In Search of Crisped, Flaky, Buttery Croissants - Croissant Journey at Chaumont, Maison Giraud, Bouchon, Proof & Pitchoun

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Excellent reporting as always! Now I want a croissant.

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Alright guys, if this is true, Chowseeker1999 is in fact not ExileKiss.

Thanks for the reporting, looks like I gotta get me to Chaumont.

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What a coincidence, had my first visit to Proof yesterday. Texturally I preferred Proof over Chaumont, hair flakier. However I agree tastewise Chaumont > Proof.

Just wish Chaumont toasts their croissant by default… serving cool/cold croissants for dine in patrons should be outlawed!

Is that a glaze on Chaumont’s croissant?

Fabulous report as always.

Hi @Sgee,

Nice. :slight_smile: By texturally, do you mean you thought Proof’s Croissant was even more crisp than Chaumont and had a better interior? Or just the overall mouthfeel?

Because after trying Proof and Chaumont multiple times, Chaumont’s Croissant is so much more crisp (shatteringly so) that I don’t think it was a comparison.

Interesting about the cold Croissant though. The Croissants we had at all 5 bakeries were “room temperature”. Not chilled, nor icy-cold. And at room temperature, Chaumont’s was our favorite.

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks. :slight_smile: I don’t think it’s a glaze. Visually it looks strange, right? I wasn’t sure what to make of it either, but handling it and tasting it, the Croissant was fabulous. Didn’t taste like any “glaze” on there.

Wonderful reporting, @Chowseeker1999! Glad that you liked the sandwiches from Proof; they’re among my favorite in LA. I must try the shishito pepper one soonish!

I think what looks like glaze is actually just a layer flaking off?

@Chowseeker1999: so glad you enjoyed the Chaumont one! It’s my fav, too. I tried Maison Giraud once. It was good but was really oily to handle. Proof is also quite good but doesn’t send me.

Yes, Richard Caruso is creating Palisades Village. There’s a video that goes w/ it. It’s hysterical b/c there’s not a single minority (except for one brown person in the background setting a table at a restaurant), and all these beautiful white people are talking about how the Palisades feels like anytown USA (suuuuure… if anytown USA was near the ocean and filled w/ celebrities and multi-million dollar homes).

Too bad about the black cod. Although I feel like the delicacy of the fish would’ve been ruined by a crunchy baguette.

The Proof sandwich looks dreamy. :slight_smile:

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@Chowseeker1999 yes, my croissants from Proof yesterday were crisper than Chaumont’s and held up relatively well from the store to my kitchen.

My recent visits to Chaumont were during the winter months and they were served on the cool side of room temperature. I think if they were just warmed a touch, might have left a more favorable impression. It’s amazing how a lightly toasting croissant elevates the experience.

I think in general bakeries owners should mandate all employees lightly warm baked breads or pastries for any dine-in patrons, silly not to do so…

If you’re ever up in SF, check out the kougin amman at b. patisserie.

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Thanks @Sgee. Good to know. Yah, I always appreciate warm pastries, but especially breads. Another reason Gjusta’s sandwiches are so awesome, and why I thought Redbird’s bread service was great (that toasty warm bread was delicious) :slight_smile:

Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Nice! Glad you liked Chaumont as well. :slight_smile:

Wow, thanks for the info on what’s happening in Pacific Palisades.

Hi @MaladyNelson,

Yes, definitely give the Shishito Pepper Sandwich a try, really delectable. :slight_smile:

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Love Chaumont’s croissants. Their chocolate croissant is also a treat.

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I am a big fan of the croissants at Demitasse.

The shame is they eliminated the amazing one they had–a whole wheat pretzel croissant that just shattered at the bite and gave way to buttery greatness. But the original is still excellent.

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I buy the best croissants from Jean Luc Labat at the Saturday Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, on Arizona very close to 3rd. I can’t imagine any better. IMHO, superior to that of Chaumont. Have not tried the others the OP mentioned. I don’t think that Jean Luc Labat has a brick and mortar store. Big selection at SM Mkt. Smaller selection in Brentwood on Sundays, My husband loves the chocolate almond croissant as well as the ham and cheese. I prefer mine plain with a bit of strawberry jam from Harry’s Berries just across from the bakery on Saturday.

