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Croissant Battle: Maison Giraud vs. Chaumont

J.L. Nov 24, 2013 01:26 AM

Just tried the relative newcomer's croissant at Chaumont (in Beverly Hills; croissant is pictured) last week. Comparing it with my current croissant fave at Maison Giraud (in Pacific Palisades):

Butteriness: The edge goes to Maison Giraud.

Bite: Chaumont has a slight advantage.

Flakiness: Gotta hand it to Chaumont.

Aroma: Maison Giraud wins in this category.

"French"ness (for lack of a better phrase): A virtual tie.

It's too close for me to call. Someone else cast the deciding vote. I suppose we're fortunate to have this problem here in L.A...

 
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    Stravinsky RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 05:48 AM

    Chaumont is so much easier to get to though...

    "I suppose we're fortunate to have this problem here in L.A..."

    Very fortunate indeed. =D

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      latindancer RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 07:39 AM

      As much as I like Chaumont and agree with your assessment in all categories and it's virtually in my back door…

      I had one yesterday, hoping to fulfill the Thanksgiving problem of which roll to serve, and I'm afraid I'm going to hand the entire battle to Proof, although I'm in love with Maison Giraud.
      Proof's croissants hold their 'body'.
      A couple of hours went by with croissant at Chaumont and I find it just wasn't the same as when I purchased it.
      Not so with Proof…I can purchase one in the morning and it's no different hours later.
      Sorry to bring in another contender.

      26 Replies
      1. re: latindancer
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        bulavinaka RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 07:46 AM

        I haven't tried Chaumont, but really like Maison Giraud and Proof as well. I couldn't vouch for either holding up well as croissants of this level don't stick around for long in my home. I admire your restraint.

        1. re: bulavinaka
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          latindancer RE: bulavinaka Nov 24, 2013 09:18 AM

          In this case I want to purchase a croissant that's not going to need a lot of reheating to bring back the integrity for a large group of people
          I don't have alot of restraint (virtually none) when it comes to anything, in the way of baked goods, that's stellar :).

          1. re: latindancer
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            jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 09:24 AM

            Latindancer your pie baking also in my backyard. Want a chowhound feature?

            1. re: jessejames
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              latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 24, 2013 09:36 AM

              LOL….yes! :).

              We could print out baking forms for attendees to handicap.

              1. re: latindancer
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                jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 10:29 AM

                Deal!

        2. re: latindancer
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          Stravinsky RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 08:55 AM

          What is enabling that?... That actually does not sound like a good thing to me. Does Pooof use some sort of preservative in their croissants?

          1. re: Stravinsky
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            latindancer RE: Stravinsky Nov 24, 2013 09:14 AM

            <preservative in their croissants>

            They're just better croissants, in my opinion.
            I sort of compare it to a piecrust. My piecrust, rich and flaky, is better than most pie crusts I've experienced and lasts more than a day in body. I use no preservatives, I just know how to turn out stellar piecrust that doesn't break down.

            i know you're a big proponent of Chaumont (I *do* like them) but some things are just better than others for no apparent reason other than the person who's making them and their talent.

            1. re: latindancer
              ipsedixit RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 10:43 AM

              Another tie-breaking vote for Proof.

              They are just better.

              1. re: latindancer
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                Stravinsky RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 01:23 PM

                Well...unfortunately it's very hard to tell what is meant when people stat using phrases like "it's just better" and "for no apparent reason".

                Earlier in the discussion it seems like people were doing a bette job of describing 'better' in terms of specific properties, such as flakiness, butteriness, etc...

                1. re: Stravinsky
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                  jaykayen RE: Stravinsky Nov 24, 2013 01:28 PM

                  Its a Proustian thing...

                  1. re: jaykayen
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                    latindancer RE: jaykayen Nov 24, 2013 01:43 PM

                    It is…-).

                    1. re: jaykayen
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                      New Trial RE: jaykayen Nov 24, 2013 06:05 PM

                      And here I thought the Proust was in the pudding (or, rather, madeleine).

                    2. re: Stravinsky
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                      latindancer RE: Stravinsky Nov 24, 2013 01:42 PM

                      :).

