Saturday, June 13, 2009

Paris Pastry and XT Patisserie

You know you've been in L.A. too long when you start judging a bakery by its "look." I do enjoy an aesthetically pleasing space, but all foodies should know that extraordinary food can come from the most unlikely places - even macarons. I am ashamed that I had to be reminded of this fact!

I believe that I have NOW, today, discovered the best macarons in L.A., and they are from a nondescript store in the Persian neighborhood of Westwood Boulevard. Paris Pastry has a nice, clean store, even if the front sign is a tad dingy and the space does not have the trendy modern look that newer bakeries predictably embrace. A number of items in the pastry cases looked good, but the Parisian macarons were EXCELLENT.

To be more precise, the macarons at Paris Pastry are provided wholesale by Xuan Ngo of XT Patisserie. Mr. Ngo happened to be handing out samples of his wares when I walked into the bakery, and a pleasant conversation ensued (accompanied by samples of whole halves of macarons!). It turns out that Mr. Ngo worked at bakery Le Nôtre in Paris for four years, the very bakery that was the source of the macarons in this photo:

I knew as soon as I bit into the caramel macaron that the texture was right in a way that no other macaron in LA has been right. It had a smoothness that is often lacking, while being delicate and slightly chewy and moist. All of the flavors I tried were good: pistachio, raspberry, lemon, coconut...and the French friends to whom I fed them were in agreement.

Mr. Ngo proceded to tell me that he had helped to start up Boule when it got established (though it is now sadly defunct) and is trying to get his wholesale business going. I told him that I would wholeheartedly endorse his wonderful macarons on my blog - which I would have done even if I hadn't met him...and even if he hadn't given me a few free macarons on my way out the door...

So do stop by Paris Pastry to try out his macarons (and look for the sample table and macaron tree)! Such a nice gentleman selling such lovely macarons is not to be ignored.

XT Patisserie, I wish you all the best!

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