A few years ago thanks to bakeries like Magnolia (NYC) and Sprinkles (LA), cupcakes became a wild craze. Brides used them to replace the standard wedding cake, people stood in long lines for them and they replaced wine as the standard “thanks for inviting me to your fabulous party” or “thanks for taking care of my (insert– celebrity, billionaire, pain in the arse) client,” etc. Everyone loves cupcakes, but may I offer macaroons as a more chic, of the moment gift for those times when you need a small something to go with your groveling or gratitude? Recently bakeries are popping up all over the place that specialize in these delicate French delights. I visited three Los Angeles macaroon shops that will make the originator, Laduree, seem a little closer to home.
While other bakeries make a variety of offerings, owner Paulette Koumetz of Paulette, made the macaroon her signature. It’s Parisian flare with a Beverly Hills twist. Rows and rows of edible pieces of heaven give that “taste the rainbow of fruit flavor” a grown-up meaning. Pick from their “champ de macaroons” that includes sweet wedding almond, New Orleans praline and raspberry rose. Order a few online shipped in their signature aubergine, chartreuse or fuchsia gift box to be the poshest of them all.
If Paulette is the overture, Boule Bakery is the grand finale. This impressive shop is decorated in robin’s egg blue and brown, with matching gift boxes stacked high on shelves waiting to be filled with such unique flavors as coconut cream, pomegranate raspberry and my favorite, lavender-vanilla. Best of all they ship and messenger, but make time to go in as this is one not to be missed.
There will always be bigger, better, chicer, but it’s nice to have the old standby. La Provence is just that. A darling little French café, albeit located in a strip mall, that most Angelenos know as a great place for brunch or café au lait. They are also known for their macaroons and offer all the original flavors from rose to lavender to pistachio. Have breakfast then box a few to take to your dinner party that night–but be forewarned…you might show up the host.