Cronut-creator Dominique Ansel opens LA restaurant at The Grove

189 by Dominique Ansel. — AFP pic
189 by Dominique Ansel. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, Nov 15 — The pastry chef who gave the world the Cronut — the infamous croissant-donut hybrid — has opened the doors to his first sit-down restaurant in Los Angeles.

Chef Dominique Ansel welcomed the first of his dinner guests to 189 by Dominique Ansel at The Grove recently, marking a new trajectory for the pastry maestro who was named The World’s Best Pastry Chef earlier this year at the influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

Spanning two floors, the space houses a full-service sit-down restaurant on the second floor, and a bakery on the first floor.

The restaurant marks a splashy West Coast debut for Ansel, whose eponymously-named flagship bakery in New York attracts Cronut pilgrims from around the world.

As for the name of his first restaurant, Ansel explained in a statement: “Our original shop in Soho is located at 189 Spring Street, where everything began for us back in 2011 with just four employees. Our LA restaurant address also happens to be at 189 The Grove Drive, so it was meant to be.”

Between Ansel’s household recognition and the restaurant’s strategic location — The Grove is a premier dining and retail destination in Los Angeles — the eatery is primed to become one of the city’s hottest addresses in an already saturated market of celebrity restaurants.

American comfort foods, with a twist

The menu is a collaborative effort with executive chef Hyun Lee, and is described as modern American with classic comfort dishes given new twists.

Rotisserie baby chicken with black garlic rice stuffing, chilled spicy scallion salad and chicken jus, for instance, is described as a mash-up of both Ansel and Lee’s childhood memories of comfort chicken. Growing up in France, roast chicken was a treat in his childhood home. For Lee, it was Samgye-tang, a Korean chicken soup made with whole chicken, stuffed with rice.

Other dishes include a cabbage soup with rye bread crouton, Gruyere and Fontina — a twist on French onion soup — and pull-apart sweet corn “Elotes” milk bread inspired by Mexican street corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, the bakery, which opened earlier this month, features new creations unavailable at any of his other stores in New York, Tokyo or London.

Angelenos will get, for instance, the Paris-LA, a version of the classic Paris-Brest pastry filled with muscovado ganache, orange blossom ganache and raspberry jam, and the California Roll, an homage to LA in the form of avocado mousse, vanilla lime mousse, honey gelee and olive oil biscuit. — AFP-Relaxnews

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