If you have ever visited France you’ll know that a ramble down any cobbled main street will have you incessantly placating your stomach under an eddying swirl of ubiquitous buttery clouds drifting from under the wooden doors of abundant boulangeries. This is not something you regularly experience on a palm-lined boulevard on the Pacific.
Representing French pastry and bread making mastery, Café Chaumont is an exception and bakes, according to a chef friend of a friend, ‘the best croissant outside of France’.
A hung-over morning, signaled a traverse across Beverly Hills to the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Drive to this dichotomous French transplant: austere edifice producing tray loads of authentic Viennoiserie delectables. Don’t expect a quaint nook -this place isn’t conducive to fairytale Languedoc. There is no taught awning framing a wooden façade with a cursive old style serif typeface sign and inside, Venetian-style octagonal chintzy mirrors hang on stark white walls. Nonetheless, my one-track pain-au-chocolat-mind teamed with the doughy aroma dissolved any ambiguities.
I scrambled for loose change, my hands smearing the glass box, which encased them. Their golden crispy capes shimmered against the cold marble surface. The pastry ticked all the boxes. It was light, flakey, buttery and chewy. A hint of salt espoused to the post swallow creaminess left lingering at the back of my throat sated my desire for instantaneous gratification.