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Proof Croissant...Not Even Close.

BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 06:26 AM

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. n
    ns1 RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 09:11 AM

    Glad I wasn't the only one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ns1
      Burger Boy RE: ns1 Mar 30, 2014 10:15 AM

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

    2. b
      Burger Boy RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 10:07 AM

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

      1. Servorg RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 10:49 AM

        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
          foodiemahoodie RE: Servorg Mar 30, 2014 11:18 AM

          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
            kevin RE: Servorg Mar 30, 2014 11:47 AM

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

            1. re: kevin
              Dirtywextraolives RE: kevin Mar 30, 2014 04:24 PM

              You finally made it?? Today??

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                latindancer RE: Dirtywextraolives Mar 30, 2014 11:20 PM

                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
                Wayno RE: kevin Mar 30, 2014 04:47 PM

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

                1. re: Wayno
                  kevin RE: Wayno Mar 30, 2014 10:37 PM

                  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.

                2. re: kevin
                  latindancer RE: kevin Mar 30, 2014 10:41 PM


                  1. re: latindancer
                    kevin RE: latindancer Mar 30, 2014 10:52 PM

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


                    1. re: kevin
                      latindancer RE: kevin Mar 30, 2014 11:18 PM

                      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
                        kevin RE: latindancer Mar 30, 2014 11:23 PM

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

              3. n
                nosh RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 05:50 PM

                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
                  ilysla RE: nosh Mar 30, 2014 08:50 PM

                  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
                    foodiemahoodie RE: ilysla Mar 30, 2014 10:00 PM

                    MICROWAVE?!!! No Ilysia, no!

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

                    Toaster oven would work fine..

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie
                      ilysla RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 30, 2014 10:10 PM

                      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
                        nosh RE: ilysla Mar 30, 2014 10:15 PM

                        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
                          ilysla RE: nosh Mar 30, 2014 10:40 PM

                          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
                    kevin RE: nosh Mar 30, 2014 10:38 PM

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

                  3. c
                    Clyde RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 05:56 PM

                    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. ipsedixit RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 07:07 PM

                      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
                        ns1 RE: ipsedixit Mar 30, 2014 07:20 PM

                        Interesting perspective.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          BacoMan RE: ipsedixit Mar 30, 2014 07:24 PM

                          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
                            foodiemahoodie RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 07:52 PM

                            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
                              ipsedixit RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 30, 2014 08:00 PM

                              I really like the ones at Sébastien Gaudard.

                              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                BacoMan RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 31, 2014 03:29 PM

                                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
                                  ns1 RE: BacoMan Mar 31, 2014 03:33 PM

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

                                  1. re: ns1
                                    BacoMan RE: ns1 Mar 31, 2014 03:34 PM

                                    It's worth a trip, indeed.

                          2. J.L. RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 08:15 PM

                            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.
                              kevin RE: J.L. Mar 30, 2014 10:42 PM

                              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
                                J.L. RE: kevin Mar 30, 2014 11:09 PM

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

                                1. re: J.L.
                                  kevin RE: J.L. Mar 30, 2014 11:24 PM

                                  Im not quite sure what barometer means.

                                  But I think I get what you are sayin

                                  1. re: kevin
                                    TheOffalo RE: kevin Mar 31, 2014 12:26 AM


                                    1. re: TheOffalo
                                      J.L. RE: TheOffalo Mar 31, 2014 01:21 AM

                                      I like big butter and I cannot lie...

                              2. re: J.L.
                                latindancer RE: J.L. Mar 31, 2014 06:32 AM

                                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. r
                                revets2 RE: BacoMan Mar 30, 2014 11:50 PM

                                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
                                  latindancer RE: revets2 Mar 31, 2014 06:33 AM

                                  <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
                                    ipsedixit RE: revets2 Mar 31, 2014 08:26 AM

                                    The pretzel croissants are indeed outrageous.

                                    1. re: revets2
                                      revets2 RE: revets2 Mar 31, 2014 02:31 PM

                                      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
                                        PandanExpress RE: revets2 Mar 31, 2014 04:03 PM

                                        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
                                          revets2 RE: PandanExpress Mar 31, 2014 11:58 PM

                                          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. J.L. RE: BacoMan Mar 31, 2014 07:00 PM

                                        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.
                                          jessejames RE: J.L. Mar 31, 2014 07:32 PM

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

                                          1. re: jessejames
                                            kevin RE: jessejames Mar 31, 2014 07:36 PM

                                            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
                                              J.L. RE: kevin Mar 31, 2014 07:40 PM

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

                                              1. re: J.L.
                                                kevin RE: J.L. Mar 31, 2014 07:46 PM

                                                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
                                                jessejames RE: kevin Mar 31, 2014 08:09 PM

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

                                                1. re: jessejames
                                                  kevin RE: jessejames Mar 31, 2014 08:17 PM

                                                  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.

                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                    jessejames RE: kevin Mar 31, 2014 08:19 PM

                                                    Cool. Will branch out.

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