Monday, January 5, 2009

Jin Patisserie Los Angeles

I didn't even bother taking pictures of the chocolates Kate and I tried at Jin Patisserie. We went there hoping to try their famous macarons, but were disappointed by how stale and unappealing they appeared in the pastry case.

When you visit the website for Jin Patisserie you are presented with beautiful photos of pastries, chocolates, and macarons. When you step into the patisserie, however, you will most likely be disappointed by the lackluster presentation of product. Not only were the pastries themselves dissapointing, the staff was unfriendly and borderline rude.

Kate and I were shoved aside by one assistant and asked to move by another. Not one greeted us with a hello or as much as a smile.

Considering we had driven 2 hours from San Diego, we decided to give the chocolates a shot since they at least sounded exciting. The woman who begrudgingly helped us offered no suggestions or greeting, so we were left to our own devices. Kate chose an Earl Grey tea infused chocolate, and I chose a Jasmine chocolate (I love florals!). We both were excited to try a mango basil chocolate.

We took our chocolates and left the shop in a hurry. The adorable Abbot Kinney Blvd where the shop is located in Venice was much more appealing. The street is lined with unique and varied shops, as well as bars and cafes.

We happened upon a small wine shop and with a mutual affinity towards wine walked in without hesitation. The shop is called El Vino and is located at 1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, CA.

As you walk in, you are immediately greeted warmly by the young owner, who built the wine racks and shelves by hand (and lets you know he lost 20 lbs doing so). The display of wines and wine paraphernalia is lovely, as is the warm lighting and soft music playing in the background. Kate and I were enjoying looking at all the unique labels of the diverse wine selection when we noticed a $12 champagne tasting sign. Just what we needed after a long drive!

The French man who poured our champagne (reminded me of a pirate) was incredibly knowledgeable and shared personal stories with us about the makers of the wines we were tasting. Our first sparkling wine was actually a pear/apple cider from France. The pears and apples were grown organically and harvested from 300 year old trees (which we were presented pictures of). Kate purchased a bottle of the apple cider by the same label.

Our second was a Cava from Spain, and our third a champagne from Reims. We paired each with one chocolate from the patisserie. What a perfect marriage and happy coincidence!

As for the chocolates, the earl grey one was unmemorable and strange (hazelnut and tea?). The jasmine was perfect with the champage, and the mango basil was incredible.

I would not recommend the Jin Patisserie to anyone, but I would definitely suggest a stop at El Vino wine shop. Considering I don't live in Los Angeles anymore, I regret that I won't be able to frequent the shop. I did however put down my sister Lindsay's name on their emailing list. Surprise Lindsay! I think you will thank me. :)

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