be excellent. They're on the south side of Pico, just east of Lincoln. The owners are very French - you can ask, but I don't think butter would be an issue with them. Bon appetite!

            2. Emil's Swiss Pastry in Westwood is worth a considering.

              I also think Elysee in Westwood village has some worthy options as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                santa monica and colby is westwood?

                I second the recommendation, delicious pastries, tastes of real butter, cream and sugar, the way mother nature intended us to get fat!

                1. re: Emme

                  Got various items from La Maison du Pain, and found them nice. Not in the league of the old Napoleon in Sta Barbara, the old Mortensen's in Solvang, or the very old Swen's in Pasadena -- the quality-level I'm looking for; and perhaps not so good as Breadbar/Century-City; but enjoyable, yes. As for Le Pain du Jour in Sta Monica, will try it again sometime; had mixed experience with it in the past. Re bread, it seems to me that nobody in LA makes great bread! (One reference standard is Zingerman's, Ann Arbor; available by mail order. Others are Acme and Semifreddi, everywhere in the Bay area.)

                2. "good-bread-repelling field"

                  I had to laugh here only b/c I absolutely agree with you and most people I know who have bakery experience with both LA and the Bay concur. I also found Amandine to be underwhelming but will gladly try La Maison Du Pain.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: odub

                    I agree re: best bread is in Bay Area, if Acme opened an L.A. area store it would be a daily stop for me! As far as Amandine is concerned, I think their pastries are excellent so thanks to you odub and boyk for helping to keep the wait nice and short when I need a pastry!

                    1. re: odub

                      I think I'd recommend Breadbar before & above La Maison du Pain. Neither is what I'm looking for, but I think B/bar > Maison. Some years ago there was a Danish pastry place on West Pico... apparently authentic... but to my taste it just wasn't very good; certainly nothing like my memory of what I ate in Copenhagen. It would be interesting to know what the problem is about Los Angeles; but not interesting enough to drop my proper work any more than I have already!

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