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Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades has the greatest croissant in the world

b
blanch May 8, 2012 08:03 PM

I'm a travel, food and wine writer and I travel the world in search of great eats.

Well I've found the best croissant in the world and it's not in France, it's at Maison Giraud bakery in Pacific Palisades. The croissant genius is baker /pastry chef Noubar Yessayan, who's been with Alain Giraud since his days at Bastide and through his time at Anisette in Santa Monica.

Noubar makes great breads and pastries, but the croissants are a tour de force. I'm addicted to the ham and cheese and usually get two with my coffee. The butter literally oozes out of the pastry. Get a big napkin.

You need to be there early if you want the greatest croissant in the world. He's usually sold out by noon.

The restaurant opened late last year and is doing a bang up business in Pacific Palisades, which sorely needed a high end restaurant. Prices are decent, there's a nice wine list, inventive menu which bows towards Provence, and in parking space challenged Pacific Palisades the restaurant has its own lot in the back, and it's FREE!

They recently installed some acoustic materials which lessen the ambient noise inside the restaurant and the spring menu is just being implemented. Alain gets much of his produce at the local Farmers Markets and has special items grown for him.

Alain's wife Catherine runs the shop next door which has linens and other products from Provence.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the weekend brunch includes Bellinis and Mimosas.

Maison Giraud, 1032 Swarthmore Avenue, at Monument Street off Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades (310-459-7562 or maison-giraud.com.

  1. n
    namstermonster May 9, 2012 02:54 PM

    does that mean the croissants are the same as those that were at anisette??

    1 Reply
    1. re: namstermonster
      b
      budlit May 10, 2012 06:43 AM

      yes

    2. n
      nosh May 9, 2012 03:34 PM

      Admit I haven't tried it. I will.

      But it must be really good to be better than those at Amandine. North side of Wilshire a block and a half west of Bundy. Big, beautiful, buttery, crisp, sometimes even warm, and only $1.95 (to go).

      5 Replies
      1. re: nosh
        b
        blanch May 9, 2012 04:09 PM

        Hi Nosh,

        The ham and Cheese croissant at Maison Giraud is $4 and it is phenomenal. I've had Amandine's croissant but I really prefer the one at Maison Giraud. If you're not there by Noon there won't be any. The pastry chef can't make enough in the morning to meet the demand.

        1. re: blanch
          f
          foodiemahoodie May 9, 2012 10:08 PM

          Are they still making caneles in the morning?

          1. re: foodiemahoodie
            d
            Dirtywextraolives Jun 29, 2012 11:57 AM

            Yes.

          2. re: blanch
            b
            budlit May 18, 2012 05:25 PM

            I like Maison Giraud's croissants better than Almandine Maison Giraud also had some great cookies Sunday.

          3. re: nosh
            i
            ilysla May 13, 2012 05:10 PM

            Just tried one (at Amandine) this afternoon. Stuck it in the microwave for about 10 sec on high, and it was DELICIOUS. Yum, yum, yum....

          4. c
            cothev May 13, 2012 02:46 PM

            The croissants are indeed good though small, but I'm not sure they are the greatest in the world. The baguettes are also very good.

            But I have one comment. It is annoying that they charge tax on their take-out bakery items. Other restaurant/bakeries where I buy croissants (La Dijonaise, Amandine, Le Pain Quotidien, Farm Shop) do not do so. I wish they would change their policy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cothev
              d
              Dirtywextraolives Jun 29, 2012 12:03 PM

              The CA tax code on restaurant items is a convoluted mess. It depends on the Restaurant's percentage on gross food sales, and whether a percentage of those sales are from food & beverage that is taxable. For instance, alcohol & carbonated beverages are always taxed; juice & waters are not. Hot beverages like coffee are not taxable, but cold food items like sandwiches & salads sold to go are. Guess it just depends what you are buying and where. Thisdoes not account for taxes the City of LA, of which the Palisades is a part.

            2. h
              hlv2eat Jun 28, 2012 03:24 PM

              I don't know about the best in the world because i've had great croissants in France. Anyway, i think it's the best croissant i've tasted in Los Angeles. The one from Bread Lounge comes in second, and FarmshopLA third.
              Btw, i think the baguette from Bread Lounge is the best in LA.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hlv2eat
                TonyC Jun 29, 2012 12:08 PM

                Bread Lounge's pain au choc offers consistency of bread, not croissant. Therefore, it fails as a croissant.

                The baguette, OTOH, is rather decent. And if you ask kindly, they'll give you a (generous) ramekin of butter for dine-in. That is full of win. The croissant is not.

                1. re: hlv2eat
                  f
                  foodiemahoodie Jun 29, 2012 05:03 PM

                  Agree. Do you prefer Bread Lounge's baguette to Giraud's? It seems to me (Giruad's) to be about as good as a baguette can get.

                  Also, Maison Giraud has a danish I tried last week. It was pretty great stuff.

