Monday, December 05, 2011

Macarons at Pascal - Santa Ana

Cupcakes, schmupcakes. I never came on board that train; but you can count me in as a passenger on the macaron bandwagon. A few years ago, there was a run on these crispy, chewy, multi-hued and flavor-filled pastries that look like mini burgers. I vaguely remember more than a few exuberant posts Chowhound touting the macarons at Boule, a now defunct bakery. Now, macarons are everywhere.

The best I’ve found so far are made by Pascal Olhats, the chef I most associate with anything French that’s worth consuming in OC. I’m not the only one that thinks so. A co-worker routinely compares Pascal’s macarons to those he’s had in Paris. They’re just as light, he says. To beg forgiveness for his transgressions, he buys them for his wife in lieu of flowers.

The merits of a good macaron, he says to me like an expert lecturer on the subject, is measured on how close it is to eating air. After all, macarons are pretty much a meringue with almond flour added for structural integrity. It can’t be at all dense; and it has to be crispy, leading to a delicate tacky chew on the inside. Ideally it should crumble and melt upon contact with your mouth, whereupon it just caves in on itself, subsiding like a sandcastle at high tide.

Available on the day I went to Pascal at Hutton Center were pistachio, lemon, strawberry, chocolate and chocolate banana. At $0.85 a piece, they’re half the price most bakeries would charge. I’ve seen macarons retail at prices around $1.60 per piece elsewhere. It must be said that Pascal’s macarons are, however, smaller than most. You can conceivably put two your mouth and still have room for one more—their diameters just slightly larger than a quarter…with the cost of about three and a dime.

2 Hutton Centre Dr
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 957-3087

Silver Trumpet - Costa Mesa


At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Kim Glen said...

Macaroons somehow trick you into not feeling guilty about a little indulgence. It must be the lightness of the pastries, especially when compared to a brownie or chocolate chip cookie.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Dave Lieberman said...

You should try the ones from Au Cœur de Paris. Maybe I'll bring you some. :)

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Chubbypanda said...

I'm rather fond of the ones at Layer Cake myself.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Yer right! "Diameter" would be more appropriate in this case.


Especially these suckers. My line about fitting three in your mouth...ahem...came from experience!


Now that you've mentioned it, I remember your Eat Here; Not There! My co-worker's probably already done something else to upset his wife to warrant another dozen.


I like 'em too, but I always seem to go for their other stuff!

At 2:56 PM, Blogger OC Paul said...

Pascal's is just a couple of miles from my office so I dragged my co-worker there for an early afternoon break. They had maybe 3 dozen displayed in 4 flavors: strawberry, pistachio, mango and chocolate. I started with the strawberry and thought that it was good but not life changing. I then tried the chocolate and loved it! It was light and crispy on the outside and somehow light but dense like a brownie on the inside. I then had the pistachio while my co-worker wasn't looking and really liked the texture too. The mango was my favorite though and was perfectly crispy, air on the exterior and chewy on the inside. I felt guilty for eating all 4 so I bought 4 more to take home to share tonight. Well worth the 85 cents. Each macaron should be savored with 3 small bites!

At 10:48 PM, Blogger digkv said...

Ah the macaron, it's something I really do love as well. Pascal's has always been hit-or-miss with me. They would be too hard sometimes, too soft other times, never really had the best texture and half of them always look irregular, though at its ridiculously low price, it's quite forgivable. I've yet to take Dave's recommendation but lately my go-to macaron place is merely sweets in Brea. The texture is perfect and their interesting flavors like gingerbread and earl grey make them a place worth seeking out. I'd say their macarons are comparable to those I had at Laduree. My only problem with merely sweets are the zany and random colors of their macarons, but it's just a small quibble.

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Crystal W. said...

If you're ever in the Pasadena area, be sure to check out the macarons at Europane Bakery! My favorites are hazelnut and mocha, though their salted caramel seems to be the most popular. Be sure to get their amazing egg salad sandwich too!


Post a Comment

<< Home