During a recent trip to Los Angeles, the Sprudge editors made a delicious discovery in the form of a pastry. This said pastry was none other than an Everything Croissant that we shared at Superba Food + Bread. Then a few months later I was tooling around Venice visiting Nicely Abel at Menotti’s, on a soggy rainy day. Yes, we have those in LA too. I stopped into check out the new Gjusta Bakery, part of the same company as Gjelina and Gjelina To Go, to see first hand the bustling bakery in action. I had heard everything was tasty and the space extra noisy. Both are true, but what I discovered that day was their own unique croissant creation. Get ready for it… the Baklava Croissant! Seems like a logical pairing, a match made in heaven. So why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
The Everything Croissant at Superba and the Baklava Croissant at Gjusta got us thinking, in the wake of world news and pressing political debates maybe the perfect pairing of croissant and coffee could help ameliorate some of the world’s woes? Well, maybe that’s just our pollyanna dream, but still we did the research and spent the time to share with you some of the best and most unique pairings of coffee and pastry in Southern California. Here's to hoping this list can help you in following your own coffee & croissant bliss.
The Everything Croissant at Superba Food + Bread
Pastry chef Lincoln Carson fills his Everything Croissant with cream cheese and tops them with everything you’d find on an everything bagel: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. The culinary team at Superba Food + Bread (which you can read about in our full article here) stack their all-day menus with eggs, sandwiches, roasted chicken, innovative desserts, and so much more. At Superba their food and sweets are now served with Verve Coffee. “We've partnered up with Verve. We buy a few different coffees from their lineup, but our bar is most heavily stacked with an exclusive coffee they sell only to us. Our exclusive coffee is Leonisio Honduras—a coffee we fell in love with and begged for the whole lot of,” shared Director of Brand Management Skandia Shafer.
The Baklava Croissant at Gjusta
Imagine a freshly baked croissant and next to it a gooey square of baklava. Now consider what would happen if a talented baker thought ‘I like croissants’ and ‘I like baklava’. How about mixing up the honey pistachio layers of baklava and baking it in a croissant instead of filo dough and… voila—magic! Delicious, sweet, flaky magic.
Gjusta also serves brownies, teacakes, eggs, soup, sandwiches, smoked fish, and cured meat. Coffee is Sightglass and served in rustic ceramic cups or paper. Dining in consists of a marble standing bar and some outside benches. It’s busy, it’s noisy. And all worth the effort to partake in their tasty menu.
The Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery and Cognoscenti Coffee
No Los Angeles croissant story would be complete without at least one OG choice. A classic. Made by a talented baker like the beloved Na Young Ma at Proof. Out of all of her delicacies—hello black sesame financier and carrot sandwiches on fresh baked baguettes—the almond croissant stands out as a super star on the menu. You cannot make a bad choice when ordering at Proof, but still the Almond Croissant is perfect.
Covered in a mass of sliced almonds and powdered sugar with tender layers on the inside, it is truly stellar, especially paired with a freshly prepared cappuccino by a Cognoscenti barista (this one was made with Coava David Mancia Honduras). Though you are in the Atwater Village, close your eyes and maybe just maybe you will believe that you are in Paris, if even for a moment.
Croissants and Kouign Aman at Huckleberry
Nastassia Johnson of Let Me Eat Cake loves Huckleberry so much, she jumped at the chance to head over to take photos of their croissants and kouign amans for Sprudge. What makes these pastries a favorite of this dessert expert (with more than 18,000 people following her sweet adventures on Instagram)? Johnson had this to say about venturing to Santa Monica for treats: “Huckleberry is a great spot for sweets of any kind, especially croissants. Zoe Nathan is a talented baker. Her croissants have that perfect balance of flaky and buttery outside and doughy inside with a delicate give. It is that balance that makes it great. It can't be too doughy and can't be too dry.”
Kouign aman and croissants are made from similar dough and at Huckleberry, you can find them filled with chocolate, seasonal berries, or stone fruit. They serve brewed coffee and espresso drinks made with beans from Caffe Luxxe at this haven for comfort food.
Sugarbloom Kimchi Spam Musubi Croissant at Blacktop
The scene at Blacktop Coffee has developed into the perfect meet up spot for people who live, work, or are visiting the Downtown Arts District. Nestled in the middle of the block attached to Alchemy Works and mere steps from Poketo, Apolis, and Wurstkuche, Blacktop serves up Sightglass Coffee and pastries from Sugarbloom. And, yes, you read that right; one option is a Kimchi Spam Musubi Croissant. This savory pastry satisfies salty umami cravings with roasted Spam, kimchi puree, and Sriracha, topped with nori and sesame seeds. Sugarbloom is the brainchild of pastry chef Sharon Wang. Her stellar pastry creations can also be found at Stumptown, Bar Nine, Woodcat, and Taza helping many Southern California coffee bars up their pastry game.
Julie Wolfson is a Sprudge.com desk writer based in Los Angeles. Read more Julie Wolfson on Sprudge.
All photos by Julie Wolfson for Sprudge.com unless otherwise noted.