It’s been half a year now since Pitchoun Bakery and Café opened its doors across from Pershing Square, and the Downtown morning-meal scene is still on the steady up-and-up. The shop is the project of husband and wife team Frédéric and Fabienne Souliès, a third-generation baker from the South West of France and the daughter of a food-loving family from Monaco. After twenty years of paying visits to Los Angeles, the couple decided to set down new roots. “We wanted a place to gather our family’s recipes,” Fabienne explains. “The menu all comes from things we grew up eating.”
One of her breakfast favorites is the Country Tartine, a toasted slice of country bread topped with unsalted butter, French-cooked ham, brie and cornichons. It’s a no-fuss authentic breakfast. If you’ve got time to sit down for lunch, the southwest sandwich — duck prosciutto, sheep’s milk cheese, avocado, frisee and raspberry vinaigrette — also comes highly recommended.
The French influence on baked goods is immense and predominant, which might arouse some suspicion — there are too many droopy, feeble iterations of croissants, éclairs, and baguettes lining the shelves of Downtown. Pitchoun will help you recalibrate. Everything is made with imported French butter and is, of course, baked fresh every day. Their almond croissant is a more classic one — hefty and a little sweet, served with a homemade syrup on the side for dipping. The kouign-amann, a flaky, Breton pastry made of bread dough folded over layers of butter and sugar is another traditional, simple treat.
“Eating in France is sort of a religion,” Fabienne says. “We have a relationship to food that’s a little different.”Pitchoun makes everything in-house, beyond just the pastries and bread — the yogurt, the chips, the chocolate. Even the olives are imported from Nice and then marinated in-house.
For the things Pitchoun can’t make, they’ve hand picked a number of local and organic farmers to supply them with everything else. They make no compromises: if they run out of something, there will be no more of that for the day. It’s important that it’s only the best.
But with that said, they waste nothing. If they have some berries left over, they might cook a few jars of jam. This farmhouse mentality is part of what makes Pitchoun special — there’s room to play, which means there’s always a little something different.
This month, they’ll be launching a happy hour and Patrons will have their choice of wines from over eighty different wineries plus charcuterie boards and cheese plates, a nice end to the workday. “We have a lot of passion,” Fabienne says. “We love to share. We love to see people satisfied.”