The Cronut® creator does it all, from morning to evening.
Los Angeles openings don’t get much bigger than Dominique Ansel Bakery. The new two-story Grove project opens for a pastry-heavy brunch on Saturday, followed next week by the arrival of 189 by Dominique Ansel, the traditional pastry chef’s foray into a sit-down dinner experience, complete with cocktails and an open kitchen.
But first, those pastries. Ansel is known most famously for the Cronut®, a doughnut-croissant hybrid so famous it literally had to be trademarked. Ansel will have plenty on hand when the hordes descend this weekend, as well as a number of other Los Angeles-specific treats to enjoy. There’s the Paris LA (Ansel’s team creates a unique paris-brest pastry for each city they have shops in) that’s topped with California golden poppies, and a playful new California Roll that comes with avocado mousse.
The downstairs sweets space offers room for diners to sit along a wide window wall, plus some plush front tiered seating and one long communal table. There’s a big window into the kitchen that’s framed by a mural to make the whole thing seem to be coming from inside a swimming pool, and out on the front patio there’s room to lounge while the crowds pass by. A pastry-focused brunch starts on Saturday followed by the full bakery reveal next week, with dinner to follow.
Upstairs at 189 — a restaurant named after the first address Ansel ever took for a kitchen in New York City — Ansel will be dipping his toes into the full savory side. He actually trained as a traditional chef before moving to pastry, and does deploy some non-sweet stuff at his Tokyo location, though it’s far from a dinner destination. This space is something new for Ansel, a 150-seater with indoor-outdoor looks and a private dining room with its own separate patio. Studio Unltd (Bestia) designed the restaurant space.
This time around, Ansel and co. will be work more traditionally within the flavors of Los Angeles. There are plans for a razor clams dish with chorizo, pork spare ribs finished with a touch of pineapple juice like an al pastor taco, and French-ier options like a duck leg confit with peppercorn sauce. Dinner starts at 189 next Saturday night officially, and the opening menus are below.
Dominique Ansel’s 10,000 square foot two-story compound at The Grove opens for brunch customers on Saturday, with the bakery coming online officially next Friday, November 10 at 9 a.m. and dinner at 189 to land the day after. Just know that the corner location just off the park is sure to be slammed with waiting customers — the place is already one of California’s most touristed destinations, with 18 million annual visitors. But for Dominique Ansel and his team of traveling pastry heroes, that’s just par for the course.
By Farley Elliott