Monday, August 30, 2010

Le Pain Quotidien: where a sick girl finds refuge in a curry chicken tartine

So I've officially been in my new home a month. Even though I'm right by Brentwood Village, I still haven't really taken the time to check out the businesses in the area. I did check out Belwood Bakery for croissants but I was unimpressed. So last week, after finally tearing my sick body out of bed (I was home with the cold), I was in need of some sustenance. I gchated my friend who lives in the area and was home with the jetlag (jealous) and we decided to meet up for a bite. Our two choices were Le Pain Quotidien in the Village or Corel Tree Cafe on San Vicente. Since I was still high on meds, I decided on the closer option.

Le Pain Quotidien is a chain of Belgian bakeries, and is French for "The Daily Bread". Naturally, they bake their bread and pastries daily. I've been to the outlet on Larchmont for lunch and enjoyed their menu which seemed fresh, light and healthy. Perfect for a sick girl.

They are known for their communal tables where diners can share a table and engage in conversation. We opted for a regular table because we are anti-social and I didn't want to spread any germs to my poor neighbors.

I asked for a mimosa (I know... I shouldn't... ) and fortunately for my throat, they don't serve booze at the Brentwood location. I recall the Larchmont location serving wine so I was a bit surprised. I was bummed because I would have liked to brunch here with mimosas on another weekend when I wasn't sick.

Butternut squash soup
This was a vegan version so it was viscous in consistency. I miss the creaminess of a regular butternut squash soup. I also thought it wasn't very flavorful.

I always have to try the croissant at every bakery that I'm in. Sigh... still not as good as Bite Bar & Bakery or Amandine. It didn't have as buttery a flavor as the aforementioned spots.

I do like their store created products such as their Nutella-like hazelnut chocolate and Apricot preserves. I was like a kid when I spooned out some nutella and slowly licked it off my spoon. Mmmm... perfect for a sick girl. An actual kid from the next table depleted her jar and our waitress asked if she could have ours. I cringed a bit, but conceded. Probably better for me.

Curry chicken salad tartine with harissa cranberry chutney
I really liked the tartine. The curry flavor wasn't too overwhelming. I liked that the pieces of chicken weren't dry and the mixture wasn't mayo heavy. The salad was served on a crusty rustic bread. This was the perfect dish for a sick girl. It was tasty, the flavors were really clean but it wasn't heavy or unhealthy.

Artichoke, turkey and smoked mozzarella tartine
Another delicious tartine made with fresh ingredients, but of course it can't compete with the curry chicken salad. I liked that they used smoked mozzarella over regular cheese.

Yes, Le Pain Quotidien is a chain but the menu isn't generic. I enjoyed their tartines but I was disappointed that they didn't serve alcohol. Their chocolate hazelnut spread brought back lovely memories of my childhood. I appreciate that the dishes were healthy but still flavorful. All important factors for a a sick girl.

Hits: curry chicken salad, healthy, choc hazelnut spread
Misses: no booze
Rating: ***

Le Pain Quotidien
11702 Barrington Court,
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 476-0969


Anonymous said...

I was staring down the door of a LPQ just yesterday afternoon, but opted to get ice cream instead.

What kinda Chineser are you? S'pose to be eating porridge and pickled cucumbers yo.

Banana Wonder said...

You ate well for being a sick gal! Hope you are better now... and dang, I am hitting up Bite Bar for croissants when I get back down south.

stuffycheaks said...

Sinosoul - I'm the kind og Chinese that doesn't have someone to cook me porridge *sob*

Anna - Let me know when you are in town, we should grab a bite, at Bite!