Koreatown French Bakery

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Deep in the heart of Koreatown is the seductive Paris Baguette, an elegant bakery displaying luscious traditional French pastries, as well as Asian fusion surprises. Originating in Korea, the franchise came to Los Angeles in 2005 and has been expanding ever since.

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The attractive space is well organized with crisp, clean, exceptionally packaging, making the goodies even more enticing.

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Creme filled buns and chocolate covered doughnuts glisten in glass cases.

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A wide selection of French macarons pack some serious punch. We fell hard for the passionfruit version which is a spot on, sweet and tart reflection of the tropical fruit.

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Attention to detail, design and decoration is the focus here, with sweets that are as visually ravishing as they are orally pleasurable.

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An assortment of ready to heat and eat appetizers can also be found on the shelves.

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Adorable mini croissants temp with flakey, puffed, buttery layers.

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Charming packaging makes every corner a joy to explore.

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Sandwiches, unique sausage stuffed pies and cheese tarts are savory options. Individual pastries start at under a dollar and rise to just a few greenbacks which makes us feel a whole lot better about giving in to such attractive and indulgent baked goods.

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For divine splurges that will impress at any party, Paris Baguette is one of our favorite spots to shop.

Paris Baguette, 3470 West 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone – 213-384-0404          web site – parisbaguetteusa.com

or

Paris Baguette, 125 North Western Avenue, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone – 323-467-0404

or

Paris Baguette, 621 South Western Avenue, Suite 105, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone – 213-368-0404

Dreamy Vietnamese Bakery In Echo Park

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Since 1980, Kien Giang Bakery has been putting out some of the cities most diverse and scrumptious baked goods. A Vietnamese/Chinese bakery, they specialize in moon cakes, banh mi sandwiches (on straight from the oven baguettes), birthday and wedding cakes, freshly baked breads, Lunar New Year’s cakes and pastries.

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A sculptural bonsaï welcomes at the front door, a visual predilection of the attention to detail and quality inside the bakery.

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The Mid Autumn or Moon Cake Festival fell on September 27 this year, but we can still pick up the thap cam moon cake and keep celebrating all the amazing moon phases we have seen in 2015.

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The best selling mixed nut mooncakes are filled with cashews, almond, pumpkin seed, sesame seed and candied winter melon. The sweetness from the candied fruit is a perfect juxtaposition to the savory nut and seed meats. And the delicate, glaze topped crust is thin enough to hold the mini cakes in two perfect bites while allowing the filling to be the star of the show.

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The larger moon cakes encase an egg representing the moon, but we find the minis sans egg to be an inspired sweet.

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The walnut butter cookies are crisp, churned-cream laden sweet biscuits dotted with walnut pieces that rival every French butter cookie we’ve tried.

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Ken Giang Bakery embraces the best baked goods from many cultures cuisines including Chinese almond cookies and butterflies, Latin tres leches cakes, French croissants and baguettes, in an homage to the multi-cultured nature of Los Angeles herself.

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The sign in the driveway is from the 1980’s and reflects a time when people actually ordered cakes upon arrival and waited around for them to be baked.  Somehow we ran out of that type of leisure time and now, we are informed, everyone orders cakes way ahead of pickup. For stellar baked goods and sandwiches, a trip to Kien Giang Bakery is a treat no matter how you choose to indulge.

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Kien Giang Bakery, 1471 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone – 213-250-0159          web site – kgbakery.com

Healthy And Delicious From A French Kitchen

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We miss French food, there used to be more of it in Los Angeles at all price points, but now it seems to have fallen out of favor and we can’t understand why.  Susan Herrmann Loomis, the author of In A French Kitchen, believes it may be that people think French is too heavy or not healthy and she says that is not the case at all and then proves it with her latest cookbook.  Her story filled read explains French cuisine and why it’s so remarkable, while sharing the dishes she loves.

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Our introduction to her book began with  herb infused ice water, always a restorative libation that we keep forgetting is easy and elegant.  We are up for making this traditional drink a regular part of our lives, thank you Ms. Loomis for the reminder.

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Rosemary, lavender, basil, lemon, orange, cucumber, almost any combination, of fruit, herbs or vegetables will work.

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We like simple and Susan introduces a delightful appetizer of breakfast radishes sprinkled with salt then placed  atop french baguette slices slather with thick layers of butter.

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And not just any salt, but Fleur de Sel Guerande, a mineral heavy, grey salt that Susan finds superlative.  Based on how wonderful the radish appetizer is, we have to agree with her.

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The melon salad with shallot vinaigrette (page 93), combines sweet and savory in the most refreshing of ways.  The citrus, mint, shallots and freshly ground Szechuan peppercorns give the juicy sweet fruit something to play off.  We could eat this salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner all summer long.

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Mushrooms with chorizo (page 290) is another uncomplicated dish, requiring only that the mushroom cups be filled with Spanish chorizo, cracked pepper and herbs of your choice.  They are baked in the oven for about 5 minutes or until hot throughout.  Easy, attractive platters fly out the kitchen almost by themselves.

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Braised broccoli (page 76) takes advantage of the vibrant color and flavor of the cruciferous gem by honoring its natural character with onion, garlic and herbs.

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Sausages with tomatoes and golden rice (page 42) create a hearty dish that allows the spice of the sausages to incorporate with the tomato, onion and spices, the perfect match for turmeric scented basmati rice.

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Susan informs us that every meal she has in France, which has been her home for two decades, ends with a big green salad and we were regaled with simple greens lightly tossed with classic vinaigrette (page 96).  The perfect ending to a healthy, well balanced and delicious dinner.

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Of course we had to partake in her sweet pie pastry (page 208) filled with raspberries and creme.  The rich pastry shell is a wonderful base for the sweet-tart berries and the thick yellow creme which come together to form a sweet, tart, creamy, cookie crumble reminiscent fruit tart.

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Thank you Susan for reminding us that French food can be healthy, makes the best use of seasonal produce and celebrates the flavors of the French countryside that we can all relate to even if we’ve never set foot in your beautiful village.  Until Los Angeles expands her French offerings we are happy to use your guidance to indulge in some time honored French principles from the kitchen.

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In A French Kitchen by Susan Herrmann Loomis is now avaialbe through Amazon.