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Best macaron spot?

set0312 Feb 20, 2014 12:13 AM

Tried La Duree over the summer and have been craving an LA substitute ever since? Suggestions? (Please don't tell me Bottega Louie is the best LA has)

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  1. JAB RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 06:25 AM

    Give Frances in Little Tokyo a try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JAB
      ns1 RE: JAB Feb 20, 2014 03:29 PM

      Did not care for Frances; their pistachio left a lot to be desired.

      Related: Anyone in LA selling ganache macarons?

    2. dbchun RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 07:55 AM

      I prefer Lette macarons over Bottega Louie and Little Next Door makes good macarons as well, they have a similar macaron to Pierre Herme's hazelnut truffle

      1. t
        TravelPath RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 09:35 AM

        I agree that Lette is your best bet...but find them a little too soft...Little Next Door used to be pretty good but the last couple of times I had one of their macarons I was disappointed.

        I am fortunate to be able to "commute" to Paris on a regular basis and bring home Pierre Herme and Ladurée frequently. I was told in Paris that Ladurée is looking for a location in SoCal (Third Street was mentioned) to open a store in the next year or so...I am keeping my fingers crossed! They are opening a location in Miami this year to add to their New York locations.

        A related rumour I heard in Paris is that La Maison du Chocolat is looking for a location in Beverly Hills that can accommodate a retail location as well as a bakery...which for macaron lovers is a good thing as their chocolate macarons are excellent! Once again, fingers crossed!

        8 Replies
        1. re: TravelPath
          dbchun RE: TravelPath Feb 20, 2014 09:53 AM

          wow that is exciting! fingers crossed! i thot i was lucky to have a friend with the same "commute" :) jealous!

          hard to compare with parisian patisseries but glad to hear another vouch for lette

          1. re: TravelPath
            Sgee RE: TravelPath Feb 20, 2014 10:04 PM

            Keeping my fingers crossed for Laduree!!!

            Folks at Pierre Herme if you are reading this, perfect time to setup one of those little stands at Saks as they contemplate renovations. Would be a total coup beating Laduree to the punch.

            1. re: Sgee
              J.L. RE: Sgee Feb 20, 2014 11:40 PM

              Ladurée >>> Pierre Hermé

              1. re: J.L.
                Sgee RE: J.L. Feb 21, 2014 08:49 AM

                I'm in the PH camp after several shootouts over the years.

                I will gladly take either in LA!.

                1. re: Sgee
                  TravelPath RE: Sgee Feb 21, 2014 09:05 AM


                2. re: J.L.
                  dreamfood RE: J.L. Apr 22, 2014 11:50 PM

                  Agree, also spruengli. Are there any places in LA could get either of them?

              2. re: TravelPath
                set0312 RE: TravelPath Feb 21, 2014 12:36 AM

                Either of those would be unreal. If Laduree made it to LA I'd spend more money there than on meals.

                1. re: set0312
                  TravelPath RE: set0312 Feb 21, 2014 09:22 AM

                  I am afraid to look how much I spend at Ladurée every year...but it is worth it! I hope that when they open (positive thinking!) that it includes a tea shop that serves the Omlette
                  Ladurée...one of my favorite things ever! (especially their black truffle omelette)

              3. s
                schrutefarms RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 09:59 AM

                I had some from the cafe at Surfas and really liked them!

                1. J.L. RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 10:28 AM

                  Frances Bakery (Little Tokyo).

                  1. b
                    budlit RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 03:14 PM

                    Maison Giraud has them occasionally and they're fantastic, as are all their bakery items.

                    1. omotosando RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 03:23 PM

                      I am sure they are far from the best, but Erewhon Market on 3rd Street sells macarons in the refrigerator case near the front of the store. Four come in a box and they are nice and crisp and surprisingly tasty for something you would pick up at a grocer, even an upscale grocer like Erewhon. I forgot who manufactures the macarons.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: omotosando
                        dreamfood RE: omotosando Apr 23, 2014 12:38 AM

                        Wow, I like this market but never tried their macarons. Nice recommendation! I tried Bristol Farms' and I think it's good and better than many famous bakeries they've mentioned, give me the confidence for market's macarons. Wanna try this place to check which is better!

                      2. OC Mutt RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 03:54 PM

                        Don't let anyone tell you that Paulette's are good either. They're not. In fact, they're below mediocre bordering on bad. Sadly there are no places in LA or OC for that matter that can hold a candle to Laduree or Pierre Herme. I've tried them all and not only have I felt disappointed, I've felt ripped off. Wish I had better news. NYC has Laduree now so have a friend bring them back for you if they travel there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: OC Mutt
                          prawn RE: OC Mutt Feb 21, 2014 02:55 PM

                          Did you ever get a chance to try the ones from L'Artiste (which later became Whisper Cafe which is now defunct)?

