I was intrigued with Pitchoun the first time I ever walked in last year. It had that hustle and bustle feel of a well-known neighborhood bakery. While looking through the pastry case, the beautiful desserts began to entrance me. Then, they reminded me of standing in line at a little patisserie in Paris with my mom when I was nine years old. The only thing I wanted that day was a chocolate eclair. We stood in line for nearly 15 minutes, not knowing if we would survive among the little old ladies stocking up on baguettes for dinner, scarves wound around their soft gray and white hair, shouting for the best loaf. My mother handed me the eclair and whisked me out the door to the sidewalk where I ate it. Still a fond food memory of mine! Pitchoun, the french saying for “kiddo”, brings that authentic patisserie experience to Los Angeles, thanks to husband and wife team Frédéric and Fabienne Souliés.
Fabienne’s accent is like lavender-honey, earthy and sweet. She grew up in Monaco, while her husband, grew up in the countryside of Southwest France. Together they have brought the best of their French upbringings to Pitchoun. Frédéric comes from three generations of bakers, so you could say he has good instincts. There is something to be said for keeping things “all in the family,” the chefs and bakers are also French. Many of the ingredients are also imported from France -- most definitely the butter. If the items don’t come from France, they are sourced as locally as possible. This is why the food tastes so real in my opinion. “The chefs, we know them from France. This is why we have them come here. They are very skilled and we are on the same page. The whole team is French. This is why I say we are truly an authentic french bakery. I think we are the only one in this big city like this.” Fabienne says.
The menu will serve you well from early morning through late afternoon, with traditional breakfast and lunch items: Parisian Omelette, Provencal Eggs, Croque Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine and Salad Niçoise to mention a few. And of course there are many different breads and pastries ready to go home with you. “In our concept, we wanted to have recipes from our youth that we have grown up with because those are simple recipes, but very good. That was part of our authenticity, so for instance, all the sides that we’re doing, this is all what we would be making at home. Like the carrot salad (Carrots Like in Paris), very simple, very traditional. Then we make our French Vinaigrette. My father would make Provencal Eggs for me growing up with the roasted tomatoes. All of these recipes have history.”
The best selling item is the Almond Croissant. Fabienne believes it’s the specific technique they use. “I would say we are known for the almond croissant. We make the almond croissant the French way, not the American way. The difference is that you use a baked plain croissant, you dip it in a homemade syrup and then you fill it in with the almond paste, which is homemade. And then you put on the top, some slivered almonds and then bake it again. This is why it is flat. Then you put on the powdered sugar. That’s also why, thanks to the syrup, this croissant is less dry than the American croissant.” I tried one, trust me, they are fantastic!
Another pastry item I don’t think you should leave without trying is the Raspberry Morning Bun. It looks like a rose and tastes like a muffin, a croissant and garden fresh raspberries had a baby. You really can’t pass it up! Other menu items I sampled were the Summer Sandwich - proscuitto, mozzarella, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, pistou vinaigrette, basil on ciabatta and the Parisian Omelette with everything - ham, swiss, mushrooms and spinach.
I’ve been to Pitchoun three times now and although I haven’t seen any long lines of little old ladies, I can say that each experience gets better than the last. Frédéric and Fabienne clearly care a lot about their business, it is an extension of their family. “With the quality of the ingredients, the sourcing of the ingredients and the knowledge - the savoir faire, this is why I believe we are the best in this city.” Either that Fabienne, or there’s something in the butter…
45 S Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013