                2. J.L. Aug 10, 2013 09:44 PM

                  I'm not so sure about the greatest croissant in the world (in my book that distinction belongs to Boulangerie Jean-François in Omotesando Station, Tokyo)...

                  BUT - Maison Giraud definitely, definitely bakes the best croissant in Southern California.

                  And Chef Alain is so affable, chatting with all his customers. It's a wonderful place to have breakfast.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: J.L.
                    d
                    Dirtywextraolives Aug 10, 2013 10:40 PM

                    Yes, it is. He's a doll.

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      k
                      kevin Aug 11, 2013 01:52 PM

                      I'll have to check it out.

                      I really liked his chocolate croissants at anisette.

                      1. re: kevin
                        d
                        Dirtywextraolives Aug 11, 2013 01:53 PM

                        Oh they are the bomb. Go early, they sell out quickly.

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                          k
                          kevin Aug 11, 2013 01:55 PM

                          Shoot.

                          Dirty Sexy Olives, when do they open and more importantly by what time would you recommend going at the latest ????

                          Thanks.

                          1. re: kevin
                            d
                            Dirtywextraolives Aug 11, 2013 02:02 PM

                            They open at 8 am for breakfast. Depending on what day you go, I'd get there by 9. Or call first to see if they have any left before making the trek.

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                              J.L. Aug 11, 2013 08:50 PM

                              Get there early! Like the truffle ice cream at Kiriko, you'll have to compete for those croissants with myself, Mrs. J.L., and the Chowpup in tow...

                              1. re: J.L.
                                k
                                kevin Aug 11, 2013 10:09 PM

                                Shit.

                                But without having tried it, Tarte Tatin is by far my favorite.

                                Hands down.

                                1. re: kevin
                                  J.L. Aug 11, 2013 10:19 PM

                                  Wait, wait, wait... Do you mean you've never tried the croissant at Tarte Tatin?

                                  How can you even say that is your favorite (and you admit this) having never tried it?! "Hands down"?!

                                  This is tantamount to Chowhound blasphemy. Back to yelp with ye!

                                  Come back when you actually have your own taste buds do the talking.

                                  1. re: J.L.
                                    k
                                    kevin Aug 11, 2013 10:21 PM

                                    My bad. Sorry.

                                    Not having tried Maison Giraud yet, Tarte Tatin is my favorite. But that may change soon.

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      J.L. Aug 11, 2013 10:25 PM

                                      Oh I see. Better.

                                      I want to like Tarte Tatin so much. But I've never had anything "wow" from them, and that includes their namesake tarte tatin.

                                      Try Maison Giraud and report back.

                                      1. re: J.L.
                                        k
                                        kevin Aug 11, 2013 10:36 PM

                                        I love their chocolate crossaints.

                                        And I do like their full-on Israeli breakfasts.

                                  2. re: kevin
                                    d
                                    Dirtywextraolives Aug 12, 2013 10:03 AM

                                    Lucky for you, Kevin, is that I don't eat croissants very often.... But my boys do love them, and would eat them everyday if they could. I go ahead and buy four, then kinda pick at mine, until the vultures descend and ask to split it if I'm not going to finish it, lol!

                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                      k
                                      kevin Aug 12, 2013 11:07 AM

                                      This is in reference to Maison Giraud, right ?

                                      Yeah, I can plow through great croissants like it's nobody's business.

                                      But once I had a bad croissant from one of the supermarkets and it was terrible but then again I should have known that to begin with.

                                  3. re: J.L.
                                    k
                                    kevin Aug 11, 2013 10:12 PM

                                    The truffle ice cream was different due to them saying something like the truffle prices had skyrocketed so they would not fold it onto their ice cream for the season.

                          2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                            Wayno Aug 12, 2013 10:15 AM

                            Didn't get into the village until almost 2 yesterday, so only caught the tail end of the PP farmers market. But, amazingly, at MG there was 1 croissant left. I'm sure it paled in comparison to when it was fresh baked in the morn, but we could still tell that it was at the top of the class. There was also a couple pain chocolate remaining; should have tried one of those as well, but decided one butter bomb was enough. But, can't wait to go back.

                            1. re: Wayno
                              k
                              kevin Aug 12, 2013 11:08 AM

                              That is high praise. Especially since you munched on it in the height of the afternoon.

                              1. re: Wayno
                                d
                                Dirtywextraolives Aug 12, 2013 11:21 AM

                                Wow, you really lucked out. The croissants are also good if you heat them briefly in a microwave. Pretty close to fresh.

                            2. re: J.L.
                              b
                              budlit Aug 11, 2013 08:55 AM

                              Love Maison Giraud!

                              1. re: J.L.
                                c
                                chowseeker1999 Aug 11, 2013 10:32 AM

                                definitely agree! i love Maison Giraud's plain croissants early in the morning (fresh). :>

                              2. o
                                Ogawak Aug 11, 2013 09:06 PM

                                Just tried MG's croissants. wonderfully thin and crispy layers of pastry. The best croissant in LA for certain.

                                SF's Tartine is still a shade better, tho.

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