                          My SO loved them and has been on the search for similar for a long time. They weren't typical - much larger, more of a chewy texture. Definitely not my cup of tea but I don't have as much of a sugar tooth. SO on the other hand would eat the whole box if I wasn't around.

                        2. ipsedixit RE: set0312 Feb 20, 2014 06:43 PM


                          1. Novelli RE: set0312 Feb 21, 2014 12:28 PM

                            I've always dug Bouchon's version.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Novelli
                              OC Mutt RE: Novelli Feb 21, 2014 01:39 PM

                              I left Bouchon off because I didn't feel that they were an apples to apples comparison. They're more like Americanized Macarons - for lack of a better description (for the record, Bouchon bakery is excellent, and I enjoy it, just not the Macarons). Yes, Chef Keller does the "cookie" texture pretty well even though I consider it heavy-ish, but it's lacking in flavor, and the fillings are very thick, rich and more like frosting. I should have mentioned what might be the best facsimile in southern CA is Layer Cake Bakery in Irvine. They're not bad. That's the best I can say.

                              1. re: Novelli
                                dreamfood RE: Novelli Apr 22, 2014 11:46 PM

                                The Bouchon's is the best american style ones I've ever got untill now in LA. But I personally prefer french style.

                              2. f
                                flowergirl RE: set0312 Feb 21, 2014 04:16 PM

                                Has anyone been to Buttercup L A on Sawtelle? I just noticed it but haven't tried their macarons yet. If they taste as good as they look...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: flowergirl
                                  set0312 RE: flowergirl Feb 21, 2014 05:41 PM

                                  agh but that is the problem with macarons, they all look incredible!

                                  1. re: set0312
                                    flowergirl RE: set0312 Feb 21, 2014 06:13 PM

                                    Excellent point!

                                    1. re: set0312
                                      khh1138 RE: set0312 Mar 2, 2014 05:03 PM

                                      Agreed. I sampled the most beautiful dark blue macaron (that was advertised as a black currant flavour, my favourite) on a recent trip to Las Vegas, in the Paris casino (I know, I know). I don't know what I was expecting, but it was so bad - so chewy and sickly sweet and such a let-down. If only it tasted half as gorgeous as it looked. But there was no way to tell unless I actually put it in my mouth.

                                      I like the macarons at Europane. But nothing compares to Ladurée. I sure hope they move in to town.

                                    2. re: flowergirl
                                      omotosando RE: flowergirl Mar 2, 2014 05:30 PM

                                      I tried the caramel sea salt macarons at Buttercup recently. They were okay, but too sweet for my taste.

                                    3. r
                                      revets2 RE: set0312 Feb 21, 2014 11:12 PM

                                      Another Lette fan here.

                                      1. c
                                        chinchi RE: set0312 Mar 2, 2014 08:01 PM

                                        My favorite local macarons are at Europane in Pasadena.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: chinchi
                                          dreamfood RE: chinchi Apr 21, 2014 06:25 PM

                                          I think maybe you never had real good macarons before, the macarons at Europane are always with bad quality, suggest you try more somewhere else.....

                                          1. re: dreamfood
                                            chinchi RE: dreamfood Apr 22, 2014 08:08 AM

                                            I've had macarons elsewhere, in Los Angeles and abroad, and I like Europane's version (particularly the salted caramel). Different tastes for different individuals.

                                            1. re: chinchi
                                              dreamfood RE: chinchi Apr 22, 2014 11:03 PM

                                              I think their taste has no problem, the problem is their techniques, their marcarons are chewy and have big bubbles inside, also have super hard shell. Some pieces I got even the shell is away from the inside.(I've been to there several times and tried different flavors, but they always have those problem.) That's serious technique issues for macaron. Maybe I was so bad luck to get their failure ones, but if so, I don't think it's all right for them to sell them.

                                        2. r
                                          redhead33 RE: set0312 Mar 5, 2014 06:30 AM

                                          Monsieur Marcel has them at both their Beverly Hills location and Farmers Market. They are from La Duverger and the owner used to work at LaDuree. Pretty good!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: redhead33
                                            Sgee RE: redhead33 Mar 6, 2014 09:05 PM

                                            Excited to hear ex-laduree; hit up whole foods yesterday for La Duverger.

                                            Bought and downed 4. 2 were dense and chewy, 1 hollowed out top, 1 okay. All too sweet. Flavours were ok.