                      Well, I *do* believe i'm not the only one who stated 'they're just better'…

                      The same could be said about, say, sex.
                      No explanation needed.

                      1. re: latindancer
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                        jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 03:37 PM

                        Latindancer!

                        1. re: jessejames
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                          latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 24, 2013 04:21 PM

                          Please forgive my brief lapse in judgement :-).

                          1. re: latindancer
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                            jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 06:15 PM

                            I like it!

                            1. re: jessejames
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                              latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 25, 2013 07:57 AM

                              Ahhh….good.

                              Phew :).

                      2. re: Stravinsky
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                        latindancer RE: Stravinsky Nov 24, 2013 01:57 PM

                        Seriously, without sounding too flippant…

                        Have you ever tasted the croissants at Proof?
                        I'm just curious.

                      3. re: latindancer
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                        jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 25, 2013 08:36 AM

                        maybe it needs a little extra something for the schlep back from Glendale?

                      4. re: Stravinsky
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                        bulavinaka RE: Stravinsky Nov 24, 2013 03:47 PM

                        You probably already know this but breads and pastries are very temperamental things. It could be something as simple as moisture content, which would be my guess. Factors like humidity and even the water content in butter (Euro-style butters typically have less water content, and even this varies between makers) can change the level of moisture in dough, where seemingly small differences like 1-3% can ultimately pan out to make a noticeable difference in the end product, particularly when a bread or pastry is eaten hours apart. With everything else being equal, the higher moisture content will create a more hospitable environment for continual change.

                      5. re: latindancer
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                        chowseeker1999 RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 03:33 PM

                        interesting. that wasn't the case for me: we picked up some croissants (plain) from Proof in the a.m., and when i tried one at about... 4 - 5 p.m. it was worse, definitely.

                        1. re: latindancer
                          TonyC RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 09:05 PM

                          also, Proof, cause cortado.

                          Chaumont coffee tastes like burnt Starfucks. It's so fasionably French, I s'pose. Goes so great w/ cigs, though.

                          1. re: TonyC
                            J.L. RE: TonyC Nov 24, 2013 10:27 PM

                            They need a "pain chinois, avec chive et dried shrimp"...

                            1. re: J.L.
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                              jessejames RE: J.L. Nov 25, 2013 07:37 AM

                              Where do u get that? Hanoi?

                              1. re: J.L.
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                                latindancer RE: J.L. Nov 25, 2013 08:07 AM

                                The closest they have right now to whatever it is you're talking about (sounds interesting) is the savory galette.
                                It's made with root vegetables and is quite tasty.

                              2. re: TonyC
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                                latindancer RE: TonyC Nov 25, 2013 08:00 AM

                                <cause cortado>

                                I agree. I love the espresso at Proof and the Chaumont coffee just doesn't do it for me.
                                Interestingly, the owner at Chaumont told me, when I asked what they used, people are asking him to order the beans for them…
                                It comes in a can he showed me.

                            2. j
                              jessejames RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 07:49 AM

                              Chaumont Tiebreaker for other pasties esp Eclairs.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: jessejames
                                J.L. RE: jessejames Nov 24, 2013 09:11 AM

                                I give you Maison Giraud's other great pastries / danishes...

                                1. re: J.L.
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                                  jessejames RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 09:17 AM

                                  Well sounds like a challenge with all winners. What's your fav that has chocolate?

                                  1. re: jessejames
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                                    latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 24, 2013 09:23 AM

                                    <What's your fav that has chocolate?>

                                    Neck and neck…

                                    Maison Giraud by a nose.

                                    1. re: latindancer
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                                      jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 09:25 AM

                                      Which items?

                                      Did u try any of those raspberry cream items at chaumont?

                                      1. re: jessejames
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                                        latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 24, 2013 09:45 AM

                                        The only thing, besides the croissant(s), that I've tried is the pear tart.
                                        It was wonderful…the crust was perfect.
                                        Are the raspberry cream items good?

                                        1. re: latindancer
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                                          jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 10:28 AM

                                          Incredible. Eclairs too

                                          1. re: jessejames
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                                            latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 25, 2013 08:44 PM

                                            <eclairs too>

                                            Yes, I had the chocolate one today. It was incredible.

