The Dish List: ‘Lette Macarons
Paris may be the city of lights, but it is also home to one of a most delectable treats: the macaron.
Fortunately for us in America, a macaron connoisseur by the name of Paulette Koumetz has traveled far and wide and, with the help of French pastry chef extraordinaire Christophe Michalak, has created ‘Lette Macarons, a one-of-a-kind shop that specializes in the French delicacy.
Located in Fashion Island, one of Orange County’s popular shopping malls, ‘Lette Macarons is close to Nordstrom and The Cheesecake Factory. Although the store itself is relatively small, the steady stream of people waiting in line for their taste of heaven do not go unnoticed. One bite of the Sweet Wedding Almond Macaron and I vowed (pun intended) to devote my heart, or at least my palate, to this little gem of a shop.
You may be wondering what exactly a macaron is. Macarons are French cookies made with egg whites and almonds with a ganache, cream-based filling in the center. ‘Lette Macarons offers an assortment of flavors, from the classic Coconut and Lemon, to the more exotic Earl Grey tea and Sicilian Pistachio. The top of each macaron is anointed with a feather-like, wispy brush stroke. Individual macarons cost $1.70, with a minibox of two for $4, giftbox of six for $10.50 and giftbox of 24 for $38.
Of course, you can buy as many or as few macarons as your heart desires – the pricing options only serve as a guide to the approximate cost. The macarons come in a fuchsia-colored giftbox complete with a ribbon, turning a package of macarons into a delightful gift.
‘Lette Macarons originated in Beverly Hills in 2007 and quickly became popular for its kaleidoscopic offerings of the French cookie. The macarons are hand-made daily at the Beverly Hills headquarters and then distributed to various locations. Yet, it isn’t just the macaron itself that makes Lette Macarons so extraordinary, but the layout and design of the boutique as well. The entrance is appealing in its simple but colorful décor: the glass panels allow the viewer to peer at the display cases set up in a way that draw attention to the tower of macarons that gently invites you in.
Have you ever tasted a rose? It’s a bizarre question and I admit to have hesitated before ordering the rose macaron, but once I bit into one, I was astounded. It was as if Willy Wonka himself had infused rose petals into this wonderful treat in the same way he created the Three-Course Meal Chewing Gum. Not to mention, ‘Lette Macarons also offers the Violet Cassis, a macaron with an eggplant purple hue that tastes like a flower, infused with black current jam.
Upon discovering this divine boutique, I made a beeline for the door but discovered it took me a solid ten minutes to select some. I stared at the display case, mouth agape at all the wonder of colors before deciding upon the Salted Caramel, Sweet Wedding Almond and Earl Grey Tea. To my delight, the macarons satisfied my expectations.
My taste buds riveted with the textured pleasure of a two-fold crunch before the sweet filling melted away in my mouth. Much like drinking coffee or good wine, it’s impossible to consume it all at once – the macaron must be relished, savored, enjoyed. The taste was so addictive that I stopped by to purchase more just two days later. This time around, I settled upon the Colombian Coffee macaron. It was still very enjoyable, although my personal favorite is the Sweet Wedding Almond. It was almost too pretty to eat! Garnished by almond flakes with a baby pink hue, it is absolutely divine.
‘Lette’s most popular macaron is the Salted Caramel if you’d like to satisfy your sweet tooth, but if you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend the Earl Grey Tea and the Rose. I was overall pleased with ‘Lette Macarons and everything it offered: the patient, friendly service I received despite the line forming behind me and the serene rows of colors, whether it belonged to the ocean turquoise of the Earl Grey or the dove white hue of the Madagascar Vanilla.
‘Lette Macarons is a must-try stop, so if you’re ever in need of a little pick-me-up or want to indulge before shopping, Lette Macarons is the perfect place to go. Cheers to bringing un petit peu of Paris to our lives. With that said, let us commit to heart ‘Lette’s unbroken passion du macaron: let them eat macarons!