The second thing, and most important, is that the pastries I tasted were great. Everything else looked equally good.
L'Artiste Patisserie opened fairly recently and yesterday was the first day I stopped in there. It had gotten a mention on Chowhound, which is how I learned about it. I went around lunch time and there were about 8-10 people seated in the patio area eating sandwiches and other lunch offerings. Inside, there were two pastry cases: one with breads and morning pastries and one with cookies and desserts. I decided that I would go back for bread another time and treated myself to a few macarons and an espresso chocolate chip cookie.
The macaroons, from back to front in the photo above, are: lemon, lavender, cinnamon-orange, vanilla and pistachio. The lemon and cinnamon-orange were my favorites. I think the lemon may have been filled with lemon curd, or perhaps a lemon curd buttercreme. It was really, really excellent. The cinnamon-orange, a close second, was filled with marmalade.
The espresso chocolate chip cookie was praised on the Chowhound boards and it, too, was excellent. It was very rich and chewy, a brownie held together in cookie shape. It didn't have a coffee flavor, but the intensity of chocolate that has coffee added to it.
C'mon LA food bloggers (and non-bloggers, too, of course!) - try it and let me know what you think!
17312-A Ventura Boulevard
Encino, California 91316