Set amidst the cool Pacific Ocean backdrop, the smell of fresh bread invites me. Le Pain Quotidien (pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN – means “the daily bread) is officially open for business and my senses are aroused. What does “the daily bread” have to offer and how blessed and humbled are we that founder Chef Alain Coumont has set food behind the Orange Curtain?
I attended the grand opening event Thursday night which was held in conjunction with Share Our Strength, whose quest is to end childhood hunger. Guests enjoyed a sampling of LPQ’s classic and simplistic boulangerie fare around their communal table. Myself along with other OC foodies enjoyed the tartines, desserts, and specialty beverages. My favorites from the night were the muffins, the sparkling hibiscus tea, and the avocado garbanzo bean tartine.
Slowly, Orange County is expanding its cultural reach and LPQ is a great addition. I feel transported to a remote part of Europe when I visit here and Fashion Island’s “open air” shopping center is the perfect spot for this bakery. If you’re looking to expand your skills in the kitchen, you are encouraged to enroll in their baking classes offered bi-weekly. Since I’m somewhat close by, you just might find me here one morning enjoying a quiet breakfast with a cup of coffee overlooking the sparkling ocean.