                                            1. re: latindancer
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                                              jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 25, 2013 08:59 PM

                                              So good. Now u gotta try the coffee one, vanilla one and raspberry one! Not all always available.

                                              1. re: jessejames
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                                                latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 25, 2013 09:41 PM

                                                Well, I didn't want to come across as a glutton but I *did* take a bite of the coffee one too…

                                                Equally incredible.
                                                They're very rich and dense. It's exactly the way an eclair should be.

                                                1. re: latindancer
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                                                  jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 26, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                  LD-glad you like those too. I am addicted.

                                                  few other things i like there a lot are anything with that raspberry cream. The "missus" is in charge of that dish and created it and it comes in form of eclairs and other pastries there...dynamite...also the breakfast sandwiches served on a kind of eggy bagette (which they call foccacia) and i like it with the scrambled eggs, beef bacon and provolone, and tabasco...make sure to tell them to forget the mayotard (my-oh-naze as they say) and the arugala, and get the fruit salad instead of a salad...something like 7-8 bucks a great deal...it's huge...they also do a nice soft boiled egg which goes nice with the croissant or rolls....funny they do the beef bacon not real bacon, but it's actually quite good...sometimes tho i prefer the real deal.

                                                  1. re: jessejames
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                                                    latindancer RE: jessejames Nov 26, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                    I've yet to sit down and actually partake in the menu items…

                                                    While I'm waiting for items to be boxed/bagged I watch as items come out of the kitchen and everything looks beautiful and appetizing.

                                                    The place is growing on me, for sure, and it appears the workers around the area have already caught on as it's usually pretty busy throughout the day.
                                                    Thanks for the heads-up on things to order. I'll have to check it out when time allows :).
                                                    It would be incredible if a place like that stayed around for awhile and if the owners stay the same as they are, with the wonderful hours they keep and the stellar customer service, I think their chances are pretty good.

                                                    1. re: latindancer
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                                                      jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 26, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                      I do takeout and call ahead

                                                      1. re: latindancer
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                                                        jessejames RE: latindancer Nov 26, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                        I hope they stay too. They shuddered picklez

                                2. A5 KOBE RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 09:00 AM

                                  Proof
                                  Maison Giraud
                                  Chaumont

                                  I go to Chaumont way more though because MG is just so much further for me.

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                                    foodiemahoodie RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 09:35 AM

                                    Great that there's a close contender.

                                    MG's croissant is an exercise - no, scratch that, a difficult, heart-wrenching, nearly impossibly exercise in self-control.

                                    I could eat 10.

                                    I would also recommend the croissant at Farmshop. In fact their chocolate chip cookie exhibits some kind of mind-control over me whenever I go to the Brentwood Country Mart. I go in saying "Okay a couple tacos at Frida's and I'm off AND NO COOKIE!" And I seem to get one every time. (sometimes cookie and croissant).

                                    1. i
                                      ilysla RE: J.L. Nov 24, 2013 12:22 PM

                                      Not had Chaumont, but thought Proof and Maison Giraud were too close to call. Flakiness I think goes the Maison Giraud but the ones we had were VERY greasy, which was a little off-putting.

                                      latindancer, I know what you mean about wanting croissants that stay good for at least a few hrs (which is my main prob w/ Amandine.... They need to be re-heated usually, which is unfortunate since they're only a block away from me!).

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: ilysla
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                                        latindancer RE: ilysla Nov 24, 2013 02:15 PM

                                        I know what you mean.

                                        I've been hoping I could feel the same way about Chaumont's like I do Proof or Maison Giraud…they're definitely good but I just like the others better.
                                        It's just way more convenient for me, like Amandine is for you.
                                        But, like everything else when it comes to food, the 'best' is just worth the drive and traffic headache.

                                        1. re: latindancer
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                                          ilysla RE: latindancer Nov 24, 2013 04:32 PM

                                          Agreed.... which is why I'm a fairly frequent customer at Literati. =P I don't go to Amandine much simply b/c I'm not a pastry kind of guy (at least, not on a consistent basis), and they don't open late enough for me to have dinner there (I do rather enjoy their quiches and sandwiches).

