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Proof Croissant...Not Even Close.

Chowhound has failed me miserably.

I finally made it to Proof. The croissants were not even close to Chaumont.

First of all, they were the same price (ok, fine, $.05 less), and about half the size. That would be ok if they were mind-blowing croissants.

But they are not. They are just A-OK croissants, done in that rather American style. Like a slightly better version of the croissants my grandparents by in bulk from Costco for holidays... They're very crispy, but not necessarily flakey. More spongey than delicately layered. Didn't really have that magical butteriness that great French croissants have, which Chaumont delivers in spades.

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  1. Glad I wasn't the only one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ns1

      I personally like Los Feliz Cafe on Hillhurst, a little different style than proof but layers and layers of buttery, crispy goodness!

    2. Just had a great croissant at Chimney, in DT right next to Chinatown!

      1. And then, of course, one can widen the scope of the battle by throwing Maison Giraud http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/925511 into the mix too...

        And J.L. says http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9255...

        10 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          Maison Giraud has great baked goods all down the line. (perfect execution of the hard-to-execute canele).

          The Farm Shop also has great butter croissants.

          1. re: Servorg

            I just had the chocolate croissant at Maison Giraud and it was quite lovely.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                Those damn croissants are really insanely delicious.
                I can't purchase them all that often because they don't make it home and my car looks like they exploded all over the place…they're so flakey.

              2. re: kevin

                Thanks for lettin' us PP folk that you was in our hood.

                1. re: Wayno

                  Sorry. Guys.

                  It was somewhat spur of The moment.

                  Btw, did anyone else try the stand at the farmers market called Mu's for thir lobster rolls.

                  I found them too be quite tasty but they went to heavy with the old bay seasoning.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    Croissants or the Mu's lobster rolls ???????


                    1. re: kevin

                      Oops sorry, the croissants…I love them :).

                      I will have to try your rec for the lobster rolls though, one of my favorites.
                      Which farmer's market?

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Sunday PP FM. Grab a lobster roll and then a croissant or vice versa.

              3. Bought croissants from Amandine last week for my brother, visiting from Austin. Warmed in a 225-degree oven for him. $1.95 each. He was really impressed.

                6 Replies
                1. re: nosh

                  The re-heating of the croissant is, I think, key. You can even pop them in the microwave for like 15-sec. Makes a world of difference.

                  Tried the BreadBar ones today (from the Brentwood Farmer's Market). Big fail, IMHO. Not buttery enough, and too bready (perhaps not surprisingly?).

                  1. re: ilysla

                    MICROWAVE?!!! No Ilysia, no!

                    Microwaves destroy bread - makes them chewy, dried and all around sucky.

                    Toaster oven would work fine..

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      I thought about putting a ::gasp:: after my statement. ;)

                      Even just a few seconds? I sprinkled w/ a touch of water beforehand.... Will try the oven since I don't have a toaster oven....

                      BTW, I didn't microwave the BreadBar croissant, so it was unimpressive all on its own....

                      1. re: ilysla

                        One of the elements of a good croissant is a shatteringly crisp shell -- a microwave can soften this quickly. Microwaves heat by steam -- heating the moisture that is in the food. Nope -- do the relatively low oven; it will heat pretty quickly.

                        1. re: nosh

                          I understand the concept, which is why I was shocked that it still came out crispy. But will definitely try the oven next time.

                          My main "complaint" w/ Amandine is that the croissants seem technically perfect but don't subjectively "wow" me. And apparently the ones from Maison Giraud are consistently greasy (from what I'm reading), which is unfortunate, since they seem to have the texture otherwise perfect....

                  2. re: nosh

                    Amandines are really great and much much much cheaper than other joints.

                  3. the croissant at auntie em's is still the best one i've ever had. it's crazy crispy and hard on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. they sell out fast on weekends, so i try and get mine by 10am. the last one i got was larger than my head. so it seemed… i can't eat an entire one in one sitting.

                    1. Not sure where you got the Proof v. Chaumont comparison.

                      But I like Proof's croissants because the dominant flavor isn't butter. You can sense the use of good unsalted butter in the dough, but the croissant doesn't taste like chewing mouthfuls of caramelized butter -- in fact, the croissant is actually pretty "clean" on the palate.

                      That works for me.

                      7 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Yeah, it's an American croissant.

                          Chaumont serves croissants how you would get them in Paris.

                          It's more of a worthwhile distinction to make than an outright disparagement.

                          Personally, I prefer French-style croissants.

                          The Proof v. Chaumont thing comes from a past thread on here where everyone said Proof had much better croissants than Chaumont.

                          Personally, I would not compare them, as they're basically too different. But if you evaluated Proof against the French tradition, it fails. Of course, many American may enjoy that aspect, as you rightly point out. Clearly one could say that Chaumont fails to produce a good American croissant, haha

                          But you can get lots of great American croissants in LA. You can't get too many great French ones. So, in LA at least, Chaumont seems a bit more special to me. But obviously I am biased in favor of enjoying the French style more.

                          1. re: BacoMan

                            I would get croissants from a patisserie in Paris and they were just awesome. I got the impression they were good everywhere, but this place near the hotel i always go to (The Villa) - were insane. (they had this rose croissant they were known for - I resisted for along time, thinking I was a purist, but then I tried it and felt I was destined to go to Hell on a road covered with rose croissaints. The patisserie on rue Bonaparte is Pierre Herme. Which turns out is very highly regarded. I just stumbled on it and thought it was my own discovery. Turns out everyone knows about it. That's my reference. (at l'Albereta - a hotel in Italy - they served fresh croissants in the morning. I had six and felt I'm become some kind of croissant nymphomaniac. I couldn't stop. At 6 I felt I could have another 6 I somehow found some self control, but to this day, walking out or that breakfast room know there at least a dozen waiting, warm and buttery, with that smell - a sweet torture. I'm getting hungry just writing this.

