finally made it to boule yesterday to sample a few treats after hearing all the raves on this board. approaching the door i noticed a small group standing outside with their elegant little bags of pastry, appearing quite pleased with the experience. i entered the bakery with a rush of enthusiasm.
this certainly isn't that cramped room of barely visible offerings that is the la brea bakery experience (don't get me wrong, i love some of their stuff , but most days can't wait to fling that screen door open & run). boule is dreamy, airy, easy to navigate. i enjoyed its serious & graceful tone, as it reminded me of a sparkly blanket of fresh powdery snowfall on a winter morning, cold but beautiful. ok, enough gushy description.
arriving after 11am, the availability of items seemed quite good and it was difficult not to go crazy & choose one of everything. a friendly server with glasses helped me (i think i'd seen him previously in perceptor's or chowpatty's pics) and soon enough i was on my way with my box of goodies.
tried the canneles bordelais first. very nice & fragrant like a solid custard with a wonderful brown skin/crust. the interior seemed slightly less chewy than LBB's. the last bite of the caramelized bottom was my favorite.
next a cafe religieuse, a puff filled with catalan cream, topped with a baby puff, white icing & decorative touches of gold leaf and white chocolate. the infused cream was at first creamy & assertive with orange flavor, then dissolved into the essence of-and i feel weird saying this-fruit loops. personally it didn't work for me.
a pain au chocolat & croissant were good, with gentle hints of butter & salt. the chocolate bits were more semi than dark & bittersweet. the pastry of both seemed quite sturdy, moderately tender in the center & less whispy/flaky/crispy than i anticipated. using local examples, it was like a marriage between the austro-hungarian crescents from B & L bakery and the light & delicate croissants of pain du jour. it's interesting when you consider that the french based their croissants on the viennese kipferln.
finally two flavors of macaron. they both shared an initial intense sweetness that immediately disappeared, allowing for their deeper respective flavors to come forth, quite an amazing little trick. the venezuelan chocolate was as good as hounds have noted. again more of a medium than a deep dark chocolate sensation, it immediately reminded me of how excellent brownies form a matte top crust that gives way to a lovely fudginess. the green tea flavor was fragrant & pleasantly bright & grassy like macha. as another hound stated, the fillings are generous, and i think these macarons are striving to be quite bold, less of a whisper.
i'd have to say the total experience was pretty dreamy.