                                            Needs product QC improvement

                                            1. re: Sgee
                                              dreamfood RE: Sgee Apr 22, 2014 11:41 PM


                                          2. s
                                            Shanne58 RE: set0312 Mar 5, 2014 08:34 AM

                                            Another Europane (in Pasadena) fan. Better priced and larger then some as well.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Shanne58
                                              dreamfood RE: Shanne58 Apr 22, 2014 11:29 PM

                                              Euro Pane's macaron is kind of like american style, big, thick, sweet and rich. But theirs are too chewy and always have hollows inside, the shells are too hard and thick. I think their techniques need to improve to fix those problems. They also didn't have a lot of flavor. Also kind of over priced. For american style macaron, I think Bouchon in Beverly Hills is better than Euro Pane.

                                              1. re: dreamfood
                                                khh1138 RE: dreamfood Apr 27, 2014 03:49 PM

                                                I'm not sure why you are working so hard to hate on Europane. I like them, and no matter how many times you say you don't, it won't change my taste for it. I have had them at least a dozen times, with no problems with their execution. I especially enjoy the lavendar and salted caramel. I've had many macarons in Japan and France, and they can hold their own.
                                                As chinchi said, different folks have different tastes. It doesn't mean they are wrong or bad.

                                                1. re: khh1138
                                                  dreamfood RE: khh1138 Apr 27, 2014 10:10 PM

                                                  Well, I agree different folks have different tastes. I am not hate them, I just described my experience and explained why I am disappointed about them. Maybe because before I went there I expected too much for them, so I felt so sad and disappointed after I tried.

                                                  1. re: dreamfood
                                                    khh1138 RE: dreamfood Apr 28, 2014 01:06 AM

                                                    Fair enough. :) But did you try their legendary egg salad sandwich?

                                            2. J.L. RE: set0312 Mar 6, 2014 11:22 PM

                                              Believe it or not, I found the macarons at Hakkasan to be quite good (dare I say great?!)...

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: J.L.
                                                set0312 RE: J.L. Mar 7, 2014 12:33 AM

                                                (Gasp!) can they be purchased on the side?

                                                1. re: set0312
                                                  J.L. RE: set0312 Mar 7, 2014 12:36 AM

                                                  I'm not sure - Please inquire and let us know!

                                                  1. re: J.L.
                                                    set0312 RE: J.L. Mar 7, 2014 07:26 AM

                                                    Will do! Thanks for the heads up

                                                2. re: J.L.
                                                  dreamfood RE: J.L. Apr 22, 2014 11:09 PM

                                                  Agree, I was curious about why the bakeries' were no better than the restaurants....

                                                3. y
                                                  yogachik RE: set0312 Mar 7, 2014 08:19 AM

                                                  Belwood Bakery in Brentwood has, by far, the best I've tasted in town.

                                                  1. d
                                                    dreamfood RE: set0312 Apr 21, 2014 06:55 PM

                                                    The best in LA I've ever got was in the restaurants (I forgot the names)

                                                    For the stores:
                                                    The one surprised me is Bristol Farms, much better than many famous bakeries. (But also depends on locations)
                                                    Little next door is a good one
                                                    Flour + Tea in Pasadena is good
                                                    Frances in Little Tokyo is good but not great
                                                    Lette is Ok (depends on locations, some are good, some are bad)
                                                    Bottega Louie is too sweet
                                                    Haven't try Bouchon, wanna try next time.
                                                    Also wanna try some Japanese bakeries cause Japanese people won more and more baking/cake competition in the world and already among the top in pastry field(Their techniques are even better than European)

                                                    By the way, I have to say that the Euro Pane in Pasadena's are so bad( Worst I've ever get in bakeries). Their marcarons have thick and hard shell, the inside has big bubbles and so chewy! Also totally overpriced for this bad quality.

                                                    Actually, the overall macaron quality in LA is not good especially much more worse than France. It's so sad that even the best ones in LA can't compared with the cheap street small stores' in France.

                                                    1. b
                                                      bulavinaka RE: set0312 Apr 21, 2014 08:35 PM

                                                      It was a shame that Jin got pushed out of their space on Abbot Kinney. I enjoyed their macarons on occasion. Has anyone revisited their goods from their Buckingham Pkwy location?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: bulavinaka
                                                        budlit RE: bulavinaka Apr 22, 2014 04:26 PM

                                                        I really liked Jins macarons and their cornflake cookies.

                                                      2. j
                                                        jessejames RE: set0312 Apr 22, 2014 06:16 PM

                                                        Forget these expensive French ones. Got 30 choc dipped real macaroon at Beverlywood bakery for price of 6 lette roons. Much better to my taste with crunch and coconut and chocolate.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: jessejames
                                                          cacio e pepe RE: jessejames Apr 26, 2014 04:32 PM

                                                          Apples and oranges.