                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                              I really like the ones at Sébastien Gaudard.

                              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                Wow, you just accidentally went to Pierre Herme?? What a place to stumble into!

                                I believe they were voted best croissant (plain) in Paris, and eating a croissant there forever changed my life, at least in terms of how I taste croissants. It's one of my fondest memories.

                                A friend of mine in Paris tried to mail me a bunch of the croissants; sadly they didn't really survive the trip, alas.

                                I remember feeling quite depressed that I wouldn't be able to get such a croissant in LA ever. And then I went to Chaumont one day. Although not quite as great as Pierre Herme, the croissants are good enough to sate my cravings.

                                It's a great story to have stumbled upon Pierre Herme. I know exactly what you mean about having to cut yourself off at a half dozen haha Ah... I'll probably buy out their entire stock next time I am in Paris!

                                1. re: BacoMan

                                  I must go to this Chaumont place - the pics look incredible.

                          2. Hmmm... If this is true, a downhill alert must be issued. My last croissant at Proof WAS indeed buttery. And layer-y. And had the right "crumble".

                            Interesting anecdote: My brother-in-law (who is French, lived in Paris over ten years) just visited us here in L.A. 3 months back He is quite particular about his croissants. I took him to Maison Giraud, Chaumont, and Proof, just to re-enact the croissant battle. Here are his actual comments:

                            On Maison Giraud: "A bit greasy, but good use of butter. I like the outdoor seating."

                            On Chaumont: "Not enough butter, but this texture is right."

                            On Proof: "Wow. Let's just come back here the next time I visit."

                            I need to revisit Proof.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: J.L.

                              I will say the mansion Giraud croissant was kind of greasy and yet I liked it all the same.


                              And it was a nice precursor to The lobster roll.

                              1. re: kevin

                                It just goes to show that everyone's got a different barometer for greasiness. Ain't nuthin' wrong with that.

                                1. re: J.L.

                                  Im not quite sure what barometer means.

                                  But I think I get what you are sayin

                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                      I like big butter and I cannot lie...

                              2. re: J.L.

                                Now *there's* a guy who knows his croissants.
                                I was just there Friday. They haven't changed and they're still outstanding…buttery, layer-y, with just the right crumble.

                              3. Not at all similar to Proof, Chaumont, or Pierre Herme, but has anyone had of one Sharon Wang of Sugarbloom's (FL, Per Se, Bouchon) croissants? Available at Taza in Arcadia on the weekends or Stumptown DTLA (everyday? call first)?

                                Okay, the Spam Musubi Croissant is interesting, but her Pretzel Croissant kills the one at City Bakery NY.


                                5 Replies
                                1. re: revets2

                                  <kills the one at City Bakery>

                                  For sure? I'll be on my way there if that's the case. Wow do I miss those.

                                  1. re: revets2

                                    The pretzel croissants are indeed outrageous.

                                    1. re: revets2

                                      Let me know what you think. I call to reserve them JIC.

                                      He pretzel croissant is about half the size of City Bakery.

                                      For a reminder, Ode to the Pretzel Croissant:

                                      1. re: revets2

                                        I've only had Sugarbloom's pastries (spam masubi, pain chocolate) from Taza, and not sure if it's the way they (Taza) stores it or what, but each time, they were a disappointment if what you're looking for is a flakey, crispy, buttery croissant.

                                        The pastries looked great, but each time, they were not at all flakey or shattery on the outside. More like a pillow soft croissant from Costco in the plastic shrink-wrap thing.

                                        Now I can't imagine that Stumptown DTLA would serve such bad pastries, but each time I go there, I get tempted to carb-overload next door at Breadlounge. I can't convince myself to risk eating a soft, disappointing pain chocolate from Sugarbloom when I can have a flakey, crispy one from Breadlounge.

                                        1. re: PandanExpress

                                          You are correct. I recently bought a few pretzel croissants from Taza that felt a little past their prime. I couldn't wait and I ate one in the car. Though still satisfying, the following two were put into the convection oven and they were terrific. Can't remember which day that was, but I thought Sugarbloom only supplies them on the weekends and I purchased it during the week.

                                          And you're right, I haven't had that same experience at Stumptown. The pastry there is always fresh.

                                      2. If any of you are visiting Tokyo, try the croissant at Boulangerie Jean-François at Omotesando Station (pictured above)...

                                        ... THE best croissant I've had so far in the world. It easily bests any croissant I've tried in Paris, Lyon, Provence, L.A., Marrakech, New York, Brussels, Vaitape...

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          What r the best Tokyo type pastry spots in la? Isn't there one downtown?

                                          1. re: jessejames

                                            shit, my bad.

                                            you were asking JL.

                                            I always though amandine in west la, might have a japanese connection.

                                            and then there's mousse fantasy in little osaka that should really get you started.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Dude, it's OK. Your answers are great!

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                i'm sure you can eloquently expand on these three, and add more.

                                                but does amandine have a japanese connection (i'm not sure on that one).

                                                hmmm …..

                                              2. re: kevin

                                                Mousse fantasy on sawtelle. Seen it. Gotta try. Do u like bearded papas? I do.

                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                  It's almost like they are two separate and distinct operations. I mean Beard Papa and Mousse Fantasy.

                                                  go to Mousse and get the rare cheesecake or the green tea mousse or the chocolate cake with a little bit of that gold leaf to gild the proverbial lilly.

                                                  desserts are beautifully restrained.

                                                  i keep it real so whenever i hit up the joint i stick with Mousse Fantasy rather than Beard Papa so that Mousee may somewhat still remain in business i guess goes my thinking.