                                        2. re: ilysla
                                          VenusCafe RE: ilysla Dec 10, 2013 12:29 PM

                                          Exactly my take on MG; always too greasy.

                                        3. l
                                          latindancer RE: J.L. Nov 25, 2013 08:48 PM

                                          This is something I'd be remiss if not mentioning.

                                          Today I went to Chaumont to order a couple of things for Thanksgiving, being I'm swamped the day before and day of with cooking and baking.

                                          I was so touched by the owner's attention to detail and concern for the customer.
                                          I was very pleasantly surprised when I asked when I should pick them up, obviously the later the better the day before Thanksgiving. I'm a stickler for freshness.
                                          He told me to come in Thanksgiving morning…they'll be open from opening (6:30) to closing…noon.
                                          What place does that? None that I"m aware of, when it comes to bakeries.
                                          Awesome, awesome, awesome customer service.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: latindancer
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                                            Stravinsky RE: latindancer Nov 26, 2013 03:54 AM

                                            Indeed, the owners are an awesome couple. They work the front end pretty much every day themselves. There are very few people/places I am so happy to give my money to =D

                                            My only wish is that they had the bottled coffee from G&B instead of the stuff they currently stock...but it's a fairly small complaint.

                                            1. re: latindancer
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                                              Dirtywextraolives RE: latindancer Nov 30, 2013 09:07 AM

                                              I always pick up our pie the day of Thanksgiving when ordering from MG. I thought that was standard for bakeries.

                                            2. o
                                              Ogawak RE: J.L. Nov 26, 2013 09:06 AM

                                              I may have to try Chaumont again; I wasn't that impressed the first time; What a really cute couple, though. My personal favorite is Maison Giraud

                                              Need to get to Proof sometime.

                                              The new Sweet Rose Creamery on Pico offers a whole wheat croissant that really works well. My personal criteria is that I can taste the crispy layers.

                                              1. c
                                                cothev RE: J.L. Nov 29, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                I've bought croissants at Amandine, Milo & Olive, Farmshop and Maison Giraud. Giraud is probably the best, though Farmshop is very close. The only problem I have with Giraud is that their website Bakery list erroneously indicates a croissant is $3.00, whereas it is really $3.98 ($3.65 plus tax), which is the same price they charge if you eat it at the restaurant. No other bakery that I know of charges tax on take out items.

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                                                  foodiemahoodie RE: J.L. Nov 30, 2013 01:11 AM

                                                  Though not in contention with a good butter croissant - Rockenwagner bakery just upped their game in the croissant world. I wasn't crazy about their standard one - wasn't crispy enough, not flaky enough - but I love their pretzel croissant. Just that the other day, they were out of their pretzel croissants and I tried the regular variant - much improved and very good.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie
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                                                    bulavinaka RE: foodiemahoodie Nov 30, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                    I also like that pretzel version. Pretzel-anything here is worthy.

                                                    1. re: foodiemahoodie
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                                                      bulavinaka RE: foodiemahoodie Nov 30, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                      Their almond croissant is worthy as well. I'm sure I've mentioned both at least once/twice in the past.

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                                                      HayDegha0917 RE: J.L. Dec 4, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                      It is surprisingly difficult to find a decent croissant in LA. Proof is the only place I have found so far that comes close to a Parisian croissant. I have heard rumors, however, of a place in Studio City that has an imported Belgian oven and superlative croissants. Anyone else heard that?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: HayDegha0917
                                                        Wayno RE: HayDegha0917 Dec 4, 2013 09:39 AM

                                                        Would I be correct or incorrect in assuming that you have not tried Maison Giraud's croissant? If you have not, it would be interesting to see if you find that these do in fact compare somewhat favorably to those found in Paris, as well as to those found at Proof.

                                                      2. d
                                                        dharmathug RE: J.L. Dec 4, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                        Amandines makes the best, still. And then I go to Whole Foods for theirs. Price is a factor for me and to pay more than $2 for a croissant is ludicrous when it is a morning staple in France for 1.50 Euros.

                                                        Y'all can argue over your $4-$6 pastries

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: dharmathug
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                                                          nosh RE: dharmathug Dec 5, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                          The last time I went to Amandine, less than a month ago, their big plain croissant was still $1.95, to go. They bake a miniature for $1.35, I think. Their croissant is excellent. I agree -- I really don't want to pay three dollars or more for a croissant. Shoot, i can get a really good -- albeit not as layerly but cheese-filled and i like the strawberry -- sweet dense croissant at Portos for barely over a buck.

                                                          1. re: nosh
                                                            J.L. RE: nosh Dec 5, 2013 08:54 PM

                                                            I respect that. Everyone has their own point of diminishing returns...

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                                                          FontanaFamilyRecipes RE: J.L. Dec 4, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                          If you haven't tried B-1 bakery in downtown L.A. you've missed the most scrumptious croissants this side of Paris. The French owner knows how to make authentic buttery, crispy, aromatic croissants!

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                                                            hpsquared RE: J.L. Dec 5, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                            i agree with HayDegha0917: Proof in Atwater Village.

                                                            ETA: and everyone else championing Proof. Proof is just excellent overall.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: hpsquared
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                                                              latindancer RE: hpsquared Dec 9, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                              <Proof is just excellent overall>

                                                              I'm pretty sure I've tried everything they have to offer…

                                                              You're right.
                                                              Everything is stellar.

                                                            2. c
                                                              Clyde RE: J.L. Dec 5, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                              i need to try these two croissants but wanted to jump in and say that auntie em's croissant is the best one i've ever had. i can only eat half at a time, it's so filling. i think it's $3.50. it's buttery perfection.

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                                                                jessejames RE: J.L. Dec 10, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                noting a new flavor of eclairs today, pistachio at Chaumont....

                                                                1. VenusCafe RE: J.L. Dec 10, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                  I live near Maison Giraurd and do the PP Farmers Mkt every Sunday,
                                                                  but unfortunatelyi do not like their croissants at all, and find the food very overrated also.
                                                                  If maison giraurd were good, it would be my Sunday choice.
                                                                  Most of us locals feel the same.
                                                                  (Trader Joe's croissants that you proof and bake are
                                                                  so much better.)

                                                                  1. J.L. RE: J.L. Dec 27, 2013 09:11 AM

                                                                    OK, in the spirit of friendly competition, I finally made it out to Proof Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village just before Christmas to sample a third candidate in this battle.

                                                                    ... And I think our third candidate from Proof might just win the whole thing (but by the slimmest of margins, mind you).

                                                                    Man! What a great croissant!

                                                                    I thought the croissant from Proof Bakery (pictured) had the best bite, flakiness, and overall flavor of all three contestants.

                                                                    Thanks to all the 'Hounds for (again) pointing me in the right direction!

                                                                     
                                                                    1. J.L. RE: J.L. Dec 28, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                      Looking for any other contenders. Bueller?...

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: J.L.
                                                                        ipsedixit RE: J.L. Dec 28, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                        Bread Lounge makes a kick-ass Kouign-Amann.

                                                                        Any baker that can a good kouign-amann, I trust can make a kick-ass croissant.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          J.L. RE: ipsedixit Dec 29, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                          BreadLounge already bakes my top baguette in L.A. - Just haven't had a chance to try their croissant yet...

                                                                          1. re: J.L.
                                                                            ipsedixit RE: J.L. Dec 29, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                            Their kouign-amann kicks-ass, and I don't even like butter.

                                                                            If you can do kouign-amann well, then a croissant should be like "a walk in the park, Kazansky"

                                                                      2. stravaigint RE: J.L. Feb 12, 2014 09:53 AM

                                                                        I finally tried Chaumont this weekend, in addition to going back to Proof as a reminder.

                                                                        MG is still tops. It wins on butteriness and Frenchness - it just tastes "correct". But Chaumont is very close, and I would agree on the flakiness. A nicely satisfying shatter.

                                                                        Proof wasn't as good as I remember it - seemed to be lacking in the butter department. Was it always somewhat healthier?

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