Even if your pronunciation of "mille-feuille" is, well, mellifluous, and you say "croissant" with all of the appropriately softened consonants, you're still going to run into a linguistic stumbling block at the newly opened Bouchon Bakery.
Kouign-amann (pictured; $4) is the tiny outpost's difficult-to-pronounce specialty. The odd name is not French but Breton, the ancient Celtic language of Brittany, and the words translate to "butter cake."
At Bouchon, the cakes are personal-size rather than being served as slices from a larger round. The bakery is keeping the recipe a tightly guarded secret--apparently only two chefs know it--so we can't confirm that it's Breton butter being used. But whatever its provenance, the salted butter in the flaky, stratified layers, and the finishing touch of a deeply caramelized crust, take the kouign-amann into its own realm of sweet-salty wonder.
There are plenty of other Viennoiserie options too, including the Francophile favorite pain au chocolat ($3.50) and American classics like crumb cake ($4.50) and sticky buns ($3.25). We also encountered a delectable daily special that involved chocolate, almond paste and chestnut paste stacked inside a croissant-dough casing.
Bouchon Bakery, 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills; 310-271-9910 or bouchonbakery.com
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