In Search of Cronuts

The world’s original Cronut has made its way to Los Angeles.

Yes, you read that correctly. The maker of the famous half croissant/half doughnut, Dominique Ansel, opened a second bakery (in the US) and is officially open for business on the West Coast. You can taste for yourself at The Grove!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the pastry, the Cronut is a croissant-doughnut hybrid created by chef Dominique Ansel. It’s vastly popular worldwide and there are four locations you can get the real deal from: New York, London, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.

I’m a current resident of Los Angeles and visited Dominique Ansel Bakery at The Grove twice this past week. After having been an avid fan of the SoHo, New York City location, I was absolutely elated to find out a shop was being opened in LA — and at one of my favorite spots, nonetheless.

Alright! I’d thought to myself last Wednesday. I can FINALLY try a Cronut after years of failed attempts!

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The bakery includes signature sweets such as the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), Frozen S’mores, Cookie Shots, and Cronut®, and a menu that evolves every few weeks.

Cronuts are so popular that in all of my previous visits, the pastry had been completely sold out by the time I’d arrived. However, when a bakery has as many tasty treats to choose from as Dominique’s does, it’s not hard to find another, just as delicious option.

Cookie shots are literal shot glass-shaped, fresh chocolate chip cookies lined with milk chocolate on the inside. They are filled to the top with vanilla flavored milk and are absolutely delectable. I’ve enjoyed a cookie shot from Dominique Ansel’s numerous times and have never been disappointed, which isn’t something I can say about cookie shots I’ve tried elsewhere.

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Available daily after 3pm

Now, when I find a meal or dessert I love, I’m not the type of person who easily branches out to try different things. I tend to stick to what I know and enjoy, even if that means eating the same food repetitiously. My tendency to gravitate to the cookie shots at Dominique Ansel Bakery were no different when my Cronut-wanting dreams were crushed again this past Wednesday; They were sold out of them again. Was I disappointed? Of course. But, I wasn’t surprised.

Turns out, at The Grove, you can place an order for Cronuts two weeks in advance, which is what I should have done and would have done at the time had I done my research a little better. Instead, I went out on a limb and tried something different for a change, and was completely satisfied with my choice of a frozen s’more, which they torched to order right in front of me.

Not only was it cool to watch, but it tasted like nothing I’d ever had before. The frozen s’mores are a unique but heavenly mixture of cold, Tahitian vanilla ice cream surrounded by chocolate wafer crisps, all encased by a warm, honey marshmallow. To die for, I tell you. To. Die. For.

When I went back to The Grove on Sunday, I’d arrived early enough in the day and was finally able to order the Cronut I’d been waiting three years for. As an extreme lover of both doughnuts and croissants, I wish I’d been able to get my hands on one sooner, but at the same time it was well worth the wait.

While Cronuts are made fresh daily, Dominique Ansel Bakery features one specialty flavor per month, and the flavors never repeat. How cool is that? Mine was a strawberry butter with cinnamon spice ganache Cronut. It was dellish.

Have you ever had a Cronut? What’s your favorite treat from Dominique Ansel Bakery? Let us know in the comments below!

For more information on Dominique Ansel Bakery, please visit: http://dominiqueansel.com/

Photo credit: @ashleybower

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Pike’s Place & Biscuit Bitch

By Lysette Hernandez          

Food always sets the tone for my trips, so Biscuit Bitch was the perfect place to get me excited for what this city has to offer. It’s one of the hippest breakfast spots that I’ve been to in a while, and it serves great food with a snappy greeting: “What are you having today, bitch?” Imagine walking up to the counter and hearing that. Coming from Los Angeles, your first instinct might be to snap back, but with this vibe, I promise you’ll just crack a smile. I ordered a “Smokin’ Hot Bitch”, a biscuit smothered in gravy, cheese with a Louisiana Hot Link and jalapeños. It. Is. Amazing. Totally worth the small wait listening to ’90s hip-hop and a great way to fill your belly for a morning walk.

Seattle is home of the Seahawks, great coffee, the Space Needle, and so much more. It’s a beautiful state that differs completely from my home — Los Angeles — but holds a dear place in my heart. This city truly captures the vibe of inclusivity, progression, and acceptance.

From Biscuit Bitch to the famous Pike’s Place Market I went. Walking a few blocks down I found myself staring at the large PIKE’S PLACE MARKET sign — clearly I made it. Making my way into the main entrance, I was greeted by the popular fishermen of Pike’s Place Fish Market.

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If you have seen pictures of burly men throwing large fish around, you might have actually seen one of these lovely guys. Illuminating behind them was a great lay out of fresh fish on ice. For a fee you can purchase fish and have these fine gentlemen throw one at you in hopes that you catch it; or you can go the “tiny lie” route and tell them it’s your birthday or anniversary and they just might let you do it for free. Either way, it really helps get you amped up for the rest of what this place has to offer.          

Walking through the halls you are engulfed in the smells of the fresh fruits, nuts, flowers and so many other delectable items Pike’s Place has to offer. What captured my attention was the little sign in the Pike’s Pit Bar-B-Que window that stated in bold letters: TURKEY LEGS. I immediately ran to the cashier, ordered my leg, and waited till I was served. Juicy, tender, and just plain amazing; they knew what they were doing.

Market4The rest of the market harbors stands selling trinkets, and other little tourist buys, along with gift shops and a large selection of places to eat. You can easily catch yourself walking through this place for hours, but after eating so much, I was dying for a coffee fix. Although the original Starbucks is located next to Pike’s Place Market, the line was around the corner, so I opted to go to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.

The brewery stands tall and pristine, filling the streets with the aroma of coffee. Within this building is a retail store, the actual brewery, loads of places to relax with your “cup of joe” and a lovely coffee bar right in the middle. As you walk up to the bar, you are given a menu listing their reserve roasts and options of how you would like it brewed. After ordering, you can walk around or sit in one of their meeting areas to plot your next destination.            

Now, Seattle is not just known for bitchin’ biscuits, fish throwing, and great coffee, this gorgeous city (as well as the entire state) also has a true appreciation for marijuana. The Evergreen State has made recreational cannabis legal since November of 2012. Coincidently, during my visit, the Seattle Hempest was going on and although I myself do not smoke, I needed to be a part of one of the biggest cannabis policy reform events known to man.

HempArt

Known as “King of Protestivals,” this event brings together thousands of people annually to openly smoke together in hopes to change views on cannabis. Taking up a large section of the city, the festival holds everything a stoner would need: fried foods, shopping, places to relax, and a blunt or a joint at every turn. The Hempfest continues to grow and allow a platform for free speech and change within our political system and social structure.

Seattle is synonymous to a breath of fresh air. From nature to political progression, this city brings people together to look to the future with positivity and hope. Having been in Los Angeles most of my life, traveling to a place that truly shows their appreciation for humanity and nature intertwined brings me so much hope and joy.