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Hi @maudies5,

Thanks for the recommendation! Will have to try them out next time I go to the farmers market.

Thanks @Haeldaur. I’ll have to check out Demi’s version as well.

Thanks for the recommendation on Chaumont. I used to run wholesale bakery production for a very good company in LA (among other things) and I think that the Chaumont are the only croissants that are better then the ones we made. Made my morning and will definitely be back

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I’ve tried the croissants from Frog’s Bakery. Although I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, I think Chaumont is still better, but Frog’s is very good. Don’t think there’s a brick-and-mortar, as you said, but there is a website (and delivery): http://www.frogsorganicbakery.com/

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Just my opinion, but I think Frog’s strength is that they offer quite a broad selection of French pastries, and most are very good.

The number of places offering French pastries that are of at least an acceptable level of quality has grown quite a bit over the past five years. But they are still few given the size of LA.

Frog’s gives pastry-challenged neighborhoods access to very good (though not the best) pastries at least a day or two a week via the FMs.

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Update 1:

Thanks to all the great suggestions, it was a perfect time to go out and try these other places. :slight_smile:

Jean-Luc Labat / Frogs Bakery

Thanks to @maudies5 for the suggestion, I stopped by the Santa Monica Farmers Market today (and it was a great excuse to get more Harry’s Berries ;)), in search of Jean-Luc Labat.

It turns out, I have eaten their Croissants before, last year! As soon as I met the friendly man and woman selling the pastries, I remembered the booth.

And in an interesting coincidence, I didn’t realize @paranoidgarliclover’s talk of Frog’s Bakery was Jean-Luc Labat(!), but it is. It’s the same operation, but at the Farmers Markets they want to use the chef’s name. You can order their goods from the corporate website - Frog’s Bakery.

Croissant:

So on this 2nd visit to Jean Luc-Labat, it tasted just like my first try last year: It’s pillowy, soft, airy, but with very little crispness for the exterior. The butter scent and aroma is light (not bad), but compared to Chaumont and Maison Giraud’s Croissants (with their French & Normandy Butters respectively) the flavor is lacking. It also doesn’t have enough of the shatteringly crisp exterior that makes Chaumont’s so awesome. But I’m glad I tried it. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Jean-Luc Labat / Frog’s Bakery
At the Santa Monica Farmers Market
Saturday 8:30am-1pm
Arizona Ave & 3rd Street (3rd Street Promenade)
Santa Monica, CA

http://www.frogsorganicbakery.com/

Demitasse / Sugarbloom Bakery

Thanks to @Haeldaur for the recommendation, I decided to check out Demitasse as well. Initially I was taken aback, since Demitasse is a Coffee Shop, not a Bakery. Then speaking with the manager, I found out they don’t make Croissants, but they are supplied by Sugarbloom Bakery.

Sugarbloom Bakery makes pastries and sells them to a variety of Coffee Shops around L.A. Helmed by Pastry Chef Sharon Wang, the L.A. native (via Taiwan) worked under Chef Thomas Keller at French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, and is now running Sugarbloom. I couldn’t wait to try it! :slight_smile:

Croissant:

There is a very good, solid buttery taste as soon as you bite into the Croissant. It’s not as fragrant or glorious as Chaumont or Maison Giraud’s French Butters, but it’s more pronounced than Proof’s even.

The Croissant itself has a slight crispness for the exterior, and the inside is airy and well-made. I prefer Chaumont’s version by far, but the interior flavor was almost as good as Proof’s.

I hope one day Chef Sharon Wang decides to open up a brick & mortar Sugarbloom Bakery, where we might be able to try them directly out of the oven. I’d imagine they would be even better than being delivered to various Coffee Shops across town.

Sugarbloom Bakery
Served at:
Demitasse

  • 1149 Third Street, Santa Monica, CA
  • 135 S San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1542 N Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA
  • 6363 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

Intelligentsia Coffee

  • 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA
  • 3922 W Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, CA
  • 55 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA

The Hart and the Hunter
(Palihotel Melrose)
7950 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA

And more Coffee Shops (on their website).

http://www.sugarbloombakery.com/

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