When I got wind that Le Pain Quotidien was opening in my neighborhood, I let out a visceral warcry to honor my gluten intolerant stomach, as I knew I would not be able to resist the best baguette in Los Angeles. I have been a staple at the one in West Hollywood for over a decade. Once a month I would stumble in and exit baguette in hand, sit on the curb and devour the entire thing in one seating. At times, I would dine in, have their vegan soup du jour and Six-Vegetable Quiche, but for me it was more about waging war on my intestines, just like a rebellious teenager.
Le Pain opened last Saturday on W. 6th and Grand in the PacMutual Building. I know this because I went there mid-afternoon for my gluten-fix, just to find myself behind closed doors drooling at the sight of perfectly lined up baguettes. I later found out that they close at 4:00 pm on weekends. Today I finally walked through the doors around 11:00 am, there was more waitstaff than patrons. My new friend and I sat outside honoring their ‘dog-code’.
The place is friendly with a gargantuan communal table and an outdoor patio, an inviting display of baked goods and white chocolate spreads. Through the glass we communicated via sign language with a trendy patron who seemed to really enjoy his scramble giving us the thumbs up. Our waitress was quick to bring us a sample of their vegan corn chowder, which was quite comforting on a gloomy Thursday morning. The service was fast, perhaps it was the fact that I told her- which I never do- I was a ‘blogger’. My Six-Vegatable Quiche arrived. The vivid display on my plate sadly didn’t live up to my expectations and to the flavors I remembered from the West Hollywood location. It was dry and I could almost taste the day-old, stale refrigerator flavor. The intricate slicing of the garnish was astonishing but it didn’t save the mediocrity of the quiche. Luckily my friend offered such quality conversation that even if my stomach wasn’t satisfied my mind was. On the other hand, her salmon plate looked appetizing even to a ‘reformed’ vegan.
By noon the patio was packed. Le Pain Quotidien is an ideal place for a decent lunch out of the office -stick to the scrambles and soups -or a quick business meeting over coffee on the outdoor patio . As for me I’ll just run in for a baguette and eat it on a park bench at Pershing square, while feeding the pigeons and waiting for Tartine – another French bakery- to open late summer, housed also in the PacMutual Building.
Address: 509 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Originally Posted on April 4, 2014