Paris Baguette is an iconic bakeshop chain in South Korea. I was pleasantly surprised to spot its logo of the Eiffel Towel silhouette on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, across from the large HK Supermarket. Brought back a lot of memories.
You can see into the shop from the street because of a wall of glass but in the morning a shade is drawn to keep out the sun. The entrance is inside the strip-mall compound Waa Waa Plaza. Their (?) Latino bakers (?) mill out in the parking lot. One time, I saw a Korean beggar.
On my first visit, I saw ajumma (married Korean women, about in their 40’s) seated at the tables enjoying pastries with their friends. The next time, earlier in the morning, I saw more diverse customers — Latinos, whites and Koreans in their early twenties sitting singly at tables inside and outside. Very cramped.
Upon entering, you see on the left beautiful, attractive sandwiches sliced into small squares with crusts removed — turkey avocado, ham and cheese… I tried the Turkey Avocado… It was just okay — tomatoes, cucumber, some fine sprouts… the bread was a little stale. Around $4 dollars. In the same section, they have bottles of Jones pure cane sugar soda. My receipt says the price was $1.50.
The rest of the store is devoted to breads, cakes and pastries. They carry the Korean favorite “Kastera” sponge cake. A single oval-shaped cake labeled castella was $2.00. Three rectangular slices labeled “Mini Bon Delicieux” cost $2.90.
The entire shop seems to be managed by Korean-American teens. Like most American youngsters in the service industry, they love chatting among themselves in English even when the customer is waiting to pay at the register.
I had the misfortune of encountering the same girl on my two visits. She utters “Oso Oseyo” (the traditional Korean greeting of welcoming a customer into a store) as though she hated just having to say it. I mean, if you’re going to say it that way, it would be better if you don’t. She did observe the Korean custom of using both hands to give your credit card back to you, but my mood was already ruined by her forced greeting and by having to wait at the register. (It’s a small shop, so it feels doubly insulting to have to wait while she’s just a few feet in front of you talking to someone in the back.)
The box in which the castella slices are housed says: “You’re as happy as a king because of Paris Baguette.” Their receipt says: WE MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY !!
3 and a half stars out of 5 for Paris Baguette on Western Avenue.
125 N Western Avenue, Suite #101. Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone number: (323) 467-0404
Store Hours: Monday – Saturday 6:30 AM to 9 PM. Sunday 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM.