Monday, January 15, 2018

Review - Pitchoun Bakery, Los Angeles

My wife and I are on a constant search for bread. Yep, we know it's filled with carbs and generally bad for us, but seriously, can anything compete with a fresh baked loaf of your favorite type of bread? Nope. Especially if you've got an amazing drinking chocolate to go along with it!

What kind of bread do we search for? Mainly French baguettes. We got engaged in Paris, and you know that dream so many people have of walking into a little corner bakery in Paris and walking out with a still-warm baguette, nibbling on it as you walk down the street? We lived it, and it's every bit as fantastic as it sounds. So here in Los Angeles, we're trying to find a similar experience.

We recently found Pitchoun in downtown LA. On a Sunday morning, we took the subway down to give it a shot. On our way down, we checked Yelp for their hours, and it said they were "Closed Now". We trudged on anyway, figuring we could just find another bakery nearby if they really were closed. Thankfully they were open!

It's a cute place with a very nice patio out front, packed with eye-catching orange furniture. Inside, it was much bigger than we anticipated.
And right there next to the door, stacked up in the corner, the baguettes called to us. I think they knew we were coming, because there were tons of them.

Along with all their breads, pastries, and assorted baked goods, they also sold plenty of prepackaged candies and treats.

Their menu was gigantic, and quietly scrawled there on the bottom of the hot drinks was hot chocolate. I had no reason to think they would make anything other than the ordinary powder mix or syrup-in-steamed-milk most coffee shops serve, but of course I ordered one.

We actually ordered lots of things! More than we should have. But seriously, everything just looked so good, and amazing bakeries are one of our weak spots. We were kind of helpless. ;)
My wife started with one of her favorites, a palmier, aka elephant ear. She also chose a lemon tart. I started with a bacon ficelle, which is basically a small baguette with bacon in it. I also picked a chocolate eclair, which in my opinion is a great standard baked good to judge most bakeries on.

My bacon ficelle and chocolate eclair were amazing, both delicious, the perfect combination of savory followed by sweet. My wife enjoyed her palmier, but mentioned that it was a little dense, and that she prefers hers a little crispier. The lemon tart was spectacular, maybe the best pastry we ordered.

They have wine, as well, plenty of it. And some really cool lighting made from wine bottles.
Yep, we bought a baguette, and I'm pretty sure it was half gone by the time we got home. Absolutely wonderful baguette!

At this point, I know what you're thinking - "Let's go, get to the hot chocolate! This isn't a bakery blog!" Right you are!

The hot chocolate was excellent, definitely not what I was expecting! It tasted of real chocolate with a hint of amaretto or cherry. Milk-based and thin, not thick like a European drinking chocolate. When I asked how it was made, I was told the chef makes a chocolate ganache that they use for it. The ganache is made with Valrhona chocolate, but they were not sure what else. The bariasta who prepares it usually adds a touch of vanilla syrup, which may have been the extra sweetness I was tasting and thinking was amaretto. And be prepared - if you order the 16 oz, this drink comes in a soup bowl, not a mug!

Pitchoun is wonderful, and if you're looking for a Parisian experience in Los Angeles, this is as close as my wife and I have found.

If you happen to know of some places we should check out, please leave it in the comments! Until then, I'm looking forward to going back to Pitchoun.


  1. Hey Sean! Great post! I was just listening to the Blender Guru Podcast and heard about this Blog. I looooooove Hot Chocolate and VFX too hehe. If you want real Chocolate you have to come to Switzerland, we have the best! Although one of the best hot chocolate I've ever had was in a IHOP in Canada...yes i know... Rock on MasonStyle

  2. Hey MasonStyle! Man, I would LOVE to come to Switzerland for a chocolate tour! Although I can't fathom that the best hot chocolate you've ever had was at an IHOP, hahahaha! I'm almost positive they just use Nestle or Swiss Miss powder packets. You have to try a real one, made from real bean-to-bar chocolate, it'll blow your mind!

  3. Hehe yeah it's weird that iHop has great hot chocolate. Maybe it was just the one there in Vancouver. They have their own mix, no Nestle crap :P But I will try one you mentoined for sure! It looks and sounds delicous!

  4. Hahaha, it's tempting to call them and ask what they're using. Actually, I may be in Vancouver this year for Siggraph! Do you remember which IHOP it is? I would love to swing by there!

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