when I first came here mid year last year (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/772839) I was impressed by their macarons and pate chaud. But I was mixed about their baguette. It was better than most of the places in Westminster... a little more like a french baguette, but not quite. I liked the chocolate and almond croissants as well (though was really disappointed in a subsequent visit).
I went again today and it was better than it had ever been before. The pate chaud was great, the pistachio macaron was really, really good and the croissants were better than before. Not great, but I am yet to find a great croissant in the southland (admitting though that I haven't traversed LA for them).
But today they had a bread I hadn't seen there before. Shaped like a baguette, but deep, dark brown, like a real european bread. I asked about it... (they still claim that their normal baguette has no rice flour), but they said it's a "traditional bread." Whatever they call it, it has the best crust I've had for any bread in Orange County by far. This bread was still a little warm, so it was clearly fresh. But the crust was cracklingly crisp without being overly chewy. I was totally impressed. (See the attached pictures).
Now for the bad part. The interior of the bread was uninspiring. The crumb was a little too uniform and dense, without much character, which means they aren't giving the dough time to develop the needed character. Which is a total bummer, because the crust is just so, so good. At any rate, it beats the pants off of any bread you can get regularly in the area.
Oh, and they had a really nice pain d'epi there too for your next dinner party.
I don't know their bread schedule (and failed to ask) but I had their "traditional" loaf at 8 a.m. on a saturday morning. Hoping it's a daily thing.
Au Coeur de Paris
9441 Edinger Ave, Westminster, CA 92683
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