I got a comment from a blog reader about a boulangerie and patisserie on Pico that got me interested enough to go try it today. It's a small place, not far from the Grove, in a semi-industrial area (auto repair places surround it), but the minute I walked in, I was impressed by the variety of baguettes, breads, and pastries. They have a small area where you can sit and have a breakfast of scrambled eggs for $7.95 or French toast $8.25, or come in for lunch and choose from their menu of hot or cold sandwiches for $7.95.
I am very picky about my French food and rarely does anything in Los Angeles pass my palate test, so I decided to try the buttery croissants for $2.25 from La Maison Du Pain (House of Bread); I am happy to report that they are delightfully rich and buttery. I am so glad I bought two so that I have one for tomorrow morning. My only critique is that the outside is soft instead of flaky, even after warming them in an oven (which I did). They use real butter, but not so much that the paper bag container gets greasy, and the size is average American (about twice as big as French).
The display of choices include rows of baguette choices from sourdough to whole wheat, beautiful fruit tarts for $2.25, chocolate covered fresh whole strawberries, Napoleons $4.95, mousses $5.25, mini quiches $2.25, and assorted breakfast breads like pain au raisin $2.90, chocolate almond croissants $3.75, and muffins $2.85. They even offer French macaroons in various flavors and colors (one is rainbow) for only $1.50. It is astounding that they offer so many excellently executed choices with such low prices in such a small space; you can even watch them work on the next batch of goodies through the glass window wall adjacent to the entrance.
It's a good thing that this tiny marvel is just a little outside my immediate neighborhood; I might be able to justify going there if I walked the 7 miles there, ate a Viennoiserie (Danish) and walked back home.