Croissants au beurre, pain au chocolat, croissants aux amandes. Sometimes, you may also find ham and cheese, but there must be more to croissants than the standard rotation. Thankfully, in Los Angeles, pastry chefs aren’t so beholden to French traditions. Longtime Thomas Keller pastry chef Sharon Wang has crafted kimchi SPAM musubi croissants for her Sugarbloom Bakery, Lincoln Carson crafts an everything croissant and testa croissant at Superba Food + Bread and Republique pastry chef Margarita Manzke riffs on sandwiches like the BLT and Cubano, to good effect.
Of course, it takes accomplished pastry chefs like Manzke, who already understand core croissant principles, to be able to be progressive. Her Cubano croissant ($4) is her play on the prototypical Cuban sandwich, with buttery pastry cradling cornichons, molten Gruyere, and silky ham, with a hint of whole-grain mustard. This was no gimmick. The pastry was still the focus, and the fillings were a welcome flourish.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.