Thursday, December 4, 2008
paulette: The Best Macarons in LA (Especially on a Bad Day)
"Too late. I got you a couple." It said.
I furrowed my brow in confusion as I analyzed the mysterious text message. "What was my roommate talking about?" I wondered, frantically exiting the screen to read the previous text she'd sent. Did she get me a couple rolls of toilet paper? A couple of coconuts? A couple of pamphlets on how to be exceedingly fabulous on an exceedingly small budget?
I opened up the text, and nearly swooned when I read her message.
"I'm going to Paulette. Would you like a couple macarons?"
A smile sweeped across my previously down-trodden face, and I looked up into the slate-colored sky. "Thank God for roommates." I thought and returned to my office, where I spent the next four hours fantasizing about the delicate French cookies.
It'd been sort of a tiring day. I was grouchy from yet another sleepless night spent tangling my pale pink sheets as I tossed and turned, and wasn't feeling particularly peppy. The damp fall weather was wreaking havoc on my normally sunny disposition, and I was convinced that the ache in my throat was ominous of an impending illness. Arriving home to my apartment last night, all I wanted to do was eat my chicken marsala leftovers and curl up on the couch with a cup of Tazo "Calm" Chamomile tea and my latest piece of mindless chic-lit, Jane Green's The Beach House. I was not in the mood for any sort of revelry aside from the ingestion of the two macarons my roommate had procured for me. Not even "Top Chef" was going to make the cut for me last night.
When enough time had passed for my dinner to partially digest, I eagerly pulled the pristine vanilla and chocolate macarons out of the paulette paper sack that my roommate had thoughtfully left next to the egregious red wine I'd opened earlier in the evening. I scowled at the $8.99 bottle of Barbara from Whole Foods, as I waited for my tea kettle to boil.
"So much for drinking myself to sleep," I thought bitterly.
I brought my tea and macarons back to the couch with me and nestled in for the pivotal moment of sweet satisfaction. I'd sampled paulette's macarons in the past, stopping by the minimalist Beverly Hills shop on Charleville Boulevard a few times when they had first opened, but at the time, I considered them inferior to Boule's offerings. While significantly better than the macarons at the Little Next Door, Jin Patisserie, and La Provence Patisserie, I preferred the slightly chewier texture of Boule's macarons and found paulette's ganache a little runny. Biting into the chocolate and then vanilla macaron last night, however, my previous perceptions of the almond filled cookie (not to be confused with the coconut macaroon) were immediately forgotten.
Or more accurately, my previous feelings regarding the preeminence of Boule's macarons were immediately forgotten.
The Caribbean chocolate macaron was decadent, yet pure in flavor -- the cocoa essence clearly outshing the restrained sugar content. It was like drinking a cup of hot chocolate topped with tiny flecks of what appeared to be cocoa nib flakes. I loved how the slightly crunchy flakes added texture to the tender cookie crust and pliant interior, and didn't think that the Madagascar vanilla could hold its own against its darker cousin. Yet as I sank my teeth through the fragile pearl-colored shell, I was immediately transported back to my late grandmother Yetta's house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"It tastes like a sugar cookie!" I enthused to my roommate, who walked into the room just as I was polishing off the last bite of the macaron.
Then I looked to the dust-speckled ceiling and thought it again. "Thank God for roommates."
Good macarons (and friends) really can make a bad day better.