Places To Eat In Los Angeles: Bouchon Bakery, Beverly Hills
After a very long and busy morning in Beverly Hills at the accidental book tour launch and signing for the new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (it was meant to be launched in New York, but the New York date got cancelled for obvious reasons) in Beverly Hills, where I not only got to meet Deb from Smitten Kitchen herself, but Joy The Baker too (!), I headed to somewhere I’d heard a lot about, the Bouchon Bakery for a very, very late lunch.
Now, I really must apologise for some of the photographs in this post. I was very hungry. I was thinking more about my stomach than aesthetics. I think I managed to get enough for a blog post, though, pulling a combo of pictures from Instagram and the few I did actually remember to take with my camera.
In other news, this is what I chose for lunch; a smoked salmon sandwich with spinach, a light flavoured creamy half cream cheese, half mayo sandwich filling, tomato sliced hard boiled egg and pickled red onion. I must say it was rather good. It came with pickles and a little pot of mustard, too. I chose to forgo the pickles as I’m not really a fan (it was a nice touch though) but I did add mustard to a few bites of my sandwich, which I think was the way to go. I must say the whole thing was rather delicious!
The Bouchon Bakery is actually attached to The Bouchon Bistro. Don’t worry, I am planning to eat there, so when I can find someone willing to go and have a meal there with me, I will be reporting back. So, as it is attached it is actually rather small, and it feels very French when you step in. It also reminded me of The Wolseley in London. The closer you got to the counter, the more distracted by the pastries you get.
First the pastries. While I was crying out for something authentically French, especially as the sandwich I went for was not particularly French, I did like how there were also, what I must assume judging by everyone I tasted, exceptionally well baked American goods mixed in like Bear Claws and cookies.
Anyone who knows me looking at this picture will know I ordered a macaron, it is just a given fact. Most of the flavours were authentic, but you could also get a Peanut Butter and Jelly (the American word for jam with no seeds in) flavoured one. Next time I stop by I must remember to get one of those eclairs.
Everything is to go, but that hardly matters when this beautiful public courtyard is right outside; the perfect place to eat; a mini oasis in the middle of the busy, higher end shopping area of Beverly Hills it is hidden in.
Here is the aforementioned macaron; much bigger than the mini ones I usually favor. I chose raspberry; it being up there with lychee and rose as one of my three favourite macaron flavours. I actually saved it and took it home for dessert that evening. It was deliciously authentic with wonderful flavours. While I do prefer a fruiter filling, the ganache was actually quite nice, the perfect balance between light and creamy.
When I head to a Patisserie or a Boulangerie in France I usually gravitate towards my favourites, and I don’t really try anything new. As I’m only in France a couple of times a year, and authentic sweets and pastries are so expensive in England, I like to savour my favourites while I can, but as a consequence I never really get to try anything new. However, an impulse buy of these wonderfully looking domes I think may have lead to something new being added to my French ordering repertoire: Cannelés de Bordeaux.
This delicious sweet pastry flavoured with rum has a crispy and golden vanilla crust, which when you bite into you’re met with a rich, soft and delicious custard centre. They are delightfully addictive. Traditionally they are a breakfast food, which is totally okay with me. I should have saved them for my Saturday morning brunch, and not had the Cholla twist I also picked up with the pastries with Bonne Maman raspberry jam instead.
The list of bakeries and cake shops I want to visit, not just French inspired is rapidly expanding; obviously I’m going to check out the famed Bottega Louie soon, as well as Milk in Beverly Hills, Toast and the Magnolia Bakery, but do any of my Los Angeles readers have any more recommendations of places I really must go to sample the sweet treats?