                                                          1. re: jessejames
                                                            revets2 RE: jessejames Apr 27, 2014 02:10 PM

                                                            This. Not that.

                                                            1. re: revets2
                                                              jessejames RE: revets2 Apr 27, 2014 02:16 PM

                                                              Ur crazy
                                                              But I like both

                                                          2. d
                                                            dreamfood RE: set0312 Apr 23, 2014 03:26 AM

                                                            Are there anyone got Sadaharu Aoki or Jean-Paul Hevin before? Have interest in these two. I just know that they are also famous in Paris.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: dreamfood
                                                              khh1138 RE: dreamfood Apr 27, 2014 03:52 PM

                                                              I had Sadaharu Aoki in Shibuya in Tokyo. Lovely. Delicate flavours, beautiful to look at and eat.

                                                              1. re: khh1138
                                                                OC Mutt RE: khh1138 Apr 28, 2014 08:49 AM

                                                                I tried Aoki in Tokyo as well but didn't care for them. To me, the flavor was not delicate, but too weak for my preferences. The execution of the macaron in terms of texture was good though, and far exceeded anything in LA. This brings up a point from another poster regarding Europane which I haven't tried, and I'll include Lette in this for the sake of discussion as well (I have said that Lette is offensively poor quality and should be avoided like the plague). The poster is correct of course, in saying that if he/she likes something that's all that matters. Fair enough, go ahead and continue to eat Europane macarons. But the poster took umbrage over a perception that others were trying to dissuade him/her from liking them which isn't accurate. In this case, there is a standard. and there is in fact a "right" way to properly execute a macaron. The Original Poster wished to find them after trying Laduree, which is un-disputedly one of two standard bearers (along with Pierre Herme) who started the macaron explosion. Those who wish to find "local substitutes", like the Original Poster, will be disappointed at those that are poorly executed according to the general standard. And posters are correctly pointing out those places that do not meet that standard and by how far they fall short. Taste is subjective and everyone is entitled to their own. Someone could, for example prefer their french fries limp, with no crispy layer on the outside and patronize a restaurant that serves that that way. But that doesn't mean that those fries are made properly or would be considered "good" by any standard so those seeking good fries would not be served well by listening to the recommendation of Limp Fries Cafe by someone who's preferences are for limp fries. In this case, unfortunately a lot of people have never tried properly made macarons, and the imitators are trying to capitalize upon the fact that even when they're awful, they look fantastic. Believe me, it is a source of great disappointment that I am forced to report that those that I've tried that are made here and in NYC for that matter do not even come close because I love eating them. Macarons done properly are not chewy, they don't have bubbles and there is in fact a certain texture that is correct. Plus there are certain flavor profiles as well. That's why they're very hard to make and that's what makes the good ones a delicacy. I've never been to Europane, but I'd be upset if I shlepped up to Pasadena and paid significant money for a macaron that is as described by some of the posters here. That is the point of chowhound and I'm thankful for other's council in this regard - and I just ignore the people who need to get their snarky rocks off and pay attention to those with objective critiques and suggestions.

                                                                1. re: OC Mutt
                                                                  a213b RE: OC Mutt Apr 28, 2014 09:59 AM

                                                                  I get what're you saying - and, indeed, just make them myself here at home - but may I suggest adding paragraph breaks to your above post?

                                                                  Very difficult to read as is.

                                                            2. omotosando RE: set0312 May 25, 2014 09:01 PM

                                                              Well after reading this thread, I found myself walking down Madison Avenue in New York and saw the Ladurée store. And I said to myself, "well, I must try these to see what all the acclaim is about."

                                                              I must agree they were better than any macaron I've had in Los Angeles. But here's the thing -- I guess I'm not really a macaron person because I would never go out of my way, even for a Ladurée macaron. To me, macarons are about how beautiful they look, not the eating pleasure.

                                                              I ended up buying three macarons so I could taste a few kinds. I ate one on the spot and saved the other two for the next day. The next day they were horrible. I had no idea that macarons were like sushi - to be consumed immediately.

                                                              I also found it rather strange that if you wanted a small box for your macarons at Ladurée, you had to pay something like $20 for the box. I could understand charging for a box, but not the amount they were charging. So otherwise you get your macarons thrown into a wax paper bag.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: omotosando
                                                                J.L. RE: omotosando May 27, 2014 12:17 AM

                                                                Thanks for reminding me of a great song from back in the 90's!


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