Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maca-ron, Macaroon. Tomato Toe-mah-toe.

Call it a macaroon and the French will roll their eyes at you. Let's clear up the confusion. A macaroon is a ball of shredded coconut and condensed milk dipped in chocolate. A macaron is made of a flavored filling sandwiched between two pieces of chewy, sometimes flaky, meringue disks. They come in a variety of flavors and they're perfect as a dessert or snack. 

Euro Pane in Pasadena
Top: Passion Fruit, Hazelnut, Tangerine, Sea Salt Caramel
Bottom: Sea Salt Caramel, Raspberry, Hazelnut, Lime

So where to find the best macarons in LA? Here's the rundown. 

1) Euro Pane
'Lette in Pasadena
Left to Right: Earl Grey, Orange, Coffee, Passion fruit,
Salted Caramel, Lyche
Euro Pane Bakery in Pasadena has the chewiest and largest macarons. Try the sea salt caramel, which, shocker, is actually topped with sea salt (ahem 'Lette). Pair it with an iced vanilla latte and you'll be on cloud 9. While you're at Euro Pane, try their Croque Monsieur and Open Face Egg Salad Sandwich. The Egg Sandwich was featured on Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Channel, and I hear it's life changing.

2) Bottega Louie
Bottega Louie in downtown LA is great. I tried my first macaron at Louie and it was love at first bite. I'm clerking at a law office that's only three blocks from Louie, so naturally, I've developed an unhealthy habit of walking to Louie after work for a late afternoon treat. Plus, I love their glossy white floors and gold decor. Try the earl grey and sea salt caramel.

3) 'Lette
Formerly Paulette, 'Lette's macarons are reputed as the best in LA. However, I like my macarons nice and chewy. 'Lette's macarons are crispy and flaky. Not my cup of tea.  Also, the coffee flavor tastes like ground espresso beans. Too strong, even for a coffee addict like myself.  'Lette managed to screw up both the macaron texture AND my favorite flavor. No bueno.

4) Lemonade
Contrary to what the labels say, these are not macarons. The are more like cakey whoopie pies with a whipped cream filling. And they're HUGE. Very shareable.


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